From Women of Fukushima
Six Japanese women offer brutally honest views on the state of the clean-up, the cover-ups and untruths since the nuclear accident in Fukushima, and how it has affected their lives, homes and families… Since three reactors went into meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, a broad, disparate anti-nuclear movement is growing in Japan. Nowhere is that more apparent, perhaps, than in Fukushima prefecture, where a group of local women boldly protest the deafening silence of the Japanese government over the worst nuclear accident of this century. Largely ignored by their own media, these brave women brush aside their cultural shyness and share their brutally honest views on the state of the cleanup, the cover-ups, the untruths and the stagnant political climate in today’s Japan. Supported with rare footage from inside the exclusion zone, as well as from abandoned neighboring towns, the Women of Fukushima (“Fukushima no Onnatachi”) offers startlingly candid insights, in the women’s own voices, about what has become of their lives, homes, and families in the aftermath of 3/11.
Women of Fukushima has proudly received the following awards: Honorable Mention, London Lift-Off Film Festival, UK, 2012; Best Mid-Length Documentary, Reel Earth Film Festival, New Zealand, 2013. Best Short Documentary, Social Media Impact Awards, 2013
Since his settlement in Hiroshima prefecture, Kamihara has interviewed many families who have moved away from radiation affected areas in Kanto and Tohoku. He has already published 5 volumes of his interviews. Kamihara’s passion now is to collect the unheard voices and give life to these words to be known by as many people as possible around the world. The following text was extracted from ‘Voices of Emigrees: HOME“(Vol.5).
Things you told me
We were said to have “radioactivity anxiety syndrome”, given wry smiles when we wore cotton medical masks. We were abused for being “troubled by harmful rumors” if we tried to have peace of mind by questioning the food producing area about ingredients for preparing our meals.
We evacuated, tugging at our child’s hands, with our minds wounded.
Damn the nuclear power plant! I want to shout after noticing the attitudes of those people, who were good friends and who have now become aloof.
I gave up a 10 million yen annual income.
I gave up a newly constructed house that had been lived in for only two months.
I gave up three popular bakery stores, written up in magazines each month.
I gave up the ranch that produced cheese which was a husband-and-wife dream and had taken 7 years to develop.
I gave up the special nursery school that raised infants in communion with the elderly in the neighborhood, surrounded by rich mountains and rivers, 2 weeks before opening.
I gave up the beauty salon taken over from the previous generation, which was run by husband and wife.
I gave up the staff and co-workers who together had overcome a number of difficult tasks at work.
I gave up the teammates who were a national champion softball team.
I gave up my husband who worked for the family, never taking a sick day in his life, who opposed the evacuation till the end.
I gave up my wife who said she just does not choose to have children, for fear of radioactivity.
I gave up my dear parents who sent me away, saying we want you healthy, and only you.
I gave up my pet that had lived with us as family
We said we are back now at the door of a new home, to live alone, as we cried.
It will be fine, I said to myself every night before sleep.
I was sick of sighing every day, only feeling how strange a country this is.
I encouraged myself by thinking things will be OK if there is enough happiness to hold in both hands.
Thank you, I have become someone who expresses thanks without hesitation.
Now, we are living here, certainly.
We continue to raise our voice for here I am, but even TV does not talk about it.
We raise our voices and wish for reaching our favorite home, dear families and precious friends.
I want to live on in this country with everyone
I want to live with you.