pearls around the neck 139
Catastrophes and reconstruction have been the axis around which our history has unfolded. On
this land, the strength of nature has always been such that we have learned not to fight it but
to accept it and to rebuild. The principles of “mutability” and “vanity of the world” taught in
Buddhism have been recognized in Japan better than in India or China. We often use the verb
“akirameru”, “surrender”. The etymology of this word is “reveal”. When we realize that there is
nothing we can do about it, we surrender and call it fate.
Natsuki Ikezawa, “L’Archipel des Seismes.” Translated by C. Quentin, Ed. Pp. Picquier. to me Wed, April 17 2011 at 9:29 AM
Yes Cath,
I am in Tokyo. I have no plans to run! Ok, I know, many foreigners are leaving. The truth: Tokyo
is absolutely fine. We are using less electricity to save it, but just a good eco life and everyone is well.
No problem with food, water or anything. Nobody is scared of radiation here, now everyone is
worried about their jobs and Japan’s economy, Japan’s recovery. The foreign companies here in
Tokyo: run away if you can!! Some even took off without telling their local Japanese co-workers.
Abandoning rented houses and apartments, moving arrangements etc to be taken care of by their
Of course there is a risk of contamination of water near Fukushima. Everybody within 15 miles of
the site has been evacuated and now there is a talk of expanding the zone. I heard there are bodies
floating in the sea, but nobody can collect them until everything is settled. Even the Japanese army
can’t move in. They are gathered close by, in ships… waiting.
But we are strong. All our heart is with Tohoku now and we are doing everything to make their
life better, stable, calmer and safer. Nobody panics, there are no angry people around, and we are
united as never before...
The information given to us by the government is full of lies and omissions, just like the
announcements made by the Imperial Headquarters during WWII. We have no idea what to
believe. Harmful rumors create discrimination. Refugee children are bullied at their new schools,
are they contaminated? Rice produced in Fukushima will never see the shelves of stores because no
one will buy it. Some of this rice was harvested last year before the nuclear accident, but the stigma
remains. Farmers can do nothing but stand idle before their fields that they are prohibited to plow.
Those of us born in Fukushima are deeply troubled by this new reality.
Now we must face not only the Fukushima nuclear plant, but also ourselves. Fukushima has
ignited a perplexing civil war among the people of Japan and, at the same time, it has sparked an
intense internal struggle within us all. A complicated reality has emerged, one that a simple anti-
nuclear slogan like “No More Nukes!” cannot solve.
Michiro Endo, born in 1950, punk musician, poet, socialist activist, partner of Project Fukushima.
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