Q.sakamaki fukushima cover story

Fukushima A Story by Q. Sakamaki

On March 11th, 2011, the literally unprecedented tsunami hit Fukushima, as well as other parts of Tohoku region, Northern Japan. It triggered the multiple meltdowns of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants, resulting in the worst nuclear fallout next to Chernobyl in the history. Due to the radioactive contamination and the fear of it, 160, 000 Fukushima residents fled their homes. 

The crisis is still far from over, despite the fact the Japanese government states the safety improvement of Fukushima and eagerly urges the residents to return home in many areas. For many residents, what the government says is seemingly to create a false hope, especially as it wants to resume the operations of once suspended Japan’s all nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster, as many as possible, and as Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Olympic games.

Indeed, the decontamination and reconstruction process is very slow and many schools remain shuttered even in restriction-lifted areas. If children return, many of them would have to take very long for commuting. Nobody exactly knows about low radiation’s possible impact on health in the long run. Plus the radiation level of the nearby extremely restricted areas, like Okuma-cho and Tsushima in Namie-cho, is super high. Such reality makes nearly 100,000 residents still displaced and many young people continuously leave their home villages and towns.

This photo essay is created from my every year’s Fukushima trip since 2011. Each image, even that of small creatures to leaves at a window, is a metaphor of those in Fukushima, as the residents are still tremendously suffering and looking for the real hope. In addition, many of the photographs are also my own metaphors, as I am a cancer survivor, though the cause is not related to Fukushima.

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