Fukushima Year Three: Renewal

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As we mark the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, we present the new trailer for our in-progress documentary Uncanny Terrain, following the organic farmers of Fukushima fighting for the right to cultivate their contaminated land and preserve their traditional communities.

We plan to return to Fukushima this spring to capture where the farmers are two years later, as they continue their efforts to rebuild their lives and restore their farms.

Please help us cover the cost of making this trip and completing the film, by making a tax-deductible donation.

Asami Girls

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Organic farmer Asami’s wife and daughters evacuated in March 2011 from Aizu, 130 km west of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Asami only saw his daughters a few times last year. In the winter, the family moved back to Aizu.

One Year After the Meltdown

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Please join our IndieGoGo campaign to help Uncanny Terrain return to Fukushima.

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Uncanny Terrain is a documentary about organic farmers facing Japan’s nuclear crisis. Please support the production of the film.

Contributions are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsors Asian Improv aRts Midwest and Ionia, Inc.

Make checks payable to AIRMW, memo: Uncanny Terrain. Mail to AIRMW, c/o JASC, 4427 N. Clark, Chicago IL 60640. Or donate online via PayPal.

Eating Fukushima

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Some floating lantern ceremony

by Ed M. Koziarski
North Avenue Magazine
Jan. 28, 2012

When does a victim become a perpetrator? That’s the question that kept coming up as we made our way across the irradiated landscape.

Many foreigners fled Japan after the tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant last March. My wife Junko Kajino and I went the opposite way, spending five months inside the U.S.-declared 50-mile no-go radius for our in-progress documentary Uncanny Terrain.

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A pair of Chicago indie filmmakers captures farmers in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear disaster

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cows2By Jake Malooley
TimeOut Chicago

Jan. 25, 2012

One steamy day last July, Junko Kajino and Ed M. Koziarski found themselves in Fukushima, Japan, hiding beneath a tarp in the back of a pickup truck full of cow feed. The farmer behind the wheel smuggled the filmmakers into a government-mandated 20-kilometer evacuation zone that became highly contaminated with radioactive cesium after a massive earthquake 43 miles off the city’s coast in March. The quake triggered tsunami waves that smashed into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing meltdowns of three reactors.

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Remembering Hiroshima bombing after Fukushima disaster

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On Aug. 6 we attended the 66th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear attack in Hiroshima, with Yuji Ohashi, a Fukushima City bread company owner who is committed to rebuilding Fukushima in the face of the nuclear fallout.

But Steven Leeper, the first non-Japanese chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, says Fukushima’s recovery will be much harder than Hiroshima’s was. He’s hopeful that in light of the Fukushima crisis, Japan might overcome the nuclear industry’s dominance of its national politics and lead an international movement for a future free of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.

Uncanny Terrain is a documentary about organic farmers facing Japan’s nuclear crisis, and an online community fostering international dialogue about food safety, sustainable agriculture, alternative energy, and disaster response. Please keep the conversation going by making a tax-deductible donation.

Hiroshima, Soma, Nihonmatsu and Fukushima City

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Carry On Fukushima

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This video was presented at the Institute for Strategic Leadership‘s “Carry On Fukushima” program in Tokyo on 7/21/11. It includes voices from food producers in the area around the still-leaking Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant:

  • Ohashi may need to look outside Fukushima now for organic suppliers for his bread. He says we need to learn to coexist with radiation.
  • Suzuki and Fukumoto are leaving the idyllic farming community of Kaidomari to live in balance with nature elsewhere.
  • Hongo won’t sell his potentially contaminated rice this year, but he’s eating it himself.
  • Yoshizawa wants to save his 300 irradiated dairy cows from a death sentence.
  • Yamamoto was a farming intern when the disaster struck. She decided to stay and volunteer at an evacuation center.
  • Yoshida is committed to stay and continue farming on the land his family has cultivated for 200 years.

Fukushima City Nuclear Protest Video

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People from across Japan gather in Fukushima City on 6/26/11 to protest the ongoing danger of nuclear power and to call for accountability in the nuclear disaster.

Ruiko Mutou of the Fukushima Network Against Nuclear Power has been opposing the plants since the Chernobyl disaster.

Sachiko Soto of the Fukushima Network to Protect Children From Radiation says that families need support to evacuate children, who are most at risk from radiation.

A representative of the Tokyo Association to Protect the Victims of TEPCO says that Tokyo must take responsibility for the nuclear crisis.

One woman calls on the skeptical crowd to trust their fate to God.

And a 25-year old farmer in western Fukushima chooses to stay and do what she can to help rather than return home to Nagano.

Uncanny Terrain is a documentary about organic farmers facing Japan’s nuclear crisis, and an online community fostering dialogue on food safety, sustainable agriculture, alternative energy and disaster response. Please keep the conversation going by making a donation.