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.
After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Yoshizawa cared for his 300 dairy cows without water or electricity. He could hear the explosions as the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, 14 km away.
After days of heavy radiation exposure, Yoshizawa was evacuated with the rest of Namie on March 17. He spraypainted “save them or die trying” on the roof of the barn, and went to Tokyo. He talked his way in to see the chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company. Both men cried as Yoshizawa begged the chairman to do something to stop the disaster.
Yoshizawa slept outside in Tokyo for a week, keeping vigil and waiting to see government ministers, calling on them for action. Now he travels Japan in his speaker van, proclaiming his refusal of a government order to kill his 300 cows.
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.
Yoshizawa’s ranch is 14km downwind from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The government ordered him to kill his 300 cows. Most of his neighbors’ animals are gone, but some have been released and joined his herd. Yoshizawa refuses to kill his cows. He wants them to be studied for the effects of radiation.
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 donate to keep the conversation going.
Hiruta has spent decades recruiting farmers from across Japan to join him in the tiny agricultural community of Kaidomari, nestled among tall pines in the mountains on the edge of Iwaki in Fukushima. But since the nuclear disaster, especially the younger farmers are fleeing.
Fukumoto (left) is returning to Hiroshima with his free range dairy cows, unwilling to let them graze on contaminated grass. Suzuki (center) and her husband are divided about whether to stay or go. Background radiation here is .4 microsieverts/hour outside, .3 inside.