Our second year with Fukushima farmers fighting for their land

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Organic farmer Akihiro Asami's wife and daughters evacuated in March 2011 from Aizu, 130 km west of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The girls only saw their father a few times last year. In the winter, the family reunited in Aizu.

The organic farmers of Fukushima have spent the past year coping not only with the contamination of their ancestral land with radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, but also bureaucratic barriers to compensation, inconsistent guidelines from a government scurrying to project an illusion of normality, scarcity of accurate information and equipment to understand the contamination, hostility from a frightened public, and a steep drop in sales that threatens to undermine the regional economy and shatter their way of life.

23-year-old Mizuho Sugeno spends the growing season working on her family's Playing-With-Clouds-Land organic farm in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima. But in the winter she competes internationally in the Southeast Asian sport Sepak Takraw.

The farmers have steadily educated themselves about the threat of radiation and how to cope with it, adapting traditional methods, acquiring testing equipment and incorporating experimental techniques to prevent their crops from absorbing cesium and try to decontaminate the land with minimum loss of its fertility. But will their efforts be enough to keep organic farming alive in northeast Japan?

After spending five months in 2011 following the farmers through the growing season, filmmakers Junko Kajino and Ed M. Koziarski are back in Japan to capture the second year of the nuclear crisis for our documentary Uncanny Terrain. We thank you for joining us on this journey. And we hope that you will continue to support us by spreading the word about this project, and making a tax-deductible contribution to our IndieGoGo campaign, which runs through May 1.

In March we held a series of preview screenings in New Jersey and Massachusetts, with lively and thoughtful audience discussions after each screening.  We can provide preview footage for your school, organization, or venue, and either travel there or join you via teleconference.  Please write us to inquire.

Michigan screening, save the date: we will screen preview footage at an exhibition of photography from the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, April 20 at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Details TBA.

Video

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Fukushima organic farmer runs for mayor

Fukushima Year 3: Renewal

Fukushima Animals

Rio+20: Four Fukushima Farmers

Would you stay?

Fukushima farmers fight for their land.

One year after the meltdown

Can microbes decontaminate irradiated soil?

Why we’re making Uncanny Terrain

Why stay on contaminated land?

Citizens protecting themselves

How to deal with the results

Numbers are weapons

The real value of the radiation

How to protect themselves

The official radiation limit

Counseling for parents

A tool to evaluate by themselves

Living with the Fallout

Ginray Bread Company

Natural, traditional ingredients

Coexisting with radiation

Bread for disaster victims

Promoting cooperation

Work sharing for people with disabilities

No radiation detected in Watanabe’s Fukushima City fruit

Sugeno fights for his Fukushima farm

Building a more sustainable future

Strengthening Fukushima pride

Safecast radiation monitoring

The goal of our documentary

Finding solutions to the nuclear crisis

Through the autumn harvest

The uncertainty of low-level contamination

Remembering Hiroshima bombing after Fukushima disaster

Ganbatte 365

Positive stories of post-disaster Japan

Carry on Fukushima

Evacuated farmer promises to fight

Yoshizawa refuses to kill his cows

Fukushima City Nuclear Protest

He can’t sell his rice, but he still has to grow it

Lone nuclear opponent won’t sell his rice

Farmers flee agricultural community

Hanawa farmers face uncertainty of low-level contamination


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