Uncanny Terrain reception Sunday and more

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This is video we shot of the December performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago by Uncanny Terrain composer Tatsu Aoki‘s group Tsukasa Taiko Legacy at JASC.

Tatsu and his band The MIYUMI Project will accompany preview scenes from Uncanny Terrain with their fusion of jazz and Japanese classical music from 6-7 p.m. at High Concept Laboratoriesbenefit reception this Sunday, Feb. 5, 5-8 p.m. at 1401 W. Wabansia in Chicago.

Featuring art by David Tanimura, sushi by Chef Atsushi Iwamoto of Mizu Yakitori (thanks to Mayumi Miyazaki and Asako Hoichi), organic Daishichi Sake courtesy of JFC International, kurimanju and inarizushi by Jo Anne Yamamoto of Auntie Jo’s Yummies, and appetizers courtesy of Shino Tamura from Murasaki Saki Lounge.

All this for no cover charge! But a portion of art sales and all donations benefit our return to Japan in March to capture the first anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and meltdown. If you’re coming, be sure to rsvp here or here.

Can’t miss the first half of the Superbowl? Not in Chicago? We still invite you to make a tax-deductible donation to fund the completion of the film.

Make checks payable to our new fiscal sponsor, Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW), c/o Japanese American Service Committee, 4427 N. Clark, Chicago, IL 60640 (memo: Uncanny Terrain).

And we continue to accept online donations through our ongoing fiscal sponsor Ionia Inc.

Illinois Arts CouncilUncanny Terrain has been awarded a grant from the Illinois Arts Council‘s Individual Artist Support fund for media arts. Thanks!

Why we’re making Uncanny Terrain

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Filmmakers Junko Kajino and Ed M. Koziarski talk about making the documentary Uncanny Terrain, about organic farmers facing Japan’s nuclear crisis.  http://tinyurl.com/uncannyterrain

Fukushima 1 Year After the Meltdown

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Fukushima farmers’ rice harvest sits in stockpiles, mostly unsold after radioactive cesium was detected in samples in and outside of the prefecture.

Unable to sell their rice, Fukushima organic farmers have become educators, promoting understanding among their customers about the interconnections of land use, energy consumption, and traditional culture.

Despite staggering odds, most of the farmers remain committed to preserving and recovering their land for future generations.

We return to Fukushima this March to capture the recovery efforts a year after the 3/11 tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster.

High Concept LaboratoriesTo support this endeavor, nonprofit arts support organization High Concept Laboratories presents Fukushima: 1 Year After the Meltdown, a benefit reception for Uncanny Terrain, Sunday, Feb. 5, 5-8 p.m. at 1401 W. Wabansia in Chicago.

From 6-7 p.m. we’ll screen a preview video with live accompaniment by our composer Tatsu Aoki and his band The MIYUMI Project, which performs a fusion of jazz and Japanese classical music.

Tatsu is a jazz bassist and a leader of the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival and Tsukasa Taiko Legacy.

David Tanimura will showcase his digital collages inspired by the nuclear crisis. Refreshments will be served. The reception is free but rsvp is required, and tax-deductible donations to the film are welcome.

Not in Chicago? Can’t make it? Want to help today? We continue to gratefully accept online tax-deductible donations in support of Uncanny Terrain.

Baking bread by headlight

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We produced this series of 15-20 second videos for Tokyo nonprofit Ganbatte 365, about Fukushima City bread maker and hemophiliac amputee Yuji Ohashi, whose company Ginray was one of the few reliable food sources in the area in the immediate aftermath of the 3/11 disaster.

During several nights of blackout, they baked and sold bread by car headlamps. Now he must seek organic suppliers outside Fukushima, even if local ingredients test negative for radiation. The videos will screen on electronic billboards in Tokyo and other cities.

Sugeno fights for his Fukushima farm

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Seiju Sugeno is an organic farmer in Towa, Nihonmatsu, 50 km from the failed Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The Abukuma Mountains partly shielded his rice fields from contamination, but runoff is an ongoing threat. Chairman of the Fukushima Organic Farmers Network, Sugeno works aggressively to clean his land and prevent his crops from absorbing radioactive cesium. He will work to reduce the contamination year by year, rigorously testing his yield and reporting any contamination he finds. His 23-year-old daughter Mizuho works with him. He hopes she can build a sustainable life for herself here.

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 tax-deductible donation.

Yoshizawa gets his radiation results and partial compensation

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Grandma Yoshida instructs the young men’s farm work

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New intern on Colors of the Four Seasons Farm

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Fukushima pride is strong close to evacuation zone

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