Organic farmer father, nuclear engineer son

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One Year After the Meltdown

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

To the East Coast and On to Fukushima

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Today Uncanny Terrain codirector Junko Kajino begins an East Coast mini-tour, presenting scenes from the in-progress documentary for schools and community groups. Please join her if you’re in the area.

Filmmakers Junko Kajino and Ed M. Koziarski spent five months inside Japan’s nuclear contamination zone for our documentary Uncanny Terrain – living and working with the farmers, researchers and volunteers who have committed themselves to take the nuclear crisis as an opportunity to build a better society.  We’re going beyond disaster reporting, to show what it is really like for these people who refuse to bow to devastating odds.

Now we need your help to return to Japan and revisit those working on the front lines of the nuclear crisis, as they mark the one-year anniversary and the farmers prepare to plant again.

We need to raise $10,000 by March 31 to cover the cost of traveling to Japan and shooting there through the April planting. Please join us by donating to and sharing our new IndieGoGo campaign.  We encourage PayPal contributions because they are tax-deductible, and funds are available to us immediately. Thank you to everyone who has already supported  Uncanny Terrain. Please send this invitation to your friends.  Join the campaign on Facebook.

The organic farmers of Fukushima prefecture toiled for 40 years to grow safe, nutritious and delicious crops on their ancestral land while two nuclear power plants in the prefecture helped feed Tokyo’s increasingly voracious energy appetite.

Since the March 2011 tsunami triggered the meltdown that spread radioactive contamination on much of the lush farmland of Fukushima and eastern Japan, the farmers have been caught between a government in constant denial of the risks of radiation, and outraged citizens who brand the farmers “child murderers” for continuing to cultivate irradiated land.

But the farmers, researchers and volunteers are committed to building a comprehensive monitoring and reporting network to inform citizens about contamination levels in food, air, water and land, so families can make their own informed decisions; and advancing experimental methods to decontaminate soil or prevent crops grown on contaminated soil from absorbing radiation.

Fukushima has demonstrated the need for greater public vigilance to keep all our food and energy producers honest, not just about radiation but about all the potential contaminants that our collective appetites introduce into our bodies and our communities.

Please support Uncanny Terrain and help generate dialogue about these vital issues and assure that the struggles of people in Fukushima can stimulate positive change in the world.  Thank you!

 

Uncanny Terrain benefit photos

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Benefit reception at High Concept Laboratories featuring Tatsu Aoki‘s MIYUMI Project 2/5/2012—photos by Daniel Guidara

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!

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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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.

Safecast Radiation Monitoring Seminar

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At Tokyo Hacker Space on 6/24/11, members of the NGO Safecast present the goals, methods, and results of their ongoing volunteer project to independently measure and map contamination levels from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant fallout at hundreds of thousands of sites across Japan.

Uncanny Terrain is a documentary about organic farmers facing Japan’s nuclear crisis, and an international 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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Into the evacuation zone

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