Cinema Jam: “Uncanny Terrain: The Documentary About the Devastation of Fukushima and Japanese Farming”

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eating boy

Marija Makeska interviews filmmakers Junko Kajino and Ed M. Koziarski in Cinema Jam:

Junko: “Just like most of the Japanese people, I was always afraid of radiation from our history of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The aftermath of the atomic bombs that we learned gave me nightmares for long time. The Fukushima Daiichi plant’s melt down gave me strong fear and lost hope in my own country till I found some farmer’s blogs. Some active framers were trying to decontaminate their contaminated land in Fukushima organically. I could not believe that they can do that and even they could keep farming without getting sick. But I wanted to believe that they can do this. Only way to find out is to go there and record how they do.”

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Saitos spread zeolite

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Father and son Saito powder their rice field with government-mandated zeolite. It’s intended to fix cesium in the soil to reduce absorption by crops, but some question its effectiveness and health impact. Fields across Fukushima are dotted with the white bags, and the white dust is everywhere.

One Year After the Meltdown

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

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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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.

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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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.