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Monday, September 7, 2015

Evacuation from a Nuclear Diasater is Horrific, The Reality, Not the Emotions

By TOSHIHIDE UEDA/ Senior Staff Writer
KAGOSHIMA--Onions, carrots, garlic and peas were among the crops seen planted carefully on small patches of farmland that lay by the side and at the back of a detached house in this city near the southern end of Kyushu.
Takako Endo, who lives in the house, is a native of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, one of the two towns that host the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The 71-year-old had to leave her hometown after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns at the plant four years ago.
“I feel composed when I am tending the earth,” she told me when I visited her place in mid-March.
I wrote about Takako and her husband, Shoei, 72, in an article that appeared in the March 24 morning edition of The Asahi Shimbun. In the article, I noted that the couple’s current dwelling amounted to their eighth evacuation shelter. But there is much more to the journey that brought them here than what that terse statement could ever convey.
It is about 1,200 kilometers in linear distance from Futaba to the Endos’ current residence. I suppose it was probably affection for the “earth” that guided the couple through their long itinerary.


Shoei has kept records of the couple’s successive evacuation shelters in a notebook. Their journey began when they went to take shelter in a community center in Futaba on the night of March 11, 2011, the day the disaster broke out.
They moved the following day to the gymnasium of Iizaka Elementary School in Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture, some 40 km to the northwest. They subsequently relocated to the Saitama Super Arena multipurpose complex in Saitama, the capital of Saitama Prefecture, on March 19, 2011, and to the former Kisai High School in Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, on March 30, 2011.
One day, during the Endos’ stay in the building that had once housed Kisai High School classrooms, a woman they happened to encounter on coming out of a supermarket invited them to have tea at her home.
“I was moved to tears,” Shoei said of the experience. “ 'Gosh, she is really kindhearted,' I thought to myself.”
When the couple found the courage to ask the woman if she knew of any place where they could tend the earth and farm, the woman took them to one plot of farmland.
“Nobody could have remained in their right mind after being forced to evacuate in a disaster like that,” Shoei said. “We were psychologically down.”
The couple took to frequenting the farmland.
Both Shoei and Takako were born and raised in Futaba. Shoei began using a hoe in his childhood to help his father clear farmland. He and his wife grew crops on the fields that had thus been expanded. They raised three children, partly on the income that Shoei earned from construction work.
Once the nuclear disaster had begun, however, the couple was no longer even able to “tend the earth.”
They rented an apartment in Shirakawa, Fukushima Prefecture, on May 16, 2011, because, in the couple’s words, they were “so desperate to come closer” to their hometown. They again rented farmland near their new residence.
The Endos moved on to a rented house in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sept. 30, 2011, to live with Harry, their pet dog. They had left Harry in the care of a neighbor when they evacuated to Kawamata.
Shoei and Takako moved farther to Kagoshima, the capital of Kagoshima Prefecture, on March 17, 2012. They decided to do so partly because their eldest son’s family had evacuated to Kagoshima and was living there, but Shoei cited another reason.
“It was like as if we were looking for a new settlement,” the husband explained. “We could no longer go back to Futaba. Given that, we thought we would live as we wanted to live.”
The Endos had their current dwelling built, and moved in there with Harry on Feb. 10, 2013.
I asked the couple what they enjoyed doing.
“Well, having fun.”
Doing what?
“Ground golf, at the moment.”
The Endos joined neighbors whom they had spotted playing ground golf, a sport invented in Japan. They said they participate in training sessions and games three to four days a week.
“Cold and rain never stop us,” Shoei said. “That helps us forget about everything.”


“Fiction is something rooted in locality,” Masatsugu Ono told a news conference when the 44-year-old writer was awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for literature in January. “Portraying specific localities and individuals and delving deep down do help you arrive at something universal.”
Those words keep reverberating in my ears.
What Ono said probably does not apply only to fiction. The lives of the Endos were certainly rooted in the locality of Futaba.
“I do have lingering affection (for my hometown),” Shoei said in a way that tugged at my heartstrings.
In “The Good Earth,” a 1931 novel by Pearl Buck that won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Wang Lung, the protagonist who rises from the life of a poor peasant to the height of wealth, is an old man in an ending scene, where he tells two of his sons: “Out of the land we came and into it we must go--and if you will hold your land you can live--no one can rob you of land.”
In real life, however, land is easily uprooted and taken away. Both the house and the farmland the Endos left behind in Futaba lie on the site of a planned interim storage facility for radioactive waste from cleanup efforts.

* * *

The author, based in Fukushima, wrote on other issues.
‘Wishful thinking’ of nuclear insiders must not be allowed to be reborn
Depopulated areas in Fukushima learned bitter lessons from dams
Utilities running a shell game in relying on nuclear power over renewable energy
Fukushima battling utilities' 'no more green energy' decision
In age of LEDs, utilities thinking in incandescent-bulb mode
Fukushima's micro-hydropower ambitions face challenges
Fukushima alive with seeds of industrial innovation
Radioactive pollution endangers cultures of Tohoku mountain communities
Abnormal changes in small birds and the role of science
Disaster-hit Tohoku communities search for a renewable way


  1. Hey Stock, ENE is down right now so I'll post this here (by the way, ENE is down so often that there's an automatic search on bing "IS ENENEWS DOWN" LOL)

    Listen, I read your post about Farcebook and I.D.'s....... Just My Opinion, but don't do it. You don't need FB that badly to give away your most personal gov't I.D. info.

    IF you think you need it for commenting on articles, comments on articles on nucnews, etc, are NOT as effective as writing to the author of articles and editors of newspapers, etc., and writing your own Letters to the Editor.

    Unfortunately, the pro-nukes read Enenews and then act on it, so I wonder if a pro-nuke turned you in. Awhile back, MamaBears Against Nukes (something like that) had their Facebook page taken down for the same reason, and not so long ago, youtuber "Fukushima2015" had their site taken down. KevinBlanch got hit with a copyright issue and he had to fight it.....So I've been wondering if Enenewsers should instead contact each other thru emailing each other instead of comments on an open forum, if it's something important, etc., not for pro-nukers eyes and spies.

    With everyone's permission, someone trustworthy could be the one to have a list of Enenewsers' emails and then email them if something is important. Only bonafide and like-minded Enewsers.

    Anyhoo, just a thought to maintain some kind of PRIVACY in this nosy world.

    1. ya all good thoughts. Ill get a fresh facebook.

      ya for sure, some pro nuke arsehat saw that, there are about 8 I know of, and turned it in.

      i intend to compile an email list, in case ENE gets hit with a Carrington.

    2. 8 like minded people on enenews controlling the issues. what a joke that post was probably written by a troll. why doesnt this person start publisheing their own blog and get off the self righteous trip that he she is better than other enenewsers. what a joke. I commented below about the new komeito and ldp in japan. there is little or no substance in enenews anymore. just crap like k40 that is a moot point especially as it gets beat over the head still on enenews by people trying say that nuclear homeostasis exists,

      Then there are people arguing about haarp causing fukushima . Jeff Rense who hard core introduced people to Fukushima banned Haarp disinfo trolls like henry makow on his website long ago. There was the Haarp troll radioactive russ who kept challenging you stock. Remember him? Jeff Rense banned the haarp caused fuku meme propaganda because fuku is so serious and npps fail without .
      haarp may exist but why beat people over the head again and again with the silly nonsense that it caused fukushima. its like religious dogma or something. I predict nuke pro will be the only populist antinuke website left soon.

    3. who the heck are the bonafide and trusted members of enenews. that was a troll post for sure and i hopw that so many of the people care and work hard against nukes are deeply offended by it. ha the bonafide and trusted members of enenews what a joke. what a facist thing to say continuing from what i said above.

    4. Sheesh, even some of the old schoolers at ENE seem to be turning troll like, its odd to say the least.

  2. This is all Japan has left after fukushima. Failed economy of downtrodden refugees and evacuations. It is similar to ukraine a state ruined by a nuclear casastrophe . Japan is worse. It is careening out of control.

    THINGS WILL ONLY BECOME WORSE FOR THE PEOPLE OF JAPAN and it makes me very sad. All nuclear reactors have to be shut down now!

    Read the writing on the wall. The ldp in japan is controlled by a pacifist party called the new komeito.

    Things are usually not as they seem stock or majia or anyone who cares anymore. we know that. Even the pacifists in japan do not know what to do about japan as its economy and culture come apart from the seams. The horrendous nuclear catastrophe has seriously destabilized Japan.
    The only thing the japanese know what to do now is shift into a security state war economy and sacrifice the weak. Look at what happened to the ukraine after chernobyl after the ussr breakup they still could not get their act together and it was not all geopolitical. Now it is even worse in the Ukraine.
    Here is a good article from Beyond Nuclear about how the nrc quashed a crucial cancer study linking cancer to nuclear reactors in europe.

    All nuclear states are failed states and then they are finally eaten alive by a nuclear catastrophe. shut them all down now!

    I do not know what to do about enenews. The cam forum gone. The site is being taking over by trolls and is way off in lala land. Maybe someone else will get something going fuku diary still has great articles but their chat is run by trolls. majia has a good site. others too like mvb and bobby1. I appreciate your blog very much stock . thanks for your hard work.

    1. Ya I tried the Fukudiary chat room, and the trolls are just disgusting there, had to give it up. Amazing that Lori doesnt swat them down.

      Mahalo for the thumbs up. Its a pretty thankless job overall, people get burnt out.


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