My desire to create art comes from my search for the meaning of our existence. I use my artwork as a key to understand others and myself. The most precious thing in my life is the growth process. Art is my guide and mentor....

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Looking back on my stay in Japan

This spring, I was informed by my mother that my father was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I recalled my memories when I volunteered to help local children get thyroid examinations in the fall, 2016. At that time, I heard from an associate that adult thyroid cancer had been increasing. Fortunately, my father didn't have cancer, according to a cell test after his surgery. Every time I saw my father's neck scar, I thought about people who have thyroid cancer, their families, and myself who have not had thyroid gland exams.

Radioactivity is invisible. Five years after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, the residents who knew the level of radioactive contamination, raised their voices to protect everyone's lives. The residents' action led to the establishment of the "Chernobyl law" that supports residents in areas where radiation doses exceeding 1mSv per year in the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.

Radioactive contamination now affects the whole world. There are 54 nuclear power plants in Japan. In 1999 there was a criticality accident in Tokai village and in 2011 Fukushima had a nuclear disaster. A movement to establish a "Chernobyl law" in Japan is increasing. I got to know a group, fukushima-iseshima-no-kai that is working on that law during my Fall 2017 Japan trip.

On October 6th, 2017 at 11:56 PM there was an earthquake of seismic intensity 5 in Fukushima. At that time, I was in Tochigi in my parents house. When the shaking began, a loud alarm sounded, I remembered the terrifying March 11th, 2011 earthquake. However no one talked about this October 6th earthquake. Dangerously crazy events are happening such as some Japanese nuclear power plants resuming operation while there are new threats from North Korea's missiles. During my stay in Japan, I experienced a small earthquake few times.

Night view of Tokyo

Japan's authoritarian government discards their embarrassing official documents, and denies responsibility for any problems. Under the influence of the corrupt government, some individual Japanese citizens have been acting irresponsibly. In Japan, I felt that a serious moral collapse had occurred and that feudalism was still deeply rooted. 

Gataro's artwork at Gallery Furuto

However, there was wonderful news of the Nobel Prize being won and that a Japanese Atomic bomb survivor was honored. A recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature, Kazuo Ishiguro, was a Japanese British novelist whose mother was a Nagasaki survivor. Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow was to jointly receive a Nobel Peace Prize with ICAN which has been conducting international campaigns to abolish nuclear weapons around the world. This event gave hope and courage to many people.

I remembered that although the treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted at the United Nations, unfortunately, Japan, the only country to have suffered atomic bomb attacks, didn't participate. This July 7th, 2017 was Tanabata Day, a special Japanese day for making wishes. I live in the USA and learned that atomic bomb survivors are not only Japanese, but also Americans, and people around the world. As a Japanese person, I realize the importance of continuing to convey historical and scientific facts about nuclear issues more than ever.

 Takagi school:  Hisako Sakiyama Presentation

I went to lectures such as: Takagi school's civic lecture, Tochigi prefecture soil becquerel report by Junichi Onuma, a report on Militarized Ryukyu Islands by Yamamoto Hideo, a report on research achievements on global nuclear disasters, etc. In the meantime, the most precious thing was that I met people who are working on grassroots activities relating to the environment. In particular, participating in the activities of mothers who are working to improve the future of children, has become the driving force of my activities. 

My future task is how to transform these experiences and information into works and to spread the word to individuals and society at large. "What is right? What is fair? and What is reality?" is not clear, is not always the same, and is not agreed upon. In order to correct distortions and limitations in our perceptions, we need to strive for mutual understanding through open and honest dialogue with ourselves and with others.

A gathering of the sixth report and opinion exchange 
to hand peace to the children
Tuesday, October 10th, 2017  14:00 - 16:30
Tokorozawa Municipal Public Hall, Saitama
with sign language

Akira Takeuchi: "Article 9 of the Constitution Haiku" Representative of the Civic Cheering Team, Moritomo ·Kakei Accusation Project co-representative
Yasuyo Tanaka: Social Practice Artist, Educator  
Dany Nehushtai: Jews who came from Israel, Furniture Artist, Peace Activist.

West Saitama Unconstitutional Litigation Executive Committee
Security Law Unconstitutional Litigation Saitama Association


This was the second year in a row that I participated in this event. After Dany hosted me and Mr. Takeuchi's talk, we exchanged opinions with the audience in an open atmosphere. There was a person who told us the circumstances that made it difficult to raise our voice while shedding tears. We discussed how to improve our environment and that it is difficult for Japanese to raise our voices and grow democracy. We need to transform our consciousness so that we can be more empowering to each other. This will help our society and the world. After that, the organizer's "Men's cooking" deliciously cooked natural fish, Osyorokooma from Hokkaido and invited us into their home. Our discussion continued late into the night.

Orientation: Discover the mountain of treasure
Sunday, October 15th, 2017  10:00 - 15:00
Yaita Ports Park, Tochigi

Flower Planting
Treasure hunting and orientation
Activities of art and play

Vice Chairman of Japan Student Orienteering Federation:
Katsunori Yamakawa
Artists, Educator, Tochigi future ambassador: 
Yasuyo Tanaka

Youth Leader Development · Child-rearing and lifelong learning support

The event started in light rain. However, the children were very energetic. I could see how much they were looking forward to this day. There was activity to decorate by planting flowers in their town. My mother participated as a volunteer and also enjoyed planting flowers with the children. I participated in orientation with children who ran cheerfully while I was thinking about my childhood.

Yaita City is suffering from radiation damage because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. This high radioactivity area was partly decontaminated and the strength of radioactivity has decreased. It has been six years since the disaster. After seeing the smiling faces of parents and children, I reminded our audience that we shouldn't forget the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster.

Kids ECO art program  "small me and big you"
Information egg
from what I tell, to what everyone tells,
Friday, November 3rd, and Saturday, November 4th, 2017 10:00 - 12:00
Earth Plaza, Kanagawa

Host organization ”hinatabocco” 
2017 Children's Dream Fund Grant 

This workshop led to creating information eggs. Participants collected articles on ecological and environmental issues and then collaged them onto the paper mache eggs. On the theme of recycling paper, children and parents made spherical shapes with paper mache by using newspaper. We made round books in the form of information eggs which can be read in any direction. Mothers and children who are highly aware of society and education gathered. During the time, one of the members read a picture book on protecting the environment that each individual can do.I had a powerpoint presentation about my work. We display our work together. Everyone's ideas came out, one after another, and it was a very fun collaboration.


  1. hello from Australia.. I have just connected with your blog, and wow. thank you for sharing. I loved reading all your adventures.. this one stands out to me at present as a mother aware of our children's futures but also as a mentor and newly creative artist. This post is also as the bridge for me, for your posts of the 2011 catastrophic events and the past history of Hiroshima.

    While I am Australian my daughter and husband are descendants of Hiroshima bomb and the side effects that resulted. As Japan is part of my husbands culture we have viewed from afar, Our hearts cried, and mourned the 2011 tsunami and we have tried to keep up to date as much as we can from afar.
    Last year was our turn with floods here locally an while its devastation was no where near 2011, and as our 1yr anniversary comes closer and the reflection of emotions and stories, makes me want to do more.. I wonder how can I be the bridge like you.
    I personally swear by the benefits of art therapy and have wondered if anyone has gone to areas like Fukashima and done just this, art for artsake, hope and connection...
    I appologize, I rambled for a post, I have not posted many comments but wanted to connect with you.

    I love your ideas, does deserve more conversation. I have just started a website and You inspire me also to share more. Thank you.. Cheers Trish

  2. Dear Trish, I am sorry for late reply. Thank you very much for your comment!
    You made me very happy and encouragd me to continue writing my blog.
    Writing English is not easy for me. However writing English sentences made me to review myself objectively. It is a great pleasure for me to meet understanders like you. I would love to know your blog. Let’s have more conversation with you and connect the points spread all over the world to create lines.