This March 11, 2021 was the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Many events commemorated it. I participated in the annual Anti-Nuke Power Art exhibition, Peace Crane Ceremony rally in front of the Indian Point Nuclear Plants, and related online events.
On March 11, last year, WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. New York was locked down after holding a memorial rally about Fukushima’s Nuclear Disaster in front of the midtown library.
Yoshihiro Kaneda, from Fukushima, who was a writer and an anti-nuclear activist, died suddenly. His partner Mizuho told me that Yoshihiro had been active in anti-nuclear movements since he was a teenager. He visited Fukushima after 3.11, and continued to interview and write articles about nuclear damage. Recalling the time spent with them, we inherited Yoshihiro’s anti-nuclear activities, and held a commemorative rally for the victims of Fukushima. While reading the English translation of the comments from Japan, we conveyed the current situation in Fukushima.
Since then, we have been in the midst of change. The treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons scheduled for April was postponed. New York City has experienced many deaths, a declining population, and a resurgence of nature.
I remembered the time of serious change that I experienced 10 years ago. A friend living in Japan who was worried about my family, informed me about the Great East Japan Earthquake. I knew the dangers of radiation, so I immediately thought of the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant. My family lived in the north of Tochigi prefecture, 100 km from the Fukushima Nuclear Plants. I started checking news and weather reports repeatedly. I still remember my desperate feelings when I knew the wind direction changed on March 14th. My hometown became covered with radiation, became a nuclear hotspot, and became a candidate for radioactive waste treatment facilities, simply because they have national forests.
In the10 years since the Fukushima nuclear accident, the lies of the government and the media, and the devastating situation of the courts not functioning fairly, were revealed. The same is true not only in Japan, but also in the United States, and other countries.
March 28th, 2021 was the 42nd anniversary of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. In Spring, 2015 I met Mary Stamos. She has lived near the TMI nuclear plant since before the TMI accident. She has been studying the effects of radiation on human cancers and malformed plants in her residential area. I’ll never forget the shock of seeing deformed dandelions for the first time, at the place Mary took me to.
In order to protect ourselves and create the world we desire, we need to search for the truth from many sources of information, and face it in good faith. Hands-on experience and communication are essential for training our sensibilities and skills in selecting real information. We have lost direct experiences due to Covid 19 and are recovering it through our immersion in nature. In the cycles of nature, I feel the light of the future in the warm spring sunshine. A new cycle begins.
Exhibitions, events, projects
11th Anti-Nuke Power Art
Thursday, March 11, 2021 — Sunday, June 27, 2021
Contact: Organizer Keiko Koshimitsu
Phone:201 952 2617
Up to 4-5 people at a time with an appointment weekends only
A&G International Gallery
175 Maplewood Avenue Bogota NJ 07603
Virtual Opening Reception: Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 7 pm
The earthquake Disaster area report by Shigeru Hanaoka,
The real fear of nuclear power plants by Shirou Ogura
Under This Sky: Fukushima 311 Hamadori
On Hamadori in Fukushima, I remembered the enjoyable summer that I spent at the beach as a child, while looking at the desolate scenery, after the 311earthquake. Even four years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, a house destroyed by the tsunami, couldn’t be demolished, due to its high radioactivity. It remained as it was. Now, 10 years later, I wonder what's going on in that place, where time stopped March 11, 2011.
Under This Sky: Fukushima 311 Nuclear waste
Everywhere, a landscape with tons of black, flexible container bags, filled with contaminated nuclear waste, were stacked in Fukushima’s disaster area. A worker from the Ranch of Hope, fed radioactive waste grass, to the exposed cattle without complying with the government slaughter order. The temporary response, to the enormous amount of nuclear waste, hasn’t changed, and the situation remains unsettled even after 10 years.
Residents near the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which is the closest to New York City, have held their Fukushima nuclear accident memorial events in solidarity with Fukushima residents. The Indian Point’s last reactor shuts down permanently on April 30th.
I participated in this Indian Point event. Residents around the nuclear power plants have suffered many years of health problems. I also learned that Mr. Fujishima, who I met and photographed at a temporary housing facility in Fukushima, died of pancreatic cancer. A resident of Indian Point, who lost her partner to cancer, made a lot of paper cranes. May this prayer for health and peace come true.
In/Out – Light/Dark: Women in the Heights and Art in Our Time
Presented by the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance.
Curator : Andrea Arroyo
Exhibition Online: March 15th
Online Opening: March 18th, 7:30pm
Online Artist Talk: April 1st, 7:30pm
My days of internal dialogue in my apartment, and in nearby parks surrounded by nature, gave me awareness of my life, while experiencing Covid 19 rules: lockdown, social distancing, and wearing masks. In the natural cycle of life, under the sunlight, one lives with death and rebirth. "The darkest hour is always just before the dawn." Lucifer is a Latin word meaning "stars shining at dawn" and "a person who brings light”. We are all living in the present, and are illuminating the future, as beings of light. We know there is light, because there is darkness.
West Harlem Arts: Resilience 2021
Presented by Children's Art Carnival
Exhibition Online: Thursday April 8 - Saturday May 22
Online Opening: Saturday April 10th, 4pm
In the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations joined forces to organize and present a virtual exhibition series celebrating the resilience of local artists from West Harlem and the surrounding community.
The information turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has made the divisions between this country’s people clearer. Looking back on what I learned from living in the United States as a Japanese person, I thought about what I could do in this community in nature and the park. West Harlem has a historic site associated with the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb. I would like to work with local artists to provide peace education that conveys what Japan has learned from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima, which have experienced nuclear disasters. Learning from past nuclear development events and leading a peaceful world is a manifestation of my resilience in this community.
Virtual Choir LOOK UP AT THE SKY "Sukiyaki"
“On March 11th ten years ago, people’s lives and the most precious things were taken away suddenly, and we were flooded with sorrow. And the sentiment still lingers… Similarly, people in the world are overwhelmed with sorrow and anger, caused by disasters and conflicts. We wish for smiles, because they open our minds even in those circumstances. That’s why we smile. Human beings are born to have a smile. Let’s keep smiling. If we smile, the world will smile too. We’d love to smile and be lightened up together. So we will sing together.”
During the lockdown, I wanted to sing. Wakako has been working on “Sing for Smile” project”. “Look up at the sky” is a song I have special memories of. Without losing hope, it reminds us that living in the present leads to a happy future. Thank you for this timely project!