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Poem for Fukushima

17 Mar

Glacier & Washington 1138 (640x480)

Sun

I am a bird

Of Fukushima

I whistle morning

With the rising sun

I am a child

Of Fukushima

I whistle tomorrow

With the setting sun.

By Anick Roschi 11.04.11

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 Japanese Translation:

太陽

私は福島の鳥

日の出と一緒に

朝の口笛を吹く

私は福島の子供

夕焼けと一緒に

明日の口笛を吹く

アニック・ロシ(詩人);2011年11月1日

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This poem was written by Anick Roshi, a Suiss/French poet.  On the day after the third year anniversary of The Great Tohoku Earthquake, I received an email from him with the poem.  It moved me deeply, because it captured both the feelings of sadness and hope I felt for Fukushima.  Thank you, Anick, for sharing this beautiful poem.  With his permission I translated it into Japanese.

Video

Flowers Will Bloom ~ Song of Hope for 3/11 Anniversary

9 Mar

Title: Hana wa saku (Flowers are blooming)

Lyrics: IWAI Shunji
Music: KANNO Yoko
*Both are from Miyagi prefecture

Lyric

Can you feel the spring breeze on the white snow-covered road
It brings to mind my old hometown that I’ll never see again

I was always chasing rainbows then, I did want to change myself
I’m just holding on to my faith while I’m longing for my loved one

I can hear you sing to soothe the soul, I can hear you sing to be at ease
I can see you smile through the sorrow, I can see you smile after weeping

Flowers will bud and bloom again, for you who will come into the world someday
Flowers will bud and bloom again, have I done any good to stay in your heart

Beyond the night sky I see the first dawn light in the darkness
It takes me back to the good old days that will never come again

Sometime I hurt the one I love and hurt myself, only to cry
I just hold on, hold on now, longing for my loved one

I can feel your thoughts, our ties to one another, I can feel your thoughts, coming home to me
I can see the gleam of dawn in your eyes, I believe you’re in the dawn you’ve started life again

Flowers will bud and bloom again, for you who will come into the world someday
Flowers will bud and bloom again, have I done any good to stay in your heart

Flowers will bud and bloom again, for you who will come into the world someday
Flowers will bud and bloom again,  for you who will be in love with someone someday

This song was written after the Great Tohoku Earthquake to build public support for the 3.11 disaster recovery efforts.  The song’s composer, lyricist, and singers of the original Japanese recording all have strong ties to the region affected by the disaster.  All royalties for musical composition and lyrics are being donated to the recovery effort.  To download the song, click here.

On the eve of  the 311 anniversary I share this song with you to pay tribute to the victims of the disaster and to the resiliency of the people of the Tohoku region.

Reference

http://www.nhk.or.jp/japan311/flowers/about.html

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Thyroid Specialists Helping Children of Fukushima, One Child at a Time

2 Mar
Fukushima City

Fukushima City

The other day I came across an article titled “Thyroid Test as a ‘Fight,'” featuring a group of thyroid specialists who volunteer to test children of Fukushima for thyroid cancer.  Written by a man named Shinya Fujisawa, it was printed on the back of a small magazine that came with a frozen food delivery.  It called my attention, not only because my family lives in Fukushima – some of them with their young children and babies, but also because the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake (東日本大震災) is approaching on March 11.

“Tarachine” is a non-profit organization in Iwaki city of Fukushima.  Thyroid specialists from all over the country have been coming to Fukushima to offer a thyroid cancer testing since November 2011.  The test is free for children, and adults can be tested for 1000 yen (approximately $10).  Their  services are urgently needed, because there are growing concerns about the rise of thyroid cancer in children of Fukushima.

Recently researchers in Fukushima have found higher than expected rates of thyroid cancer in children.  According to the article by Asahi shinbun, fifteen more children in Fukushima have received definitive or suspected diagnoses of thyroid cancer, which raises to 59 the total number of children who have been diagnosed with or are suspected of having thyroid cancer.

What’s even more surprising is that there is an ongoing debate among experts as to whether or not this recent finding is related to the radiation exposure from the nuclear disaster. As it was the case after Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Chernobyl, it’s difficult to prove the relationship between the occurrence of cancer and radiation exposure, because people who are not exposed to radiation also get cancer, and because we don’t know exactly how cancer occurs.  But our common sense tells us what science may take years to prove: The high thyroid cancer rate among Fukushima children is most likely linked to the nuclear accident.

There is one thing that all experts agree.  It’s crucial to detect thyroid cancer at the early stage, because if found early it can be successfully treated.  The prefecture government has been offering a thyroid test to children, but the data is not open to public.  And parents are not allowed to be with their children during the testing, nor can they bring home the test results.  This refusal to share data has raised suspicions, concerns, and anger among parents and specialists alike.  That is why Tarachine has been testing children for thyroid cancer independently.  During the testing parents can stay with their children and are allowed to take the results with them afterward.  If necessary, Tarachine makes the data public as well.

Children of Fukushima  photo by CBI Polymers, Inc. under creative commons license

Children of Fukushima
photo by CBI Polymers, Inc. under creative commons license

Fujiwara made an interesting observation in his article.  He had visited Fukushima many times since the disaster, and on each visit he was puzzled by how normal peoples’ lives seemed to be.  He didn’t find any anxious faces on the street, so he thought that despite the radiation problems people’s hearts weren’t as broken as he had thought.  But when he accompanied a mother and a child to the thyroid testing offered by Tarachine, he observed something completely different.  The child was lying on a bed with a device placed on his throat while the mother stood next to him and anxiously stared at the monitor.  When Fujiwara saw the frightened face of the mother, he realized that for the first time he saw the real face of Fukushima.

The problems surrounding the nuclear disaster are so overwhelming, and what we can do alone is small.  But imagine what we can do together if each of us plays a part . That is exactly what Tarachine has been doing.  They have decided to do what they can to help children of Fukushima, one child at a time.  I’m reminded of what a writer, Ryunosuke Satoro, once said: Individually, we are a drop.  Together, we’re an ocean.

*** For more information, click here to visit the Tarachine website.  Donations are always needed and very much appreciated.  Please see the information below.

In Japanese Yen:

Japan Post Bank  02240-5-126296  いわき放射能市民測定室(Iwaki Radioactivity Measuring Center)

The Toho Bank   Branch Number: 604   Account Number: 788355 Iwaki Radiation Measuring Center NPO

In US$:

The Toho Bank   Branch Number: 604   Account Number: 3589  Iwaki Radiation Measuring Center NPO

In A$:

The Toho Bank   Branch Number: 604   Account Number: 3590  Iwaki Radiation Measuring Center NPO

In EUR:

The Toho Bank   Branch Number: 604   Account Number: 3591  Iwaki Radiation Measuring Center NPO

From UK

Send money via wire transfer, postal remittance, or remittance check to

Yucho Bank 02240-5-126296  Iwaki Radiation Measuring Center

Reference

  • Thyroid Test as a ‘Fight by Shinya Fujisawa, Seikatsu to Jichi, Seikatsu Club

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