Monday, November 05, 2012

The Shibuya Family (part 1 of 6)

I am back in Fukushima Prefecture this week, splitting my time between the capital Fukushima City and Date City.  These cities are outside the official evacuation zone, but they both lie directly in the North-West path that the radiation plume took last year after the nuclear meltdown.

Last night, I had dinner with the Shibuya family, whom I had met last month.  After dinner, Ayumu, 12, and his sister Mutsuki, 9, showed me their skills with the traditional Japanese toy "kendama".

Their grandfather then proudly showed me a photo of the many vegetables he used to grow for the family to enjoy.  His land is now contaminated with radiation.

When we met last month, Mr. and Mrs. Shibuya had just received the test results showing that both Ayumu and Mutsuki have thyroid cysts.


N. said...

Thank you very much for your posts, I share some informations from you on my Japanese page on Facebook. Please take care, Ian.

Ian Thomas Ash said...


Thank you very much for reading and for sharing this story.

Live Action Hero said...

Hi! Thaks for sharing these info.
I went to Fukushima the past november with photographer Mittica and documentary director Tesei to collect fome more information for their two works (Tesei's documentary has just been released in Italy). The story of the thyroid had just started going around, but we met also with some conderations also from the experts of the Citizens Radiologycal Measurement Center in Fukushima, which is connected with French CRIIRAD. At the time they said it was still difficult attributing it to the situation, as in Japan there was no situation to confront the result with: no children had ever been systematically checked for nodules in the past. And actually a couple of weeks ago there were reports by universities stating that the percentage of children with nodules reflected the 40% known situation for the rest of the country. I personally am still skeptical about this "normality". But that is what we knew at the time. If you are interested, i posted some of the shots I did on my FB profile:

Ian Thomas Ash said...

Live Action Hero,

Thank you for your comment and for sharing your work.

I understand that it is difficult to directly connect the children's nodules with radiation at this point. I certainly hope that the figures of children with thyroid cysts and nodules represents the "normal" percentage for children, however it is hard to believe the official explanation when they have been clearly suppressing the truth in so many other ways.

Thank you again for your contact, and good luck with your work. Keep safe, Ian