Traditional festivals

 

福島わらじ_1

Waraji Matsuri (The Sandal Festival) is the most famous and energetic traditional festival in Fukushima city. This festival was held on August 4 and 5. If you missed it, join us next year to see the largest straw sandal in Japan proudly paraded through the city center.

You can also see the Waraji Odori (Sandal Dance), featuring a large group of colorful dancers dancing to the reggae-inspired tune of “Heisei Waraji Ondo”.
Later in the night the hip-hop styled “Dancing Soda Night” brings a lot of energy to the festivities.

Our daily life (July 2017)

 

2017-06-05 A water lily 2017-06-17-田圃

A water lily reminiscent of Claude Monet’s art blooms vividly in Fukushima and rice planted in May has been growing very well. They await more blessed rain, soon to come.

8-9 Jul 2017 the 17th ICRP Dialogue Seminar

Fukushima Dialog Seminars, organized by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), have been held in various places in Fukushima Prefecture, and on July 8-9, the 17th Dialogue Seminar was held in Date City, with the theme “What do we need for our future? Continuing the dialogue in cooperation with the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).”

This theme was selected as the evacuation orders have been lifted everywhere except the difficult-to-return zones, as of April this year.  In these areas, freedom of residence and life are unrestricted, however social and psychological effects due to the long evacuation orders persist with more seriousness and complexity, so it will require a long time for the social environment to return to normal.

July 8 (Sat)

After the opening remarks by Jacques Lochard of ICRP and the welcome remarks by Mayor Nishida of Date City, three speakers talked on their current situations and challenges to their areas:
Masaya Hayakawa (Fukushima Minpo): Current Situations and Challenges in Hama-dori
Akemi Hirase: Current Situations on Odaka in Minami-Soma
Ai Tomita (NPO Beans Fukushima): Supporting those who had voluntarily evacuated after the returning
Hironori Shitaeda: Katsurao Village

2017-07-08 Dialog Seminar_1Evacuees want to return to their home town, however social infrastructures such as medical care and shopping sites have not been well developed yet. Therefore, returning has become possible, but in reality, it is difficult. Especially young people are hesitant, concerned for job opportunities, as well as the impact of radiation on children. They hope to change their lives by “connecting dots into lines, then lines into faces.”  An NPO representative described its efforts and help to people who have different background concerning evacuation.

Then a mini panel discussion “Resuming Agricultural after the Lifting of Evacuation Orders” was held by four people: Kuni Kanno (chair, Iitate Village), Takeshi Yamada (Iitate Village), Genkatsu Kanno (Yamakiya), and Akihiko Hirono (Yamakiya).  They all returned to their home town/village and are currently involved in growing vegetables and flowers, and talked on their current situation and hopes and difficulties they are facing.

The afternoon session consisted of two presentations and dialogue:
Rimiko Nomita (Farmhouse Miyakoji): What has changed in 3 years after the lifting of restrictions
Ryoko Ando (Ethos in Fukushima): Meaning of the Measurement

Rimiko Nomita talked about how life in Miyakoji has gradually improved and how people can live calmly.  She also talked about the need to evacuate with pets, and it was first time that pet issues were referred in this seminar.  Ryoko Ando talked on attitudinal changes toward the significance of measurements from judging and confirming, to the point where people can now make informed decisions.

Then two rounds of dialogue by 15 panelists, including speakers, was performed, and they offered their ideas/opinions/hopes concerning Fukushima.

At the end of the day, Jean-François Lecomte of ICRP summarized the points of the first day as follows:

      • People say they wish to come back, but most of them don’t
      • Young people are more reluctant
      • Issues of radiations are still at stake
      • Situations are complex, and still difficult to understand
      • Contamination and doses are generally low
      • Information is not well shared
      • Issue of children remain a priority
      • But other issues also relevant

 

July 9 (Sun)

The second day started with reflections on the previous day’s dialogue, then proceeded to presentations below.
Shunkichi Nonaka (COOP Fukushima): Initiatives Taken by COOP Fukushima
Shigeru Nakano (Tsukitate Elementary School): Children’s Play at the Tsukitate Elementary School, Video Letter from Alison Royd Williams.

Shunkichi Nonaka talked on the COOP Fukushima’ initiatives to organize tours to Fukushima to encourage people to see the real life as well as to keep people’s attention on Fukushima.  Shigeru Nakano was a principal of a Tsukitate Elementary School until recently and talked about activities of theatrical performance coached by Prof. Alison Lloyd Williams of Lancaster University (UK) and showed selected videos.  He said not only children but also their parents were able to understand the importance of acting and gain confidence through the performance.

2017-07-08 Dialog Seminar 709Following the presentations, the mike was passed to Nastassia Fiadosenka from Belarus; she lived in one of the most contaminated villages and was involved in the measurement of radiation in food stuffs there.  Her testimony was completed by answering questions from Ryoko Ando, and it could be summarized as follows:

      • We are working had to recover our life
      • Our work is not finished and we have developed a new life style
      • We are proud of to live our places
      • We are fully aware of the situation we had to face with
      • We are proud of what we have done
      • We are now looking forward

After Nastassia Fiadosenka’s testimony, a mini panel discussion, “What We Hope for the Future of Difficult-to-return Zones” was held: Ryoko Ando (chair), Kouji Monma (Okuma Town), Takashi Chigira (Futaba Town), and Yaeko Hangai (Futaba Town) participated.  All panelists, who used to live in difficult-to-return zones and now live away from their home towns, told of their lives before and after the accident, and their hopes to return home town, though it will require a long time.

Afternoon session consisted of a presentation and a dialogue.
Masami Sanpei (Iitate Nursing Home): Current Situations on Nursing Facilities in Areas where the Evacuation Orders were Lifted
He has been a manager of a nursing facility in a planned evacuation zone, and talked about the unique situation of the facility (residents of the facility did not evacuate) and difficulties past, current and future.

Then the second day’s dialogue was performed by panelists including speakers and locals.  They again exchanged their thoughts and ideas in the same round-robin method as on the first day. Then they added their own impressions after hearing everyone else.
After the dialogue, Thierry Schneider summarized and concluded the second day as followed: “As people from the affected areas, you have the right to a bright future and for happiness

Key challenges:

1. Create a path for your happy future, allowing you to live in a sustainable community:

         * Without ignoring the past

          * With effective protections

          * Without being abandoned

2. Willingness to be heard by the authorities and to share the results of the dialogue with them

On occasion of closing, Dominique Le Guludec of IRSN said she could learn a lot through this seminar, expressed her thanks to the speakers, panelists, and locals for showing their frank ideas/opinions/thoughts, and asked their help in the event of any future nuclear disaster elsewhere; Mayor Nishida of Date City showed his thankfulness for the fruitful dialogue and hoped to have another chance if possible; Finally, Jacques Lochard from ICRP, chair of this seminar, expressed sincere thanks to organizations and individuals supporting this dialog seminar.

 

Details will be available from the website of Ethos in Fukushima.

 

Our daily life (June 2017)

 

2017-06-17 scenic 403_new 2017-06-17 farming 399_new

The left side picture is Mt. Azuma, whose peak is still covered with snow. What a beautiful contrast it is with the dark green forest in the foreground. On the same fine day, farmers were working hard in their fields, wishing for a fruitful harvest in Fukushima.

The STS Consultancy Meeting in Hiroshima

The STS Consultancy Meeting on nuclear science, radiation and human health was held in Hiroshima University in 2014, Nagasaki University in 2015, and National University of Singapore in 2016. This time again the conference was held at Hiroshima University on May 23 and 24, 2017, and achievements and lessons learned from the STS curriculum in Japan, and further internationalization of STS on nuclear science, radiation, human health were presented followed by Q & A as the final project phase.

From FMU, 11 doctors and scientists gave presentations shown below:
The presenting PDF file of Prof. Kenneth Nollet, Director of the Office of International Cooperation, can be browsed by clicking his name below.

  • Low dose radiation in medical interventions Radiation oncology experience
    Tomoaki Tamaki, Department of Radiation Oncology
  • Examples of experiences with self-monitoring D-shuttle experiences
    Makoto Miyazaki, Health Promotion Center
  • Lessons learned from “Dialogue on the rehabilitation of living condition after the Fukushima accident”
    Yujiro Kuroda, Department of Public Health
  • Archive project from the experience of earthquake and nuclear disaster
    Arifumi Hasegawa, Department of Radiation Disaster Medicine
  • Developing effective risk communication through understanding risk perception factors
    Yuliya Lyamzina, Office of International Cooperation
  • Nudge theory and health risk control measures after the Fukushima disaster
    Michio Murakami, Department of Health Risk Communication
  • Health literacy promotion in Fukushima after the nuclear accident: A case of responding to health care professionals’ needs through the development of a health literacy toolkit
    Aya Goto, Health Information and Epidemiology
  • Status of STS Program in FMU
    Sanae Midorikawa, Department of Radiation Health Management
  • FMU new curricula and training
    Akira Ohtsuru, Department of Radiation Health Management
  • EU project on development of health surveillance procedures: OPERRA/SHAMISEN brief overview
    Koichi Tanigawa, Fukushima Global Medical Center
  • Generations to guide & borders to bridge: going global at FMU
    Kenneth Nollet, Office of International Cooperation