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Stories From Fukushima You Have Never Heard

FUKUSHIMA, Japan— Ten months ago I arrived in Japan to cover a historic year—the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings, the fifth anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster, and the first visit by a sitting U.S. President to Hiroshima.  I wanted to document the social impact nuclear technology has had on Japan. Japan is the only country in the world to…

Photos: Inside the Fukushima Nuclear Exclusion Zone

  FUKUSHIMA, Japan—What would you do if your house was physically spared from a nuclear disaster, and yet you still had to leave it all behind? What would you bring? What would you leave? For hundreds of thousands of residents within a 12-mile (19-kilometer) radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, this was their reality. While radiation…

Fukushima Parents Find Relief From Radiation At Indoor Playgrounds

FUKUSHIMA, Japan—One of the biggest health problems facing Fukushima after the 2011 nuclear disaster are not directly caused by radiation exposure. Instead, it’s the fear of exposure that has driven rates of childhood obesity in the past five years, according to the Director of Internal Medicine, Dr. Sae Ochi, M.D. who has spent the last five years researching the social impact…

East Meets West at This Historic Nagasaki Eatery

NAGASAKI, Japan– Kagetsu, a ryoutei [traditional Japanese restaurant] meaning “Flower in the Moonlight,” is the very definition of what Nagasaki means. Dutch and Chinese influences etched into the design of the establishment reflect the impact these countries have left on the only city in Japan where foreigners were allowed to enter during the period of isolation. Kagetsu is…

Exclusive: One Man’s Harrowing Story of Surviving the Japan Tsunami

KORIYAMA, Fukushima—During my months of reporting and interviewing survivors about the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, one particular person stood out. Ryo Kanouya, 26, can no longer live in his hometown village of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture because of its proximity to the Dai Ichi Nuclear Power Plant. Kanouya, who now lives in the…

Five Years After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Survivors Share Their Stories

FUKUSHIMA, Japan—For the past two months, I’ve been traveling across Fukushima, the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster, to interview local residents and give voice to the people directly affected by the accident. It’s been five years since a giant earthquake triggered a tsunami that inundated the Tohoku coast, killing over 17,000 people and causing the core meltdown…

High-Tech Bike Share to Monitor Radiation in Fukushima

AIZU-WAKAMATSU, Fukushima—Irish writer Oscar Wilde once said, “Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.” Jun Yamadera, a Japanese entrepreneur, says that is the reason he’s committed to keeping his tech company Eyes, Japan Co. Ltd, in Fukushima. We discussed his feelings in a Swiss-style café in his hometown of Aizu Wakamatsu, which is about 75 miles…

Five Years After the Fukushima Disaster, Residents Adapt to New Normal

Koriyama, Fukushima – On March 11, 2011 the world all but ended for the people who live on the Tohoku coast. The North Eastern Japanese region was rocked by a 9.0 earthquake which generated a tsunami that inundated the entire shoreline, with up to 30 meters of water in some towns . The tsunami waves killed nearly…

Pictures: Lessons Learned from Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A new year has begun, and my Fulbright Grant is already halfway complete. I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. For the last five months, I have been living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki interviewing survivors of the atomic bombs, or Hibakusha as they are called in Japanese. It is the 70th year since the weapons were…

Japanese Storyteller Takes a New Approach to Sharing War Stories

Tokyo, Japan – This year marks the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of World War II. To commemorate this event, Fumioki Okayama, a designer from Nagasaki,  founded  “70 Seeds,” a new Japanese blog to spread the stories of Post War Japan. His stories, like seeds, start out small, with topics as general as food, sports, places, romance, or culture, but…

The Nuclear Family: New Book Examines Two Sides of the Atomic Bomb

From an early age I thought it was strange that my family had a connection to both sides of the atomic bombs, in a very intimate way. I hoped to write a book that showed one of the most important events in human history had more then one viewpoint. As the world becomes more connected, and…