‘Our friends in Fukushima’

‘Hope’ – where can it be found after the Fukushima nuclear accident of 11 March 2011?

A glimpse of hope was caught among a group of Fukushima University scientists who formed a radiation assessment team voluntarily after the accident. They measured environmental radiation of Fukushima Prefecture, and made a radiation map. At the time of the accident, the university had neither a research group on nuclear issues nor facilities, and these scientists were not specialists on nuclear issues. The map revealed that air dose rates were high outside the evacuation zone, and the map is said to have played a role in changing the government’s evacuation plan.

Why and how did they make the map?

Their answers to this question form the core of this documentary. Moreover, as the interviews were carried out in December 2012, 21 months after the accident, some of them had already started new research on radiation issues in their own research fields, one of which was inspired by Chernobyl’s long-term observation of environmental radioactivity. These researches are also included in this documentary, together with memories of the earthquake and tsunami by some Fukushima University students and academics and their talk on their life after the disaster.

This is Japan Desk Scotland’s first documentary on Fukushima nuclear accident.

Interviewees (in order of their first appearances): Mayuko Noda, Yoshitaka Takagai, Teruyo Kishinami, Kencho Kawatsu, Kenji Nanba, Shoko Nemoto, Yuki Nagamine, Fumiko Goto, Rumi Maruyama, Yuki Naito, and Miyuki Sasaki.

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Camera: Fumi Nakabachi
Editor: Hajime Kobayashi (Colin Brierley)
Producers: Fumi Nakabachi and Yushin Toda
40 minutes
In Japanese with English subtitles
©Japan Desk Scotland 2013
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This is the first documentary we made as part of the documentary films production, and is also part of JDS’s activities on Fukushima. This has been screened:

(1) on Sunday 10 March 2013 as part of ‘Japan Matters: The second anniversary of the East Japan Earthquake‘ at St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, Glasgow, Scotland;

(2) on Sunday 21 April 2013 as part of ‘Michi Biraki Festival‘ organised by Department of Japanese Language and Literature, University of Bucharest, at the Botanic Gardens, Bucharest, Romania;

(3) on Saturday 4 May 2013 as part of JDS’s Saturday Japanese Class, Glasgow, Scotland;

(4) on Wednesday 22 May 2013 as part of the ‘Japanese Workshops’ at Whitburn Academy, West Lothian, Scotland;

(5) on Wednesday 26 June 2013 as a Faculty Development project by the Faculty of Humanities and Economics, Kochi University, Kochi, Japan;

(6) on Wednesday 12 February 2014 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2013/14;

(7) on Wednesday 30 April 2014 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of ‘Fukushima, Hiroshima, Fukushima‘.

(8) on Tuesday 10 June 2014 at Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Fukushima, Hiroshima, Fukushima;

(9) on Monday 16 June 2014 at Cumbernauld High School, North Lanarkshire, Scotland;

(10) on Saturday 21 June 2014 at GZO Peace Institute, Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, The Philippines;

(11) on Friday 13 February 2015 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2014/15;

(12) on Tuesday 10 March 2015 at the International Study Group run by Japan Desk Scotland at the Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland;

(13) on Thursday 23 April 2015 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2014/15;

(14) on Tuesday 7 July 2015 at the Tuesday Seminar, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan;

(15) on Wednesday 17 February 2016 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2015/16;

(16) on Wednesday 29 November 2017 at Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japanese Journeys co-organised by Kelvin Hall and Japan Desk Scotland;

(17) on Sunday 11 August 2019 at the Institute of Environmental Radioactivity, Fukushima University, Fukushima, Japan, at the institute’s Open Day; and

(18) on Tuesday 12 November 2019 at the International Study Group held in the Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland.