Fukushima Colours

3 May 2012

6:00 – 7:00pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Fukushima Colours

Published by Langenskiöld

By Elin Lindqvist

The catastrophe on 11 March 2011 has had a deep impact on the Japanese society, and on our global world. Almost twenty thousand people were left dead or missing after the disaster, and the tsunami destroyed entire communities. It will take years for the full extent of the nuclear crisis’ impact on Japan to become clear. Yet, a year after the tsunami, it is possible to see some of the consequences that the disaster has had on agriculture, the fishing industry, people’s health and research about renewable energy sources.

In her reportage book Fukushima Colours, multilingual author Elin Lindqvist has documented the aftermath of the crisis, in collaboration with Japanese journalist Yuko Ota, and Japanese photographer Yoshikazu Fukuda. She has closely followed eight individuals or groups of individuals representing different parts of Japanese society all through 2011, in order to see how people affected by the crisis have recovered. Through these individual stories, we hear the emergence of a common voice striving towards a more sustainable and ecological future in Japan.         

* The book will be available on the day at the discounted price of £18.

Elin Lindqvist

Elin Lindqvist was born in Tokyo in 1982 and currently lives in England. She has studied at New York University in New York and Sophia University in Tokyo. She is an international writer, and has published three novels in Swedish (Tokyo natt, 2002; Tre röda näckrosor, 2005 and Facklan, 2009). She also works as a freelance journalist, dramaturge and translator. In the spring of 2011, she reported about the catastrophe in Japan for Sweden’s largest newspaper Aftonbladet, and she wrote about the aftermath of the crisis for leading daily newspapersSvenska Dagbladet in Sweden and Aftenposten in Norway.

Dr Akira Matsuda

Dr Akira Matsuda studies the relationship between archaeology – and more broadly cultural heritage – and the general public from anthropological and sociological points of view. He is currently doing research into the representation of damage caused by natural disasters in Japan over the last 500 years. Matsuda completed his PhD in public archaeology at University College London in 2009. He worked as a project-based consultant in UNESCO’s Division of Cultural Heritage in 2004 and 2005, and was a Handa Japanese Archaeology Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures from January 2009 to August 2011. Since 2010, he has been teaching at the School of World Art Studies and Museology, UEA, and most recently co-edited a book, New Perspectives in Global Public Archaeology (Springer, 2011) with Okamura Katsuyuki. He is the Membership Secretary of the World Archaeological Congress, and is now working on the publication of a book on cultural heritage in East Asia.

BOOKING FORM

Advertisements

Lessons from Japan’s Disaster

22 March 2012, 6:00 – 7:00pm

Chatham House, 10 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4LE

The Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011 inflicted unprecedented damage on Japan. The social and economic turmoil continues to this day. The disaster exceeded all assumptions that the nation had made to date, unleashing catastrophic damage of unimaginable magnitude. The release of radioactive substances into the environment from the troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant has spread fear about the contamination of agricultural products and about other ramifications. Power shortages caused by reduced electricity generating capacity have extended economic disruption far beyond the areas immediately affected to the country as a whole. Japan’s experience is under scrutiny around the world from the perspective of crisis management. Meanwhile, in the wake of the disaster, people from all over the world extended warm support and encouragement to Japan. This resulted in Japan becoming the world’s largest recipient of aid for the year 2011. (Lessons from the Disaster: Risk management and the compound crisis presented by the Great East Japan Earthquake, edited by Yoichi Funabashi and Heizo Takenaka, The Japan Times, 2011)

The editors of the book believe that they can best repay the world for its interest and concern by reporting on the lessons Japan has learned from the disaster. In the seminar, Professor Takenaka will argue that the current crisis is a “comprehensively linked crisis” and will examine the impact the disaster inflicted on the Japanese economy as a whole, while Dr Funabashi will discuss the “failure” of the governance, calling the nuclear emergency at Fukushima a “man-made crisis”.

Dr Yoichi Funabashi

Dr Yoichi Funabashi is the former Editor-in-Chief and Columnist for the Asahi Shimbun. While at theAsahi Shimbun, Dr Funabashi was selected a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and was appointed Visiting Fellow at the Institute for International Economics and Distinguished Guest Fellow at The Brookings Institution. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Crisis Group and currently serves as Director of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation. Funabashi graduated from the University of Tokyo and acquired his PhD from Keio University, where he is currently Guest Professor.

Professor Heizo Takenaka

Professor Heizo Takenaka is a graduate of Hitotsubashi University, where he earned a BA in Economics. After graduation, he joined the Japan Development Bank and later worked as Senior Economist in the Japanese Ministry of Finance. He was also a Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard University. During the period 2001–2006, Takenaka served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Koizumi as Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy, Minister of State for Financial Services, Minister of State for Privatization of the Postal Services, and Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications. Takenaka has a PhD in Economics from Osaka University, and is a professor in the Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University.

Japan In A Day

Japan In A Day is an extraordinary project to create the definitive self-portrait of Japan today, filmed by you, inspired by Life in a Day. It is dedicated, with our deepest sympathy, to those who lost their lives and those who are suffering as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that struck east Japan last year.

At 00:00 on Sunday 11 March 2012, Ridley Scott and Fuji TV invite you to capture the reality and intimacy of your day.

The resulting film will be a powerful and moving snapshot of Japan today, which will premiere in cinemas, and be screened around the world.

http://www.youtube.com/japaninaday

Fukushima’s animals abandoned and left to die

 

I found very hard to watch the video published on CNN website on Fukushima’s abandoned animals but while watching this sad video I was thinking about all the people who lost their lives, relatives and/or friends and never be able to forget the day Tsunami struck. When I think what human beings had to go through, then the condition of those animals, even if tragic, seems to be less important and I agree Japanese government that it would be far to risky and costly to try to save those animals.

POSTCARDS FROM JAPAN – A Message from Tohoku Artists

12 December 2011 – 31 January 2012
Embassy of Japan, 101/104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT

Admission free; Monday to Friday; 09:30 to 17:30
Visitors are requested to present a form of photographic identification when entering the Embassy.

This month, the Embassy of Japan will host a small exhibition with a rather poignant message.

After the major earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Tohoku region of north-eastern Japan on 11 March 2011, power supplies, telephone land lines and mobile telephone networks were cut and internet access became impossible.

This made it extremely difficult for people to contact family and friends. The Japanese postal service – Japan Post – was, however, quickly up and running again. It was by postcard, in many cases, that people first heard that their loved ones were safe.

Sculptors, Katagiri Hironori and Kate Thomson, share their time between Iwate and Scotland. They were working in their studios in the countryside of Iwate when the immense earthquake of 11 March 2011 struck. Their home and studio inland were not damaged and they were safe, but they were desperately worried about family and friends along the Tohoku coast. In the days after the quake, power and telephone connections slowly returned. Despite the telephone lines’ being restored, however, they could still not get through to anyone.

Inspired by the impact that the receiving of postcards can have, Katagiri and Thomson invited Tohoku-based artists from Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, and Aomori prefectures to make new work for Postcards From Japan – A Message from Tohoku Artists. Even artists who had lost so much in the tsunami were enthusiastic to celebrate life through art with their communication with the world outside. The results are works made especially for this exhibition and which give an insight into the incredible grace and resilience of the people of North East Japan.

The priority in the devastated regions is to rebuild communities and livelihoods and the recovery will take years. Art and culture will play vital roles in this recovery and in celebrating life itself, helping to nurture imagination, energy and the determination to move on. Many people in Japan have realised that family, friends and communities are their most precious treasures and that they require and deserve the most time and investment. Cherishing the relationships they have, people are re-establishing contact with those with whom they had lost touch.

The project continues and in response, artists from around the world are being invited to make ‘Postcards to Japan’ and post them to Tohoku as tangible messages of support to communities affected by the devastation.

Please see www.postcardproject.org for more information.