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Living 7 Miles from Fukushima Daiichi: “It’s like we are on a honeymoon”

Published: February 11th, 2013 at 12:42 pm ET
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Title: The barber who returned to earthquake-devastated Fukushima
Source: UK Telegraph
Author: Christopher Lloyd
Date: Feb. 11, 2013

[...] Barber Kato, as he is known, is the first and only person in Odaka [about seven miles away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station] to return to his house and his job. [...]

The experience of opening up has transformed their lives – and reinvigorated their relationship. “It is like we have got married again – like we are on a honeymoon,” says the beaming Kato. “Because what is happening here is the beginning of the rebirth of our town!” Kato’s face lights up as he speaks. His sense of hope – his spirit – is infectious. [...]

As he touches my head – massaging it with professional vigour – I feel a surge of energetic refreshment. Barber Kato is alive! Barber Kato is doing what he loves to do! Barber Kato is doing what he does best! [...]

The wild boar [...] come and go as they please through the undergrowth. The birds, the pollen grains, the spores – none of them cares or knows anything of the calamities that happened here. Nature is not disturbed. I wonder, perhaps, if it is quietly celebrating, savouring a rare moment of calm. [...]

Read the article here

Published: February 11th, 2013 at 12:42 pm ET
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14 comments to Living 7 Miles from Fukushima Daiichi: “It’s like we are on a honeymoon”

  • lam335 lam335

    "“Because what is happening here is the beginning of the rebirth of our town!” Kato’s face lights up as he speaks. His sense of hope – his spirit – is infectious. "

    Kool-Aid, anyone?


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    • getoutwhileyoustillcan

      Yeah, can I have some? I'm trying to cope with reality, and I could use a little of what he's on.


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    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Sad. But human nature wants to believe in what is positive, what is growth forward. But this is sad to us who know what is ahead, what the future holds. Well, Barber Kato, enjoy while you can even if it is delusional. I would not deny you joy, even if delusional.


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  • nomoretrust

    This is incredible. I have to say I feel much better after reading this feel good story. Finally some good news. zzzzzzzzzz


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  • dosdos dosdos

    Denial is a river in Japan.


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  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    A large chunk of the Japanese population have developed mass 'Stockholm Syndrome':

    "Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

    A defensive psychological harbor to insulate oneself from the horror of your immediate surroundings.

    I doubt this will be an issue once it dawns on the rest of the world that a few governments have doomed them all to a nuclear death.


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    • guezilla

      Stockholm Syndrome, perhaps, is not the best explanation. One must remember we're talking widely different cultures here, even if times are changing and the youth with it.
      However, there's a much better fitting concept from Japan's own culture: Loyalty/Obedience are other dominant Japanese values. In modern Japanese society one is loyal to one's immediate group, the "company", the family, etc., just as previously the emperor, the shogun, or other lords commanded total obedience. For example, in a classical Bunraku (Puppet theatre) performance, Mitsuhide, the main character, after repeated subjection to his lord's cruelty, seeks revenge and kills him. His mother, Satsuki, is very angry with her son for his rebellion. She condemns him so fiercely, that he contemplates suicide.

      This has, in fact, been often hailed as the very reason Fukushima happened. As an excuse, it's quite thin one, but I'm sure it did play part. Many other cultural traits can also contribute to what to outsiders can seem like indifference and quiet acceptance: http://crab.rutgers.edu/~deppen/Japan.htm Also: http://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/shoganai


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  • Dogleg Dogleg

    Happy Honeymoon! Hope you dont plan on starting a family.


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  • If nothing else works, try a little delusion.

    Probably the same delusion that is keeping me here on the West Coast – contrary to all the facts.


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    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Pu239…I'm with you!!! But I think we know what we are doing, that we are aware of our delusions. I just had a Japanese dinner last night: Sashimi (raw tuna) with Tempura (shrimp and veggies). I enjoyed it — contrary to all the facts.

      There are 2 things which the dementers of doom cannot steal from me: My enjoyment and my sense of humor. Oh no. They can't take these away from me.

      Hugs to U, Pu!


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  • amberlight amberlight

    Sounds like another symptom of nuclear poisoning is deterioration of the reasoning part of the brain…


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  • m a x l i

    To encourage daily commuting in and out the exclusion zone by many people will help to spread radioactive contamination across the country and the world.

    And another thought…

    From the article: "The wild boar – which Mrs Kato told me now freely roam the streets of Odaka in nonchalant disregard for any humans – are not excluded from the zone around the plant. They come and go as they please through the undergrowth. The birds, the pollen grains, the spores – none of them cares or knows anything of the calamities that happened here. Nature is not disturbed. I wonder, perhaps, if it is quietly celebrating, savouring a rare moment of calm."

    Nature is not disturbed – a common fallacy, because what you see are the rather healthy animals and plants that did survive so far. In wild nature, sick animals are quickly dead; and dead animals do not have the habit to walk around. Thats why any casual observation is biased and tends to see unharmed, intact nature.


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