The Hydrangea Revolution and Japan’s Unheard Voices via

“Unheard Voices”

Last week I watched a recording of a play entitled ‘Unheard Voices,” which was performed on March 11, 2012 in Tokyo by three girls from Soma High School in Fukushima Prefecture. I was moved by their courage but find myself in despair over their grief and worries. We have made an irreversible mistake that will affect their future. It is our moral obligation to listen to them. This is even more necessary after learning that the video has become controversial in Japan.
I would like to introduce an excerpt that shows the deep lamentation expressed by the three young actresses in the drama.

Maki: “In the future, if we get married to people outside of the region and have children, what if they say something about the Fukushima radiation? In the future, when we have children, if that child has any sort of disability, we’ll be blamed for everything.”
Sakura: “But it’s not our fault! … I think that the surrounding areas only grew thanks to the power plant. In exchange for all the risk, of course. But, those risks aren’t something our generation agreed to!
Maki: “Don’t you see? We’ve been robbed of our freedom. I mean, what is freedom anyway? The food is contaminated! So is the soil! As is the water and the ocean! Can we even say that we’re ‘free’ when we have to live in fear of the radiation? We live so close to the nuclear power plant, but just because we’re outside of the warning zone, we’ve been given no guarantees. I want them to guarantee our future.”
Nozomi (committed suicide): 455… 456…457…458…In Soma, this many people have died because of the disaster. Will I be counted as the 459th? Why don’t people understand? Did I say something wrong? Like how beautiful the stars in the night sky are, or how green and beautiful Soma becomes after the winter. What do you know? You don’t know anything!

These short lines leave a clear message of what sort of ill life we are passing on to younger generations.
If Fukushima reactor unit 4 collapses, the catastrophe would degrade the lives of our descendants for hundreds or thousands of years. If we have nothing to explain to these girls now, how will we explain an the cause and effects of an even larger catastrophe later?

The girls’ perspective of life and nature has changed. “Mountain, Forest, River, Sea…” these words now bring to mind radiation, not the dwelling place of any spirit or God. We live on a world of water. From space, our planet is blue with the oceans that cover 70 percent of its surface. As life on our planet comes from water, we too are formed from a single cell in the small sea of our mother’s womb. Like the earth, we are 70 percent water. But something is terribly wrong when water, the worldwide symbol of purity, becomes polluted. The natural order is upside down when a drink of water brings disease instead of relief. When a heavy rain kills trees and lakes. When the source of life is poisoned as it flows from the ground. We are a tenant of the planet. We have no right to change the planet.

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