Public lecture video by Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS). This lecture was held on March 18, 2016. Speaker was Tom Gill, Professor of Social Anthropology, Meiji Gakuin University.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 will continue to affect millions of people for decades to come. The tremendous scale and complexity of this catastrophic event make it almost impossible to comprehend what is really going on in Fukushima. Any researcher must contend with the widely varying levels of radiation, the differing conditions for return to evacuated zones, the mixed fortunes of the decontamination programmes, the massive variation in compensation payments and many other challenges. As Professor Gill notes: “I long since realized that my only hope of keeping abreast of events was to focus very tightly on a single small community that I could get to know reasonably well through a long series of field trips. That community is Nagadoro, a tiny hamlet of 71 households, on the southern edge of Iitate village. After 3.11, it absorbed more radiation than any other hamlet in the village, and it is currently totally evacuated and barricaded with locked gates and sentries on all the four roads that lead into it. In five years and 40 field trips, I have slowly got to know the people of Nagadoro as they undergo an agonizing series of trials and tribulations. By telling their story, I hope to offer a glimpse of what life is really like for the residents of the nuclear disaster zone.”