Impressions of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

I got these zines on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster at the the 2019 Tokyo Zinester Gathering last December, where I first met Will and Momo from the Institute of Barbarian Books. They’re the same folks who set up the Anti-Olympic Poster Committee.

The zines form a triptych that breaks down misconceptions—generated by Mr. Abe’s government and in the mass media—about what happened.

In lucid Japanese and English and with a sharp, observant eye, Will and Momo tell us they detail a trip to Namie, where they try to drive from their home in Nishiaizu as close to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant as close as possible, while reflecting on the paradox of being anti-nuclear power without radically rethinking one’s resource consumption habits.

Through the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s decision to remove dosimeters across Fukushima Prefecture, Will and Momo next examine whether the government is forcing the community to move on from the nuclear disaster in pursuit of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—the ruined nuclear power plant being an intractable public relations scar to bury under the spectacle of investment and technology.

The last zine in the series discusses the episode on Fukushima in Dark Tourist, and on how a malicious documentary on misbehaving white people who know nothing about radiation science threatens to propagate fear about the Tohoku region at the expense of those who actually live in Fukushima Prefecture through the power of Netflix.

The three zines are available on the Institute of Barbarian Books’s online store.

You can also read the full text online.