After 3.11

(Original text in Japanese below)

After 3.11

Ayumi G.

3.11 – How many times have we recorded dates like this? Year after year these monuments of negativity were renewed, and history was fabricated as if we had moved into another stage of life without seeing off the end of previous events. When did it begin? What was the origin? Why did it happen? Trying to pull the tangled threads of history into my hands, they fall off through my fingers and I am left at loss and despair. I ask myself what kind of future I should be seeking from now on.

Tatari is a Japanese word meaning a curse, which one receives from supernatural beings. It is a punishment for committing taboo and turning one’s hand onto something one is not supposed to touch.

War, political oppression, natural disaster, stressful everyday life, racism and sexism… These repressive events of course have nothing to do with the punishment of God like Tatari. They are mainly derivative of the repeated primitive accumulation of capital. Meanwhile globally on-going are mass uprisings, giving us a glimpse of the new world by abolishing the capitalist regime. These movements, each carrying its own historical and social background, will continue, as a necessity for transforming the capitalist system on a planetary scale.

The necessity exists here in Japan as well. Since 3.11, the disaster by the earthquake and tsunami has immediately turned into a man-made calamity; the government is scattering false information for its fear of “panic” among the public, so are mass media discharging their lies, and in the mean time, the oozing radiation has been creating hibakushas. Taking this as a good opportunity to clean up its infamies, the United States has laughably begun “Operation Tomodachi” by sending the oddly named aircraft carrier “Ronald Reagan” (while attempting a return of the mean bastard Kevin Maher). On the other hand, the real tragedy here is that the Japanese authorities as well as mass media are delightedly welcoming the US operation.

From now on, we will see many more nuclear plant workers exposed to radiation and many more children with higher possibility of cancer. Safe food will be out of reach for low-income workers. Here we see Japanese nationalism being directed exactly the opposite from the orientation of the Egyptian people. Once you turn on TV, you would be greeted by pop stars and footballers chanting “Ganbare Nippon! [Tough it out Japan!].” While donation boxes and list of volunteers get easily filled, their good intentions are often absorbed by nationalism of Nippon. Hidden behind the turmoil, a number of local governments approved the termination of financial support for the Korean schools, even including the one in Miyagi, one of the worst damaged prefectures in the northeast. Mass media speak only of the Japanese as victims to be sympathized. No earnest reports are made on foreign nationals or zainichi (resident ethnic Koreans living in Japan). Nor are names and causes of the death of the workers at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant.

What we see is instead a tacit bashing of the people, by the excuse of provoking insecurity. Those who make efforts to convey the truth become the target of hostility of those who want to dream: “the situation is not that critical and we will get back to our normal life when the excitement dies down.” We shall expect uses of such antagonism by the government in order to strengthen their control and their oppression against the movements to come.

Confronting this situation, we ought to analyze the situation, and voice our anger and demands. This is a matter of course.

However, I suddenly come to be at a loss, no sooner than I think of this monster called nuclear substance. Finally plutonium has leaked out onto ground. This substance is nothing but poisonous to all creatures on the earth, and said to have a half-life of as long as 24000 years. This unimaginable number overwhelms me. Plutonium, one of the isotopes of uranium, is produced by explosion of supernovae, in other words, the triggering explosive needed for the creation of the earth. I wonder how many of such explosives have been made to exist on the planet today. The sun still has nuclear fusion for its self-activity, but one could hardly imagine the same is designed to take place on the ground. In the Greek mythology, we are just like the conceited Phaëthon who tried to drive Apollo’s sun vehicle.

But as we realize that the ocean, air, and soil, namely, the commons on the earth is being polluted by the nuclear substance beyond national borders, we are finally able to become the planetary multitude who carry common tasks on our shoulder.

Now in Japan virtual distance is coming to exist as substantial distance. The sense of everyday life in Osaka in the West and that in Tokyo completely differ from each other, and so does even more from that of Fukushima. Even within Northeast, each city experiences different damages and everyday life. But it is Fukushima that is the common epicenter of our fury. Fukushima, the land whose name will be curved in our memory with the number 3.11, is in rage at this moment like Gods of Tatari. The rag has traveled to the distant cities in Germany and brought more than 250,000 people out on the street. If and only if the flying sparks of anger explode faster than the nuclear fission, we will see a hope.





Ayumi G.


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