[The image in from google: I searched for 281ANTINUKE]
June has come to Japan. The cherry blossoms have long since disappeared making way for flowers and weeds. The fields that were once barren are flooded and filled with amateur rice plants and everywhere you look you can see people walking around with rubber boots and umbrellas. The rainy season has finally come to Japan. Though this is a good time for farmers it once was a scary time and danger still lurks with in the rain falling from the sky. Today I will write about the rainy season right after the Great East Earthquake of 2011 and introduce you to one of my favorite graffiti artists.
The rainy season starts in early June and stretches until early July. During this time it is overcast and rainy majority of the time… Hence the title the rainy season. Although it doesn’t rain everyday it does become very humid and uncomfortable especially if you live in Southern areas like Okinawa. This is a time of abundance where the frogs begin to croak, and mosquitoes begin to come out to feed. Now, many people do not worry about the rain but right after the big earth quake it was a time to worry.
After the big earthquake in 2011 all cell, water, gas and electricity services were knocked out for varying periods of time depending on the region. For me in North Miyagi I didn’t have electricity or running water for a month. Thankfully, after the big earthquake it snowed a lot and we were able melt the snow down to flush toilets, and even shower. But as the news rolled in about the Fukushima power plants many people began to worry about radiation in the water.
Teams were set up in each prefecture to measure radiation on a daily basis all around Japan. North of Fukushima in Miyagi radiation levels were higher than usual but not life threatening. However over time the rainy season rolled in and the radiation levels began to rise at an alarming rate in some prefectures. Children were not allowed to go out in the rain and everyone worried about contamination.
It has been 6 years since the earthquake and incident at Fukushima. Many people have forgotten about the radiation contamination in Japan. News coverage is low, even though radiation levels still remain high in some prefectures. Many people have forgotten about the dangers, but one artist hasn’t.
“281 Anti Nuke” is a Japanese street artist who makes street art to help educate people on issues like radiation, politics and other heavy topics. I was first introduced to his art “I hate rain” after talking with friends from Tokyo. His designs are thought provoking and help to educate people on things they might not see or pay attention to in everyday life. It is obvious by his name he is against nuclear power and he uses his art to spread the word and keep peoples minds on what really matters, not pop culture or hot music videos.
Even though a lot of time has elapsed since 311. The incident at Fukushima still remains a problem and effects not only Japan, but also the whole world. People like ANTINUKE help to keep the issues alive in people’s minds and hopefully can create change in his own little way. So next time the rain falls down take a moment to think about the little girl in the rain coat and remember that there are always problems around us but if we all do our parts to raise awareness maybe we can make a change.
[DISCLAIMER: I am in no way promoting graffiti in anyway, but I am promoting activism for good causes.]