My current work in progress is based in and around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear evacuation zone in Tohoku, Japan. As part of my research into the effects of the cataclysmic tsunami of 2011 and the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster I have twice visited the recovery towns on the north side of the current zone.
Inspired by the people and stories I have encountered there I have been keen to talk in school visits about the difficulties, resilience and courage of the people of Fukushima: both heartbreaking loss and inspiring determination to build new communities. Sharing these stories has been rewarding I believe for both UK students and for the residents of towns like Odaka, Fukushima who tell me they are glad their experiences are being shared.
My main talk on the 3.11 disaster and recovery can segue into workshops that draw creatively on the the stories raised, and then lead into work with haiku, manga or Japanese ghost stories and folk tales.
(Main image above: 'Odaka Platform Community Home', March 2018)
In the exclusion zone: Okuma Town, March 2018
Gathering inspiration - open air haiku workshop, co-ordinated with Ampthill Park, July 2019.
Students' fieldwork notebooks for a haiku workshop.
Coast road near Odaka, Fukushima.
Noh 'ghost theatre' workshop at Leighton Park, Reading.