What's In A Word? Well, when the word is 'Fukushima' quite a lot…

What's In A Word? Well, when the word is 'Fukushima' quite a lot…

This post has no photos. It's all words. But if you like my photos and/or like me, bear with me and read on.

I made two posts tonight, both with pictures shot in Fukushima last weekend. Both illicited some interesting responses which I wanted to talk about.

One of the people has since removed their comments, which included:

"you idiot!!!!taking your family to fukushima…you murdering bastard, i hate sheep brain dead iditos like you.i hope the radiation kills you all."

and on a picture of rain in Tokyo:

"fukushima radiation rain, only an idiot would still be in japan, please read my web site to inform yourselves and leave the northern hemisphere and those filthy japs to die"

Nice. Shame they didn't want their comments to stand….

So, anyway, here is my backstory…..

I first went to Fukushima in 2000, to visit my then girlfriend's family and visit her dying grandmother. That girlfriend is now my wife of 11 years and we have three wonderful children who, until March of last year, all – along with myself and my wife – enjoyed regular visits to visit relatives in Fukushima.

Fukushima was our second home. Note the use of the past participle in that sentence. Understand my use of that and you will maybe understand a little of how I feel about what has happened to us. We haven't lost anything, really. No dead relatives, no destroyed property from the quake or tsunami of 3/11. But we have lost a beautiful part of Japan that we used to call home.

This evening I posted a picture of cherry blossoms in Fukushima and was branded by one person to be in the paid employ of TEPCO.

"hey Alfie Goodrich, how much did the Japanese government, or TEPCO, or some other lying propagandists pay you for this bit of bs
hyperbole??? We all want to visit the deadeliest radioactive shithole
on earth & you took little Charlie there–I'm calling "Child Protective
Services" on you…I'll bet you work for some nuclear industry!!!
YOU ARE A PAYASO!!! Did you measure the radiation?? Where did
you eat, & what did you eat?"
I mean, yeah, why else would I post pretty pictures of spring trees in Fukushima? I must be on the take…

The same person, as you see, criticised me for taking my children there. This was my kids' first visit to see family in over two years. My wife and I agonised over it for a while because we obviously have our kids' welfare at heart. I'm sure we've all had a little agony over whose parents we might spend Christmas Day with. But agonising over spending time with 20 members of family we hadn't seen for two years. Whom our youngest son had never met… because of radiation. That was a new one for us.

So, let me explain something to you all… especially the pair who decided to abuse me rather than think about the wider situation before they typed their comments….

I used to have to use a map to explain where my wife came from. Now everyone knows where Fukushima is.

We used to want to visit Fukushima whenever we had a spare weekend.

We used to spend summers with our family.

We used to have a home where we could grow vegetables in our garden and drink from the well.

I used to take my kids in the hills to pick wild mushrooms with their great-uncle.

We used to be able to visit our relatives for more than 24hrs at a time, without the fear that spending too long in the town would be bad for our kids' future health.

We never had to measure radiation before or during visiting our home.

Our relatives didn't have to feel difficult, bad or embarrassed about offering us food.

Our aunty didn't have to think twice about asking if we wanted to go out for a walk in the fields with the dog.

Or pick a 'safe field' to go and walk in.

We used to get boxes of fresh vegetables from our uncle.

We used to be able to bring presents home when we visited.

We used to be able to do a lot of things before 3/11….. that we don't do now.

So if you are one of those people who tends to type and hit RETURN without thinking too much…. get a new hobby. Think before you type.

Because we have to think about a whole load of stuff we never used to have to. It's called 'daily life in Japan'.

And for those of you, like one of the posters this evening, who wonder why everyone doesn't just leave Japan…. imagine leaving everything of yours behind in a heartbeat before you say shit like that. And not not just your posessions, I mean all your relatives too]

And if anyone thinks for a moment that just because they have me in their circles on Google, they know who I am or what I think… then before you type and comment, read through my previous posts or ask me questions. Don't just assume things.

Because I, my wife, my kids… we are sensitive to this shit. OK? Maybe I shouldn't give so much of a damn about what a couple of people say on the web. But family, Fukushima.. these are raw nerves and we have to live with the consequences of 3/11 for the rest of our lives and don't think we don't know that.

It's stressful living with a connection to Fukushima. It's like saying you have relatives in Chernobyl. Imagine that for a moment. Imagine something other than your own little world before you type stuff that might upset people….

End of rant. Good night.

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Japanorama is run by British professional photographer, Alfie Goodrich, and provides practical photography teaching in Tokyo. Weekly workshops, group and one-to-one lessons bring together photographers of all ages and abilities.

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