" Fukushima Renaissance "

  •  
  • 999
  • 3
  • 1
  • English 
Feb 7, 2012 09:04
* Could you make my English more natural for native speakers of English ?
This is the last check. Could you correct it strictly ?


Fukushima Renaissance

 
  Most Japanese people return to their hometowns and pray
for their ancestors in front of their tombstones every
summer. This Buddhist tradition is called " Obon(お盆)" in
Japanese. Following the tradition, I went back to my
hometown, Fukushima, to pray for my late parents last
summer. But this time in 2011, I hesitated to return due to
the contamination by the leak at Fukushima Atomic Power
Plant My hometown has become very dangerous since
March 11,2011. The wind has spread cesium from the plant all 
across the prefecture. It is said to be a source of cancers
for children and babies in the future. After hesitating for
a few days, I decided to return to my hometown in spite
of this, for I believed I was too old to contract these cancers
from the fall-out.


Fukushima means
"Island of Happiness"
in Japanese
But "Island of Unhappiness"
since March, 2011.


I went there by express bus in August. When I got
off it, the green fields spread before me as far as the
eye could see.


I can't believe
they have been contaminated
by cesium winds,
standing before the green, green,
beautiful fields.


I stayed at my brother's house and started to take a walk
with my nephews the next day. One of them said, "Oh, I’ve
forgotten to take a dosimeter with me. " At once he went
back home and brought it back with him. Children in
Fukushima always hang dosimeters around their necks
whenever they go out so that their teachers can check
their radiation levels later. We walked to a green park by
a river.


Dosimeters
hanging from their necks
even when children
play tag with me
in the green park.


But there were no other children playing in the park
except us. Maybe the others were home playing computer
games or watching TV to avoid the cesium wind, for
teachers of elementary schools told them to play inside
their houses as much as possible.
Many residents living near the Plant fled after the
leak. Young parents with children or babies sought safe
shelter away from there. But only the elderly people
remained.


Even though
residents want to flee,
they can't move anywhere,
no jobs, no houses
except in Fukushima.


In particular, old farmers near the plant did not wish
to seek refuge elsewhere, even if they were wealthy.


Though officials say
"Flee from your village!",
old farmers refuse
as they want to stay
in their hometown.


They neither wanted to learn new dialects, new customs
nor leave their neighbors and friends. They remained in
their hometown to live out their last years quietly.
One afternoon it began to shower suddenly. Our cat
dashed into my brother's house in the rain and sat
under the eaves.


Our cat
ignorant
when it licks
cesium rain
from its wet fur.


Fukushima was famous for its fruit - apples, pears and
peaches. My brother's wife peeled a peach for me.


I have just eaten up
a pink peach.
Though very delicious,
a trace of cesium
has just entered my body.


But I can’t see cesium, nor hear it, nor smell it, nor
taste it, and nor feel our enemy. Cesium is an invisible
man.
 I went sightseeing in a famous tourist attraction with
my brother’s family but there were few visitors there for
fear of cesium though they used to be crowded in the past
with many children on summer vacation.


Come back, return back,
former Fukushima
where children played outside
with their parents,
our Fukushima.


 After awhile, many parents and public servants began to clean
cesium from the grounds of all preschools, primary schools,
and high schools in Fukushima. The residents have been cleaning
their houses, gardens and roads. Farmers have been sweeping
their fields, forests and mountains for months. Lots of inhabitants
have been trying to clean all of Fukushima.


Earth and wind,
pears and peaches,
cats and humans,
may all beings
         revive in Fukushima.


I go to Miharu town near the nuclear plants to see beautiful
cherry blossoms every spring. The famous tree there is about
1,000 years old. It's very large and the blossoms spread into
the blue sky. The residents call it "Takizakura" because "taki"
means falls, "zakura" means cherry blossoms in Japanese. The
blossoms look as if pink waterfalls flew down from the blue sky.
I will go there to get the great energy from the cherry blossoms
next spring.


We'll sing a song
and dance again
around the tall spreading cherry
in our hometown,
        Fukushima.