My Hometown, Fukushima <in English>

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Mar 17, 2012 23:48 #311fromjapan
" Thank you very much for your correcting my English for a month, English speaking people in the world! I have finished writing such a long story about my home town, Fukushima, owing to you. Thank you again ! "

My Hometown,Fukushima 

Most Japanese people return to their hometowns and pray
for their ancestors before their tombs 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 caused by the nuclear leak at the Fukushima
Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011. The wind has spread
cesium from the plant all across the prefecture. It is said
to be a cause of cancer for children and babies in the future.
After hesitating for a few days, I decided to go back there
in spite of this, for I believed I was too old to contract
cancer from the fall-out.
I went there by express bus in August. When I got off, the
fields spread out 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,
brilliant rice fields.

I stayed at my brother's house and took a walk with my
nephews the next day. One of them said, "Oh, I’ve
forgotten to take a dosimeter with me. " He immediately
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 park by a river.

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

But there were no other children playing in the park
except my nephews. Maybe the others were home playing
computer games or watching TV to avoid the cesium wind,
for teachers at schools advised them to stay at home and
play indoors as much as possible.
Many residents living near the Plant fled away after
the leak. Some young parents with children or babies
sought safe shelter away from the area. But only the
elderly people remained.

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

In particular, some old farmers near the plant did not
wish to seek refuge elsewhere, even if they were wealthy.
They neither wanted to learn new dialects, new customs
nor leave their neighbors and friends. They remained to
live out their last years.

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

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
as it licks
cesium rain
from its wet fur.

Fukushima was famous for its fruits - apples, pears
and peaches. When we watched a soccer game on TV
together in my brother's living room, his wife peeled
a peach for me.

I eat
the pink peach.
Though very delicious,
a trace of cesium
has just entered my body.


I can’t see cesium,
nor hear it,
nor feel it,
it’s an invisible

However, honestly speaking, I didn't know whether the
trace of cesium was my enemy or not. Some experts said
that it may be good for the health as long as it's just
a trace. Others said it was very dangerous. I don't know
which is true. Strictly speaking, even experts don't
know the truth. In the future,I'll be able to see what
effect cesium will have, good or bad. But now I do want
to know whether I will contract cancer or not!

Come back,
come back,
my former Fukushima
where children could play
outside with their parents happily.

After the fall-out, 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 away the cesium from 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 the
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 a waterfall and
"zakura" means cherry blossoms in Japanese. The
blossoms look like a pink waterfall cascading from the
azure sky. I will go there to get revitalized by the cherry
blossoms next spring.

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

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