English Translation of the HP is here:

A Prospectus of “Image Fukushima”

Fukushima is under an unprecedented situation after the Great East Japan Earth
quake on March 11th of 2011. As you know, enormous tsunamis, along with the ea
rthquake, attacked the ocean side of Fukushima, causing the nuclear power plan
ts’ accident. That has changed Fukushima into a place, where an event of huma
n history is proceeding as Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the past. Not only Japan
but also the international community is paying attention to Fukushima now.

What circumstances in the past led to the disaster in Fukushima?
Where will Fukushima go from here?

We still have no answer to that question.
On the contrary, we do not know which information to believe, nor do we know w
ho is right. Since 3.11 our common sense for which we trusted our lives has be
en forfeited.

Aside from outside expectations, the people involved must go on with their liv
es and livelihoods while suffering agonies that can’t be escaped. Even inside
Fukushima each family and individual face different and complicated situation
s, while struggling in their positions in the local community. In these circu
mstances most fall into binary thinking such as: the people involved/the peopl
e outside, the victims/the perpetrators, or the protesters/the conformists. S
uch simple views fall short of being able to grasp the realities of Fukushima.

Therefore, we are eager to know: We thrive to make our imagination free to rea
ch the past, the present and the future of Fukushima. And then, we would like
to exchange our revitalized image with other people. In order to realize this
hope to the best of our ability, however minute, we established “Image Fukush
ima” Executive Committee.

Many journalists and filmmakers are already beginning to strain their eyes to
see the reality of Fukushima. In fact, the more accurate figures and voices of
the locals, which conventional mass media must have had ignored, are being re
corded by the media. Specialists and companies in each specific field are begi
nning to offer concrete plans for the future of Fukushima and Tohoku (the nort
heast region of Japan).

In cooperation with these specific fields, we will make and share the recorded
images that would reflect the reality of Fukushima. In this way, we will crea
te an image of the future. We will show the image of Fukushima to the world th
at is persistently facing reality and continuously sending an affirmative mess
age. For achieving this purpose, we, Image Fukushima Executive Committee, will
create a base in Japan.

Our activities are as follows:

1) Screening in Fukushima area the existing video and film works that can be u
seful to understand the present conditions of Fukushima.

2) Screening in Fukushima area the video and film works made after 3.11.

3) At the same opportunity of screening, organizing a symposium joined by expe
rts and exchanging and sharing knowledge and images.

4) Archiving our activities described above on the website, and publishing the
records of symposium.

5) Supporting video- and film-making in Fukushima, and making an opportunity o
f its screening in public.

Image Fukushima Executive Committee

What is Image. Fukushima?

Image. Fukushima is a project for organizing discussion and film screenings ma
inly in Fukushima. The “invisible” threats of radioactive contamination, the
inaccuracy of information, and the uncertainty of the future –. In order to
make the first step from this situation, the project aims at exchanging and sh
aring knowledge and images among people. Also, it supports documentary filmmak
ing in Fukushima.

Image. Fukushima Executive Committee is a volunteer organization, conducted by
such diverse members as the people engaged in film-related fields, movie fans
, writers, editors, part-time workers, and those who wish to sincerely reflect
upon Fukushima.

We continue to hold regular events with various topics: “The community,” “t
he environment,” and “the popular revolt” are picked up and prepared as top
ics of coming special events.

Image. Fukushima was named after the word “image,” with consideration to its
variety of meaning; an iconic mental representation or a visual representatio
n as a noun, to imagine, or to make a visual representation as a verb.

“Let’s imagine Fukushima.”

[Gratitude for the Contribution]

We very much appreciate your sincere contributions and financial support to Im
age. Fukushima.

We placed the names of supporting members in a newsletter to express our grati
tude. We will send “Image. Fukushima Report” to our new members in a few day

We are continuously recruiting supporting members.
Thank you very much for your cooperation.


“How Green Was My Valley”
1941 / United States / 16mm / 118 minutes
Director John Ford * Subtitles superimposed

The immortal masterpiece by John Ford, drawing a Welsh mining town with which
the change of society trifles, and which declines in the beautiful afterglow.
This cinematic archetype of all “hometowns,” which might remind us of two regi
ons in Fukushima–Iwaki and Iitate: Iwaki had flourished with the Joban Coal M
ine, which was replaced by the nuclear industry after the closing. In Iitate,
all villagers, who evacuated after more than two months of the incident becaus
e of the extremely higher radiation, have suffered for the government’s misle
ading of information and instruction.

“Ikiteite yokatta (It’s Good to Live)”
1956 / 16mm / black and white / 48 minutes
Director Fumio Kamei

Not to repeat the same tragedy–a record of scars left from the atomic bombs,
filmed with bold realism that might overturn accepted ideas of cinematic metho
d. The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki struggle against their trials and t
ribulations with mutual help, and finally they say, “It’s good to live.”
Peace Culture of Japan prizewinner.

“Hato wa habataku (Doves Flutter)”
1958 / 16mm / black and white / 42 minutes
Director Fumio Kamei

The film dramatically records the World Conference for the Prohibition of Atom
ic and Hydrogen Bombs and the people in protest there. The peace march, which
first began with one person, finally turns to be one million at the site. It is the passionate message of peace by the A-bombs survivors.

“Sekai wa kyoufu suru: Shi no hai no shoutai (The World is Frightened?The True Nature of Atomic Dust)”
1957 / Japan / 16mm / 80 minutes
Director Fumio Kamei

The film scientifically examines the effects of the A-bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the radioactive materials=“fallout,” the atomic dust left by the experimentation of the atomic and hydrogen bomb. Director Kamei, born in Fukushima, said with strong beliefs half century ago: “The threats of fallout were made by men. That’s why they will be definitely removed if we put our minds to it.”

“Nine Days in One Year”
1961 / Soviet Union / 35mm / 108 minutes
Director Mikhail Romm

“What is drawn here probably will not happen in actuality–.” The film consi
sts of episodic nine days in one year after a nuclear power plant’s accident
in a small town. With splendid shots it depicts the human relationship of a yo
ung scientist exposed to radiation and the workers at the institution–a maste
rpiece of the Soviet films.

1979 / Soviet Union / 35mm / 163 minutes
Director Andrej Tarkovsky

In the near future there was an area called “zone” in a small country. “Peo
ple haven’t been able to get closer there for decades,” “those who approach
there never come back alive” the “zone” might remind us of a land contami
nated with radiation. It is said that Tarkovsky predicted the Chernobyler.

“Ikiteru uchiga hana nanoyo shin-dara sore madeyo tou sengen.
(We Swear! Life is like a Blooming Flower. But When You Die, That’s It.)”
1985 / Japan / 35mm / 105 minutes
Director Azuma Morisaki

Setting in a small town called Mihama, a string of nuclear power plants, the f
ilm portrays the anti-heroism in the life of the characters–touring-show danc
ers, the Yakuza, a queer high school teacher, a nuclear-power-plant “gypsy”
seeking jobs all over Japan. Mihama is in Fukui Prefecture, which holds thirte
en nuclear reactors, including in Mihama, in Takahama, in Ouii, and in Tsuruga,
the first commercial light-water reactor in Japan.

“Shouwa gunden 2: Tsuki no sabaku (The Life of Shouwa Gang of Robbers 2:
The Desert of Moon),” a.k.a. “Harenchi zetsugi technique”
1990 / Japan / 16mm / 62 minutes
Director Takahisa Zeze

A man working at a nuclear power plant was found dead as a drowned body. What
is a political conspiracy behind it? The movie includes many social elements:
Nuclear-power-plant “gypsy,” an old man of the right wing who insists “one
person at one party, and a suicide note by Koukichi Tsuburaya who is a medalis
t of Tokyo Olympic in 1964. These social elements blow up with coarse and bold
imagination of cinematic entertainment. The director impresses the end of the
“Shouwa” period upon the movie. It’s also a superb piece of the blue films!

“And Life Goes On…”
1991 / Iran / 35mm / 95 minutes
Director Abbas Kiarostami

Shortly after the major earthquake of Iran in 1990, the film director and his
son travel to the devastated area to look for the children who had appeared on
his film before. In the villages reduced to rubble, they found the survivors
have already started life again. With overwhelmingly exquisite images, the fil
m depicts the splendor of life. Image. Fukushima screened this long-awaited fi
lm first in Japan after 3.11.

“Gift of Life”
1999 / Taiwan / VIDEO / 142 minutes
Director Wu Yii-feng

Exchanging the letters with his friend, the director describes the grief of th
e people who have lost their families by the major earthquake of Taiwan in Sep
tember, 1999. He also depicts the relationship with his aged father living in
a nursing home. Death and separation, despair, and craving for living–.  

“Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said”
2005 / Japan / VIDEO / 137 minutes
Director Makoto Sat?

Through the interviews with Arabs and Israelis, the film explores Said’s life
, born in Palestine, living in New York in the later part of his life, and now
sleeping in Lebanon. Palestinian refugees exiling from the homeland and the J
ewish people trifled with by history?what kind of message can their testimony
convey to the people in Fukushima? In fact, the refugees from Fukushima are n
ow over 30,000 by the announcement of the local government.

“Hibakusha: At the End of the World”
2003 / VIDEO / color / 116 minutes
Director Hitomi Kamanaka

The invisible and intangible threat of the radioactive contamination–. With t
he cooperation of Dr. Shuntar? Hida, specialist of the treatment of “interna
l exposure,” the film approaches the astounding realities in Iraq and Hanford
in the Unite States. In the former, the depleted-uranium shells of the US Arm
y have jeopardized the children. In the latter, where plutonium has been produ
ced more than 50 years, the residents antagonize each other–those who believe
the radioactive contamination and those who don’t. Now we would learn a lot
from the true state of Hanford torn apart by the “invisible” conflicts.

“Tokyo genpatsu (Tokyo Nuclear Power Plant)”
2004 / Japan / 35mm / 110 minutes
Director Gen Yamakawa

‘A nuclear power plant suits Tokyo!’ With a command of Tokyo Governor, the p
roject of building Tokyo nuclear power plants has arisen. The uproarious argum
ents among the bureaucrats and the academics now sound sarcastic and severe.
Kouji Yakusho, the Tokyo Governor, turns on his charm with his favorite absurd

“The Rokkashomura Rhapsody”
2006 / VIDEO / color / 119 minutes
Director Hitomi Kamanaka

In 2004, a radioactive-waste-disposal plant was built in Rokkasho Village, Kam
ikita County in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern region of Japan. It was a part
of the major national project, which tried to remove plutonium from radioacti
ve waste of 54 reactors all over Japan. Most of the villagers have accepted th
e project, however, some of them, while insisting on the harmful influences, r
esist it to protect the rich nature of the land. The director Kamanaka empathi
zes with “each person” of protesters, such as a tulip farm Kikukawa-san and
an organic farm Tomabechi-san. The film would move us with such director’s ge
ntle gaze on the people.

“Flapping-of-Wings and the Earth’s Rotation”
“Ashes Ashes”
“Ashes to Honey”
2010 / HD / color / 135 minutes
Director Hitomi Kamanaka

The film describes the 28-year protests of the residents in Iwai Island in Yam
aguchi, southwestern region of Japan: they are against a nuclear-power plant e
xpansion project, and try to protect rare species and rich nature, with which
they have lived for a thousand years. It also approaches an energy policy in S
weden, which established a plan for a sustainable society and realized electri
c power liberalization: Some local communities independently supply with elect
ricity. The film expresses “hope,” a possible future for us.

“The Sketch of Mujou”
2011 / HD / color / 75 minutes
Director Kouichi Omiya

About a month after the Great East Japan Earthquake–. On the screen the film
represents spectacles of the aftermath of the earthquakes and the tsunamis. Th
ese images, without captions of dates and places, are never interpreted into
“information.” This documentary, completed and screened at the earliest amon
g others after the incident, aroused considerable interest in the audiences. I
t also raises a crucial question, together with the words of Buddhist priest Soukyu Genyuu living in Miharu-Machi, Fukushima: What on earth has our civiliza
tion all been for? Or, where will we go from here?

“Tsuchimoto Noriaki’s Nuclear Scrapbook”
“Genpatsu kirinukich? (A Scrapbook About Nuclear Power Plant)”
1982 / VIDEO / 45 minuts
Director Noriaki Tsuchimoto

The film only consists of newspaper clippings–a unique masterpiece by a leadi
ng Japanese documentary filmmaker Noriaki Tsuchimoto. It traces the atomic ene
rgy policy in Japan through the articles of the incidents, such as, the first
atomic bomb in Hiroshima, through radioactive fallout of the Lucky Dragon Inci
dent, to the nuclear power plants’ accidents.
Music by Yuji Takahashi and Suigyu Gakudan.
Narration by Shuichi Ozawa.

Films Directors

John Ford
(1894 – 1973)
Maine, United States
He is a master filmmaker who has personified American Cinema since the Silent
era to its Golden Age. A nostalgic theme resonates throughout his Westerns an
d family dramas featuring the Irish.

Fumio Kamei
(1908 – 1987)
Haramachi (presently Minami Soma), Fukushima, Japan
The maestro who left a deep impression on culture and documentary film in Japa
n; he was also a great pioneer of the environmental movement.

Mikhail Romm
(1901 – 1971)
Irkutsk, Russia
After researching cinema theory, he plays an active role in Mosfilm in the 193
0’s as a director. During the 1960’s he also worked on documentaries. Much
focus went into cultivating his juniors throughout his career.

Azuma Morisaki
b. 1927
Shimabara, Nagasaki, Japan
Since his 1969 directorial debut with “Kigeki: Onna wa dokyo. (Comedy: The W
oman has Courage),” his comedies of the common people’s humanity?dramatized
with his peculiar sense of action?have been deeply loved by movie fans.

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky
(1932 – 1986)
Zavrazhye, Soviet Union
With an imagination rooted in science fiction, his films possessed an aestheti
c sensibility that instills a delicate sense of the Classical Elements (water,
earth, air and fire). Much passionate support was gathered especially from o
ther artists.

Takahisa Zeze
b. 1960
Oita, Japan
Playing an active part as one of the “Four Heavenly Kings of Pink”, he has w
on a nearly charismatic popularity since his 1997 film “Raigyo: The Woman in
Black Underwear”. “Heaven’s Story” (2010) is considered one of his major

Abbas Kiarostami
b. 1940
Teheran, Iran
One of the great visionary film authors living today; his productions of easil
y going beyond the boundary between the artificial and the natural has continu
ed to surprise the world.

Yii-Feng Wu
b. 1960
Yi-Lan, Taiwan
His masterpieces are “Moon Children” (1990), “Chen Tsai-gen and His Neighbo
rs” (1997), etc. A leading pioneer of the public media movement in Taiwan, h
e’s also active in the field of screen education.

Hitomi Kamanaka
Toyama, Japan
A media activist who’s put effort into developing alternative filmmaking and
screenings. She has been a constant voice of warning on the actual conditions
and dangers of radioactive contamination. After the 3.11 East Japan Disaster
increasing attention is focused her way.

Gen Yamakawa
b. 1957
Yamagata, Japan
After employment at a major stock company, he goes into the motion picture wor
ld at age 26. Served as production assistant to Seijun Suzuki, and assistant
director to Juzo Itami and Masayuki Suo. Since “Karajishi Anego” (1994) h
e becomes active as a director.

Makoto Sato
(1957 – 2007)
Aomori, Japan
As director his debut work was the documentary “Living on the River Agano” (
1992). He left behind many fine works in his lifetime as one of the top docum
entary filmmakers representing Japan. Sato has also written and published his
theories on documentaries in abundance.

Koichi Omiya
b. 1958
Yamagata, Japan
His film “Tadaima: Sorezore no Ibasho” (2010) was awarded the Agency for Cul
tural Affairs’ movie prize for culture documentary film grand-prix. His work
boldly and earnestly gazes at a person’s place of life and death.