Sunday, January 4, 2015

Don't Forget Fukushima - a farmers' perspective ONE NIGHT ONLY

Nearly four years have passed since that the fateful day in March 2011 when northern Japan was hit by massive earthquakes and tsunami. It was the beginning of the worst nuclear accident the humans have experienced. Though some of the scars from the natural disaster have been healed, the disaster continues at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. 
Though proclaimed "under control" by the prime minister Abe to win the Olympic games for 2020 in Tokyo, nothing is far from the truth. If you trust  words like this, and believe everything is back to normal, look harder. But who do we ask to find out what is going on in Japan? Our own Rick Tanaka will fill us in. Before settling in Hepburn, Rick spent nearly two years with the Fujimotos, before and after 3/11. Ironically,( for he was an original nuclear refugee from way back)  he was in Japan when Fukushima happened. He left Japan when there were only 22 reactors.  Mostly in radio, he made a number of programs on nuclear power, ended up an accidental nuclear traveller, having visited the "Europe's worst environmental disaster", a nuclear dumps near Siilamae in Estonia, numerous reactor sites in Japan, and the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu. 

Nukes and Quakes (Rolling Stone Aust, 1996)
Japan one year after the earthquake and tsunami (The Science show, ABC, Mar 10, 2012)

He will give an update on the state of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and the state of contamination in general. Nearly four years on, is it safe to be there? What about imported food from Japan? What can we Australians, do? Do we need to know?

HRN is extremely pleased to host the evening of community dinner (Japanese theme)with a visiting young farmer family from Japan in January. The Fujimotos are not from an ordinary background. They run the Kamogawa Shizen Okoku farm, one of the best known alternative farms in the country. The pioneering organic farm on the Boso peninsula, about 100kms east of Tokyo, was  established in early 1980s by a former radical student movement leader, Toshio Fujimoto. Toshio was the vanguard in the back to land movement as well re-connecting farmers and urban consumers. The farm is credited to be one of the first in the country (therefore in the world) to introduce a subscription farming and Community supported agriculture (CSA). 

Yae and Hiro grow rice in small paddies, totalling 1.5 ha, grow veg and run workshops and lectures on the farm. Both are highly regarded among the ecological conscious population. 

Yae, mother of three young children, not only farms but also has a successful singing career. Her mother, a household name in the country, Tokiko Kato also takes part in rice planting and harvesting at the farm.

Happy Birthday 311 (song commissioned by UNICEF Japan)

When? January 22nd 2015
What time?:7pm  
Where?: Daylesford Town Hall
Cost?: Dinner + event: $15 Bookings essential 
Presentations and music 8pm $10 at the door

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