Dilena Takeyama Center Launches 'Facing Fukushima' Website

May 3, 2015
Photo of damaged ship
A landlocked ship symbolizes the destruction caused by the tsunami that ravaged Fukushima in 2011. Photograph by Gavin McIntyre


What is it like to live in the aftermath of disaster?

For the people of Fukushima, it means sleepless nights recalling the punishing jolt and “Iron Wave” that ravaged their homes and families.

It means living in limbo and worrying about radiation contamination.

And yet, post-disaster life also is at time to find new jobs, to raise children and to carry on treasured community customs.

This is what a group of San Francisco State University students learned during a reporting trip to Japan. The stories told by disaster survivors are filled with elements of tragedy and trauma, but also recovery and resilience. Now the stories are available online at a special project website, Facing Fukushima: We Are Here.

The project was organized by the Dilena Takeyama Center in collaboration with the Ambassadors Program of the Fukushima University International Center. Funding was provided by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

The students in the project were Guadalupe González, Gavin McIntyre, Corinne Morier, Lorisa Salvatin, Debbie Svoboda and Natalie Yemenidjian. The team was joined by Ali Budner, a reporter with KALW Public Radio. Project leaders were Jon Funabiki, a professor of journalism and executive director of the Dilena Takeyama Center, and Sachi Cunningham, an assistant professor of journalism.