Facing Fukushima: We Are Here

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 a 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 in August 2014.

These are the stories of the people of Fukushima who are challenging the odds as if to declare, “We are here.”

Obon dancers

“I thought about my purpose as a journalist. I’m there to witness something, and show it to people who can’t, so that perhaps change might happen.”

Two teachers in front of a classroom of students

Morier was one of the Facing Fukushima team members, and she returned to teach English.

Isalvatin

Yemenidjian combined what she learned in Fukushima into a larger reflection on the needs of people.

The Sugimoto Family that had to relocate

After the conclusion of this project, Gavin Mcintyre returned to Fukushima, Japan where he took these photos.

Isalvatin Fukushima neighborhood

Yemenidjian combined what she learned in Fukushima into a larger reflection on the needs of people.