Facing Fukushima: We Are Here

Dilena Takeyama Center Closure

Since it was founded in 2010, the Dilena Takeyama Center at San Francisco State University has provided rich and unique opportunities for students to learn about U.S. and Japan relations. With the conclusion of the center's funding and after careful consideration, San Francisco State retired the center effective September 1, 2021.

SF State is thankful for the community’s support for the center throughout all these years and looks forward to supporting other academic offerings related to the field of Japan–U.S. relations.


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.”

Kazuya Sato

Kazuya Sato, 21, is a graduate student at Tokyo University. He changed his career path after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Tokiko Sugimoto

Portraits of people who have dedicated their lives to rebuilding and revitalizing their communities after the Fukushima disasters.

Ali Budner Fukushima Produce

Reporter Ali Budner joined the Dilena Takeyama Center tour of Fukushima to examine issues of food safety

opening shot from Washed Away

Kayo Tadano describes how her grandfather perished when the tsunami swept through their home in Soma City.

Toshihiko Takahama

Principal Takahara Toshihiko explains that families are torn over what to do about Tomoya Jr. High School.

Rajio Taiso

Kaneko Eiko hopes to get people back on their feet & bring them joy by teaching exercise to those in and out of temporary housing.