Heaviness and Lightness of One Year:

Book Review by OKANO Yayo

The title of this book Challenged by 3.11: An Examination about People’s Experience was very impressive.  I was abroad on March 11 of 2011 and spent the following days in Kansai (western Japan). It so happens that I was also overseas as a student when Hanshin Awaji Earthquake hit the Kansai area in 1995, and I have experienced big earthquakes only from TV news and newspapers. 

Thus, I have yet to acquire the sense of what actually happened and what this actually entails for the people affected by them.  One could visit the devastated areas and attempt to meet with people personally to get a sense of how their lives were touched, but I rather hesitate to do so as I doubt that this would be sufficient to really understand what happened to them.

The alternative is to get a sense of their experience little by little through books. So, as the title of this book suggests, I feel challenged by the earthquake and the nuclear plant disaster to question how I am going to live in the post 3.11 Japanese society.

This book conveys the voices of people on the spot through two reports “From the Site of Tsunami” and “From the Site of Evacuation Camp.”  It also includes discussions among writers about Tsunami and nuclear power plant, followed by essays by those writers. 

Original article on the WAN website (April 13, 2012)

Translated and adapted from the WAN website by FUKUOKA A.A.

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