Amid invisible terror, we were witnesses

MAEDA Arata: member of Fukushima Farmers’ Alliance, resident of Aizumisato, Fukushima Prefecture

Translated by Andrew Barshay, Professor of History, University of California Berkeley.  Editied by Fusako de Angelis


Amid invisible terror, we were witnesses

Assaulted by invisible terror

Even now, after four months

We remain driven from our birthplace, our hometown

At Level 7, with no change in the situation

Tens of thousands of livestock starved to death

In the deserted villages.

Only the stink from their corpses rises into the air

Across the mountains and rivers of our native land

Stolen by something that will not show itself,

The seasons pass, as if nothing at all had happened

There, where the cuckoo cries,

can it be only in our dreams

That we toil and sweat?

There, where we cannot even set foot!

Once, long ago, it was our country’s policy

that we were driven to Manchuria

There, after our country’s defeat, we were ordered to commit mass suicide

To escape back home we had to abandon our children

And now, as then, these homes of ours

are destroyed as our country’s grand plans again collapse in ruin

This time, although it’s a slow death that takes its time in coming

Just as on that day, isn’t it forced collective suicide all over again?

Isn’t it the human experiments of Unit 731 all over again?

Friends, friends, we can’t just stand here grieving and crying,

Over these four month’s, amid invisible horror,

What we have witnessed with our own eyes

Is the true face of terror that says:

No matter what,

For profit’s sake, the reactors must stay on

All right then!  If that’s how it is

We’re ready to take them on,

for the sake of our children and their children

Just like the Kanto Army before them,

these bastards hid the facts,

and were the first to run from danger.

And now they wear an innocent face

and prattle on, about safety and reconstruction

No way will we let them take these lives so easily!

Oh friends, friends. My dead friends.

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