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.