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2nd Unit : 4th Conference on "A philosophy of post-Fukushima"

Kamanaka Hitomi, "Around the film Surviving Internal Exposure"


      The 4th meeting of the lecture series "Philosophy Post-Fukushima," hosted by the 2nd Unit of the IRCP, was held on Friday, October 19, at Hakusan Campus, Toyo University.

      Past lectures in the series have attempted to conceptually understand problems arising from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, and the following nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, with participation from philosophers and researchers; for this lecture, in contrast, we invited the film director Ms. Kamanaka Hitomi, who was actually engaged in the post-Fukushima situation, to show her film about the nuclear accident, « Surviving Internal Exposure » (2012), and speak; following her talk Prf. Miyamoto Hisayoshi, vice-director of the IRCP, commented on her film and lecture. Ms Kamanaka is a well-known director of Japan who has produced a number of documentary films on nuclear power and radiation, including « Hibakusha: At the End of the World » (2003), « Rokkasho Rhapsody » (2006), « Bees’ Buzz and the Rotation of Earth » (2010) and others, filmed not only in domestic locations such as Hiroshima and Rokkasho but also in countries including the US, Iraq, and Sweden; her films provides detailed accounts of damage suffered by children due to nuclear pollution and the reality of the nuclear industry.第4回「ポスト福島の哲学」講演会

      « Surviving Internal Exposure » was produced in response to the Fukushima nuclear accident and subsequent handling of the disaster. The film includes testimony from medical doctors who had been warning about the danger of internal exposure after Fukushima on the basis of the explosions at Hiroshima and Chernobyl; in addition, Ms. Kamanaka documents the lives of families who have continued to live in Fukushima. The film shows an uncompromsing picture of the times in which the victims and Japanese citizens now live.

      In the lecture that followed the film, Ms. Kamanaka talked about the motives behind her work on nuclear nuclear issues, the reality of nuclear pollution, and how we can understand "Fukushima" now, while raising some urgent questions. In particular, she focused on what she referred to as an "absence" of concern especially among young people in post-Fukushima Japanese society and emphasized the importance of critically examining the social divisions that had brought about this situation without reducing the problem to one of nuclear energy alone.

      Prof. Miyamoto's comments on the film and lecture started off by considering the problems of apathy and of data selection, and went on to point out fundamental concepts that came into play, such as "justice" and "sacrifice," drawing on his expertise in Indian philosophy and citing the Bhagavad Gītā and Mahatma Gandhi.

      Many people came to this event, including a number of Toyo sudents. Probably inspired by Ms Kamanaka’s lecture, several students asked questions and dared to express their opinions extremely candidly. Ms Kamanaka responded sincerely to these questions, and the lecture was a great success.