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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Howard Watanabe-Jin shares his photo and story of Animal rescue in the No-go zone at Fukushima


My name is howard. This is a pic of an owl handed to me by a citizen patrol in Namie. I quit college to volunteer with 2 animal shelters in Fukushima. i have driven to the restricted zone i think about 12 times in 16 trips. Caroline and i obtained zone passes throught a mystery rescue woman named Mariko. I have driven through walls of rain, roads of snow.

I am by far no hero but a tourist who could not continue to read comments on facebook. There is a different world when you actually arrive in the Zone beit 10-20, or 30 km from Dai Ichi TEPCO.

Towns of Namie, Iidate and Futaba have been overtaken by the jungle . Wild boars have for 3 years busted open every farm house...and ravaged what were middle class and rural towns. Childrens bikes can still be found parked infront of low rise apartments.

Near this picture is a hair dresser. I talked to her that day of the owl rescue and she said there is only one person who comes to my shop for her thursday hair treatment. Everyone has left..no one wants to return. Its a ghost town. I mentioned to this woman who i am , my family situation, and why i am in Japan.

As i recall the drive through Fukushima was a rolling and curvy drive. Most of the roads are damaged and the curves are much sharper than those of which you would encounter on a Xbox game. Day and night is exactly like Jekyl and Hyde. Its pitch dark and the landscaped becomes filled with crickets chirping but not a sound of a bird. Day or night there are no birds.

Night brings ravaging wild boars. They can be heard approaching you like the thrashing of sugar cane plants. Yeah the mamma would give you the get back look as her piglets file past you.

All over Fukushima you can see the jungle strangle all signs of farm and human vehicles. Farm and older homes damaged by the March 11 Earthquake remain to this day as it was 3 years ago. Buildings and cars are marked with special markers to indicate if someone was found (not alive). Most towns now allow for limited resident return. These homes are well groomed and quite elaborate exemplifying i guess alot of wealth.

For one year a paper laid resting on a store front. i popped a 100 yen coin into the decaying newstand and i brought the paper home. We readers can get involved as part of the solution . Sure being crazy and actually going into the zone is not everyones cup of tea. However, online promotion of the real existence of radiation and suffering of animals and displaced refugees is the least i expect of rainbow warriors.

This Fukushima world disaster will be around way past the Abe Olympics. I know i will not be around but i know when i do pass from this life. I have done almost all i can do for Fukushima. I sold my car, lived a humble life working odd jobs. As mostly a self supporting single dad... my greatest supporter is my son. I will return again this year to bring home some animals. Sure i was going to start my woodworking business but the refugees and the ghost of the drowned victims of Tohoku cry out to me in my sleep.

All i ask of the rainbow readers is that you get involved and make some adjustments into your life to help others. Rescue a cat from a local shelter.

Whatever you do my readers make it be a tangible affect...upon a change . Though some company with me helping out in an animal shelter would be a bonus.

Owl rescue No one got this owl..he is no ones pow...hes free or was eaten by the crow...
Owl rescue No one got this owl..he is no ones pow...hes free or was eaten by the crow...

Full repost with Author permission

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