Boo-hoo-hoo Fukushima Diary, Part 2

Locally grown vegetables: Different reactions

It takes nerve to draw cartoons about the situation in Fukushima because no matter how you depict it, there’s likely to be controversy. And it takes even more nerve for someone like me who lives in the city of Fukushima to portray it, because I know a lot of people.

From the point of view of local farmers and merchants, not eating vegetables grown in Fukushima out of consideration for your children’s health is problematic. On the other hand, from the point of view of parents who are concerned about their children’s health, eating lots of locally grown products seems scary.

Even if we’re told that only products that have met provisional standards for radiation are being marketed, some parents are still phobic because they don’t think the measurements can be trusted. On the other hand, some parents are not concerned about this issue at all.

Today’s cartoon is about children in the city of Fukushima who don’t want to eat locally grown vegetables. I expect some people will be critical of this cartoon, feeling that it will hurt sales of vegetables from Fukushima. But this cartoon depicts something I actually witnessed. The fact is that in the city of Fukushima there is a mix of people who worry and people who don’t.

Cartoon and essay by Shuji Akagi, a high school teacher in the city of Fukushima. After the disaster on March 11, 2011, he sent his two elementary school-age daughters to live with their grandparents in the city of Aizu Wakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture.

(Originally published on February 14, 2012)