Boo-hoo-hoo Fukushima Diary, Part 9

Amid ongoing evacuation, daughter concerned about her mother

Cesium was detected in the school lunches at my daughter’s elementary school in the town to which she has evacuated. It was only a trace amount, but it was reported on the news, and the school also sent a note home to the parents. We have already been exposed externally to radiation from the atmosphere and from the food we eat. That’s not what stands out in my memory.

My elder daughter, who brought the note home from school, repeatedly asked me not to get worked up about it and grill her mother. She was nearly in tears as she repeated this.

I drew a cartoon about this in March as well, but my wife and I have had dreadful quarrels about this many times. Mostly we chose times when our daughters weren’t around, but in many cases there were emotional outbursts. Even though they haven’t witnessed these quarrels, our daughters are acutely aware of the emotionally charged differences between their parents.

I’m aware that I have a low boiling point since the disaster. Before, I would get angry at myself for not getting angry.

Our life as evacuees at my parents’ home has been going on for 16 months. We can’t stay there forever. My daughter said nothing about the fact that she probably consumed cesium. She simply repeatedly asked me not to take it out on her mother.

(Originally published on September 11, 2012)