On March 11th 2011, a large M 9.0 earthquake hit off the coast of North Eastern Japan. The subsequent tsunami lead to one of the largest nuclear disasters since the advent of nuclear power production. Fast forward 3 years to March 11th 2014, and I am in the final stages of uprooting my life in Vancouver, BC to to move to Japan to start my Masters’ degree in agricultural economics at Tokyo University of Agriculture. Besides the usual anxieties of starting over in a new city, let alone new country, was the fear that I had no idea what future health effects would result from this decision to live less than 300 km away from where the meltdown occurred. Here I was, reading reports of the environmental consequences of the radioactive waste along the coast of North America, an ocean away, and I was going to move CLOSER to where a nuclear plant was continuing to spew out contaminated waste water?
A week before Christmas, I boarded a bus to Shimizu, a small town in the prefecture of Shizuoka, to visit a small family owned mikan (Japanese tangerine) farm. I was SUPER excited because:
a) I love visiting farms, especially family farms
b) I love citrus and think it would be a DREAM to have too much citrus to deal with
c) I hadn't done any farm work in a couple of months and my body was aching for some physical labour.
Emi Do: Exploring ideas in small scale agriculture: feasibility, viability, relevance and resilience.