Japan Society Presents Fukushima: In Search of a Lost Future



Japan Society, NYC, Japan, Fukushima, mental health, ASAHIZA, Otomo Yoshihide, Dr. Shin-ichi Niwa, 3/11, 3.11, Japan earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown
Asahiza ©2013 ASAHIZA Production Committee

Fukushima: In Search of a Lost Future

Monday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Japan Society – 333 E. 47th Street (between First and Second Avenues)

Tickets: $12/$9 Japan Society members, students and seniors

Four years after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Fukushima Prefecture still faces a litany of challenges, especially from the ongoing crisis at the Daiichi nuclear power plant, which plagues farmers and fishermen, keeps 120,000 evacuees from returning home, and continues to flood the environment with fallout.

How do people heal and how does a community begin to repair itself when disaster looms so pervasively and presently years after the fact?

In Fukushima: In Search of a Lost Future, Japan Society presents an interdisciplinary evening that highlights what is happening and what is helping in Fukushima through disparate but interconnected points of view.

World-renowned composer and multi-instrumentalist Otomo Yoshihide, who grew up in Fukushima, is a vocal force on the plight of the prefecture. In addition to producing and taking part in many events in support of recovery since 2011, he recently produced the soundtrack to a haunting and lyrical documentary, ASAHIZA. While focusing on the decline and abandonment of a century-old cultural hub – one time a kabuki theater, one time a cinema, always a place for the community to come together enjoy Japanese art and life – the documentary subtly, though powerfully comments on the sense of irreversible loss and daunting uncertainty facing everyone in Tohoku after 3/11.

Dr. Shin-Ichi Niwa is a leading figure in mental health in Fukushima and deeply involved in disaster psychology. He experienced the Great East-Japan Earthquake in a hospital located in the Aizu District, Fukushima Prefecture, and his work hospital, Fukushima Medical University Hospital, was designated as the medical care foothold in the prefecture immediately after the earthquake. Since the disaster he has provided services for victims of the earthquake and nuclear power plant accident, visiting many shelters in Fukushima Prefecture. He is a co-founder of Kokoro no Care Nagomi (KCN), a community-based mental health clinic in Soma, Fukushima, which has become a model for mental health services in Japan. KCN is supported by Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.

Fukushima: In Search of a Lost Future opens with the international premiere screening of ASAHIZA, introduced by Otomo, followed by a dialogue between Otomo and Dr. Niwa exploring loss of physical space, time and memory, and the general ramifications of the mental health of citizens living in Fukushima. The discussion will be followed by a reception.

To purchase tickets, please visit Japan Society’s website or call the Box Office at 212.715.1258.