The residents from Fukushima Prefecture, most of whom are still unable to go home due to radiation issues from the nearby crippled nuclear plant, are putting up a photo collection of their old homes to preserve the memory for the future generations. Most of the areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are still designated as “difficult-to-return” zones, three years after the incident that is considered one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters.
Residents from the Akogi District of Namie are putting up the pictures of at least 100 houses of the approximately 260 residents who were forced to move to Hokkaido, Tokyo or other parts of the prefecture. According to the chief administrator, 69-year-old Yoshito Konno, even though they can’t return right now and probably not in their lifetime, they want the photo collection to encourage future generations to come back to their original homes someday. “I just can’t sit and ignore our hometown vanishing away,” he told his fellow evacuees when he shared with them his idea of the photo collection in February last year.
When they were allowed to temporarily return to their hometown last year, he and the six other administrators of their district made it a point to take photos of the residences. Instead of feeling angry, what he felt was a sense of helplessness when he saw his hometown overrun with greenery and damaged by wild animals. Each household will be given two pages in the photo collection, where they can put pictures of their houses and neighborhood for every season, as well as family photos that were taken before the March 2011 disasters.
As of now, 70% of the residents have expressed interest and even sent essays already. One of the submissions said that their village has a “family-like bond” and it is something they want future generations to understand and come back to. Konno believes that the collection, expected to be finished by next year, is the first step towards the reconstruction of their hometown.
[ via Mainichi ]