In 2013, I spoke with families and farmers trying to navigate a post-Fukushima food system. In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the nuclear disaster and the mess thereafter, I’m sharing their stories that I’d compiled into an unpublished academic paper.
Japanese kioke (lit. trans. wood oke) barrels are unique in that they are held together by bamboo hoops called taga. No glue, no nails. Just meters of bamboo that are intricately cut, angled, and woven to make sure that everything seamlessly maintains a circular shape. Over centuries of practicing, woven bamboo became the answer to the practical problem of creating salt-based seasonings in a humid climate. With metal, rust would creep into the fermented products. So how are these practices maintained today?
On March 11, 2001 the eastern seaboard of Japan was hit with a triple whammy of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. Its ill-effects still linger today. Nine years later, I reflect on the sewing cooperative of Minami Sanriku who remain resilient.
I’m taking a bath. Baths in Japan are a big deal; entire enclosures are dedicated to them here. A small hand appears behind the foggy glass door… Read more “Ofuro Time”