Final month of Red Kimono In The Window

Red Kimono In The Window at Conway Hall ends on 31st August 2016.

This installation of eight of the thirty portraits, with text and booklets, opened in March 2016, to mark the 5th year of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

The accompanying booklets, are available for visitors to take, free of charge, in the Conway Hall Entrance on Red Lion Square, or by post if you send a request to:



Red Kimono booklet – version 4

Version 4 was produced in the UK for the Red Kimono In The Window installation at Conway Hall, London, 1st March – 31st August 2016, for visitors to take away, free of charge.

The contents are the same as version 1 – containing the English translations of the letters, memoirs and speech by evacuees from Fukushima and excerpts from the statements by ’50 complainants for the criminal prosecution of the Fukushima nuclear disaster’ in the e-book  titled: Fukushima Radiation: Will You Still Say No Crime Was Committed?More about the statements here.

The cover of version 4 now includes information about Osaka-based organisation  Thanks and Dream, The Great East Japan Earthquake & Nuclear Disaster Evacuee Association  of which Akiko Morimatsu (pictured on the back cover) is a key member.

Booklets are available in the Conway Hall Entrance on Red Lion Square, or by post if you send a request to:


Red Kimono Evening @ Conway Hall, Friday 13th May


An evening of live music, film, poetry and a talk about Fukushima to mark the the 5th anniversary of the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Friday 13th May 2016: 18:00-22:00

Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

Facebook event page:

All Welcome!

Free event but donations are welcome: all proceeds will go to charities helping children who have been affected by the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe.

The evening is curated by Lis Fields as part of her Red Kimono project.

18:00 Doors open, drinks served, short films

19:00 Talk: Dr Ian Fairlie, independent consultant on radioactivity will talk about Fukushima followed by Q&A

20:00 Musical performances by Atsuko Kamura, Iris Ederer, Simon Kobayashi of Smallgang, and Melvin Ashong

Poetry reading by Ann Garrett


Eight of the thirty Red Kimono portraits, and a poster bearing explanatory text, are on display in the Conway Hall  window which looks onto Theobalds Road , a busy road in central London, from March 4th – August 31st 2016.


Sarasa’s story: evacuation from Tokyo

The following is an extract from The Wind from Okinawa to Fukushima , a conversation with Reverend Yuichi Kamoshita and Sarasa Aihara, while they were in London during their 2016 The Wind From Okinawa speaking tour of Europe. 


L-R: Rev. G Nagase, Sarasa Aihara, Rev. Yuichi Kamoshita, London 2016

Y (Yuichi):  You can hear Sarasa’s story. She used to live in Tokyo when Fukushima happened. She was working in an office. At that time she was kind of an ordinary lady but she “woke up”. Maybe she can explain the people’s feeling about nuclear power. I will translate:

311 in Tokyo: fear, confusion, contamination and denial

S (Sarasa)/Y: She was in Tokyo when Fukushima exploded. She was watching unbelievable scenes on the TV screen – the tsunami but also the explosion of the reactor. The first Monday after the Fukushima disaster or explosion, she was so scared, so afraid to go out that she couldn’t go to the office.

L: Was she scared of the radioactivity in the air?

S/Y: She was scared, not only of the radiation, but of the situation that was so – it felt like the end of the world. Watching it on TV, the disaster just kept going on.

L: Was it very chaotic in Tokyo – were lots of people scared?

S/Y: For the first few days people were so confused. But when she went to the office on Tuesday people just behaved normally, in an ordinary way. When they heard news on the internet or TV about the radioactive materials coming through Tokyo, of course people thought about wearing a mask. So she was wearing a mask and her office friends asked her “why are you wearing a mask?” When she answered “because of the radiation” her office friends just laughed. And her boss told her that in this critical situation in Japan “we have to work much harder so Japan can get back to ordinary days.

L: To ‘recover’?

S/Y: Yes

L: What kind of company were you working for?

S/Y: She was a housing agent for students.

L: So you think a lot of people felt they had to be brave and strong?

S/Y: It’s not that people are strong, they just try to forget the Fukushima or try to forget the radiation, and get back to their normal everyday lives.

L: Pretend it didn’t happen?

S/Y: Yes

L: And there’s another word we use – denial. You deny the reality in order to be able to survive. It’s a huge psychological burden.

S/Y: Even the TV companies were showing variety shows, comedies, nothing serious …

L: … to cheer people up, to distract them?

S/Y: Yes.

Power cut, traffic jams, “river of people”

L: Did you have a power cut in Tokyo after the accident?

S/Y: Electricity was only cut for 24 hours.

L: that must have been frightening by itself, and stressful.

S/Y: Yah, especially in Tokyo. She was working outdoors on March 11. The train stopped running after the earthquake so she couldn’t get back home. There were thousands of people who were working outdoors who couldn’t get back to their home or office and all the cars had stopped.

L: Traffic jams?

S/Y: Yes, traffic jams. And just people, people everywhere, coming outside of the buildings or trains or cars. So like a carpet, a river of people.

L: Did the food run out – in the stores? Did people ‘panic-buy?’.

S/Y: Yes even in the convenience stores all the food ran out.

L: Were you told not to drink Tokyo tap water for a while?

S/Y: No, she was not told that.

Radiation ‘hotspot’ in north east Tokyo

L: Which part of Tokyo did you live in then?

S/Y: The north east Tokyo. There’s a high level of radiation there.[9]

L: There’s a hotspot?

S/Y: Yes, there was a hotspot where she was living.

L: I read that they warned mothers not to feed their babies tap water. But they didn’t tell everyone else?

S/Y: No. Her mother was pretty much aware of the nuclear issue before Fukushima happened so she told Sarasa about nuclear, about radiation. At that time Sarasa san was not aware of nuclear power or radiation so she does not remember what her mother told her

L: Well it’s complicated and hard to understand at first. It takes a while.

S/Y: Yes. When she started to research nuclear radiation, she understood the danger of radiation so she decided to move out of Tokyo and told to her friends ‘its dangerous’. But her friends denied it. They didn’t want to hear.

L: Well it’s very difficult to leave your life, your friends, your home, your job because of something that’s invisible that may or may not hurt you.

S/Y: If the people, her friends, don’t understand or know about this reality, then they can live a happy life.

L: Yes, but there will be something, a little knowledge because you told them, a little bit pushed away somewhere.

S: Umhum.

L: When did you leave Tokyo?

S: January 2012, to my hometown of Ogasarawa.

Y: She was born in Ogasarawa Island – it’s like Okinawa, it’s very far away.

L: And you have family there?

S: Yes.

L: So you had somewhere to go, some connection.


NE metropolitan Tokyo area, Ogasawara & Okinawa marked with red dots

Health problems after 311

S/Y: After the accident she had a tumour. Inside the chest.

L: Lung?

S: no, no, no. …

S/Y: Breast. And in the Uterus.

L: Was the tumour in your breast a cancerous tumor or benign?

S/Y: Benign

L: And not spreading – just staying there?

S/Y: It got bigger – bigger and bigger. So when the tumor got bigger and bigger, the pressure on her lung was a danger to her body so she had a surgery to take it out.

L: And the tumour in your uterus? Is it still there?

S/Y: Yes

L: But not cancer?

S/Y: Not cancer

L: Fibroid maybe?

S/Y: Polyp.

L: Do you think your health condition – in your breast and uterus – was to do with the Fukushima radioactivity?

S/Y: I cannot say for sure that it’s connected. But just after the Fukushima accident, March 11, I was also trying not to think about the radiation. So I was living my usual lifestyle and maybe during that time I was exposed to the radiation, so now I think it’s connected.

L: If you already had a tumor before the Fukushima catastrophe then perhaps your exposure to radiation made it worse?

S: Umhum.

Happy now – it’s easier living with the truth

L: Are you still in touch with your friends in Tokyo?

S/Y: Yes

L: And you talk about Fukushima and radiation with them?

S/Y: Laughs – No

L: No point?

S/Y: Because she’s very cheerful compared to her Tokyo life, and she looks happy, the people are very interested – why are you so happy?

L: Because you feel safe — and strong?

S/Y: Mmm.

L: And is your lifestyle better now?

S/Y: Since I started living with watching the truth of what’s happening in the world, it’s much better, much easier to live.


Sarasa Aihara and Rev. Yuichi Kamoshita in  Okinawa

The government is the ‘dog’ of the nuclear corporations

 L: Why do you think the government wants to tell everyone it’s ok and safe? And you (Yamoshita) can tell me what you think about this too!

S/Y: She says there was like a turning point for Japan, for the Japanese government. The truth of the power, the truth of the government, could be seen at that time. Then the government tried to hide it by telling lies, that everything is ok. But nuclear power and radiation is so dangerous to the environment and the people, and if people knew this reality they will maybe speak up and stand up against the government. So they try to hide it.

L: What do you think about the government’s relationship with the corporate or should I say the nuclear industry – do you think they work together?

S/Y: The government is the dog of kaiisha (corporation).

L: Dog?

K: Dog – woof-woof – of the corporation.

L: Yes, the ‘lapdog’. That’s what some of us here think as well. Not just with nuclear but with fracking, with oil, and gas and the war machine too.

S/Y: Mmm!

L: … GMO & big pharmaceutical companies.

S: Mmm, mmm!

S/Y: How do you call it – ‘lap dog?’

L: We say ‘lapdog’ , a little dog that does what it’s told, an obedient little dog like a little pet, not a guard dog, but a passive dog.

S/Y: Many government officials after they retire from government jobs they go to (work for) the companies.

L: Same here. There’s a very close relationship between government and the corporations.

S/Y: In the case of Henoko also – they give construction work to the corporations (with executives) who used to be inside of the government.

L: Yes. Which is very unhealthy.

Y: Oh yeah!

L: It’s not democratic …

S/Y: No

L: … the way the government is influenced so heavily by the corporations.

Y: Umhum.

L: But this is a worldwide problem, I think.

Y: Yeah.

L: And there are the two other parts – the military, and the banking – they’re part of the same, uh, ‘mess’. Would you agree with that?

Y/S: Um, I think so!

L: If we had world peace, we wouldn’t need military, we wouldn’t then need nuclear power.

S/Y: Yes.

Japan Diary 2016, Fukushima+5, Part 7. These women are pissed.


The post-Fukushima period is generating oceans of data, but much of it is useless. These women generate their own, but want more solid data than the government has been willing to provide. The post-Fukushima period is generating oceans of data, but much of it is useless. These women generate their own, but also want more solid data than the government has been willing to provide.

Don’t get me wrong: These women are pissed! (My word not theirs.) And they have every right to express that, even in Japan, at least according to its constitution.

I cannot leave Japan without peeling back the layer of sticky rice and sweet bean paste that keeps the victims of Tepco’s iodine, cesium and strontium on their feet.

One woman from Fukushima, who I met in Kyoto, said to me: “I am not as good as a guinea pig! They take tests from a guinea pig, but they don’t even test me.” She has thyroid cancer. There is a bias, since Chernobyl, toward focusing on thyroid cancer in children as a radiation impact. This is in part…

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Some shots of RK in the window @ Conway Hall

The window looks onto Theobald’s Road, a busy road in Holborn, central London. Marking the 5th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, the installation will be in place until 31st May 2016.





The text in the window: