Interview: about my experience as an evacuee

This is an interview note when I talked about my experience as an evacuee.It’s a long note and not perfect English.but Please share it‼️ (Shimosawa Yoko)


Thank you for this opportunity

I wanted to tell our story to people outside Japan. so I’m glad getting this interview

I am a evacuee from the nuclear disaster in Japan
I evacuated Here in Kobe five years ago with my family from Tokyo not from Fukushima.

I have two children . One is a boy , he’s 16 and one is a girl , she is 13.

When the earthquake happened on 311 .They were 8years old and 5years old. I was living in Tokyo with my children and my husband.
There were a Play park in front of my house . Children can do a lot of things there .They can play with mud, or making fire and making Woodwork.

And when earthquake happened I was in the park with my daughter and her friends.
It was very surprising with the biggest earthquake I had ever experienced, and my husband was not able to come home from work, but returned the next day.  The earthquake was all about me for Tokyo.

A few days after the earthquake
When I heard that the nuclear power plant was in bad condition, it was not my problem.

The government issued evacuation instructions to people within 20 kilometers of the nuclear power plant
I thought it was a story unrelated to me
I used to be very ignorant about nuclear plants.

I trusted the radio information
And I trusted what the government says.
Many experts came out one after another and commented

Don’t panic

You must be afraid in the right way

Tokyo is 250 km away from the nuclear plant
The radiation will be diluted enough if it comes out.
There is no worry about a small amount of radiation

I was relieved and let the children play mud as usual
I did not change my life Style even a bit Since the accident

And after the accident I started to research and read books as if it was a wake-up call.
At the same time as I began to learn, my daughter’s physical condition was getting bad

She says,
“I feel sick. I have no strength left…”
“I”m woozy. I have a headache, I have a tummy ache, my legs hurt that I can’t walk, my hands are all in pain to my fingertips, I’m cold, my face is hot, Mummy I’m worn out”

Such condition started to bother her periodically after one year since the accident. It started to worsen and never seemed to get better.

Before the accident until she was five years old she was so cheerful and stronger than anyone she was always playing outside from the morning to night
It looked like she never got tired

I first started to connect my daughter’s change with the radiation issue after I’ve developed my knowledge about internal radiation exposure.

I was never sure.
It can’t be radiation exposure, In Tokyo?
No way.
I was always thinking alone

Doctors never took me seriously about having such concerns. They just chastised instead of giving any advice. My husband just laughed it off. He always ended up getting angry and we ended up fighting every time.

And three years after the accident her physical condition got very bad.
she has no day of strength.
She can’t go to school. She can’t play with friends. When it is bad, she can not go to the bathroom by herself.

At that time, I met a doctor who was working with the issue of radiation exposure in the metropolitan area. He said, if sick children are moved to the west away from contaminated eastern Japan, some of them could recover health.

He was saying that the blood  test results would be better

According to his examinations after the accident, the number of white blood cells of children living in the metropolitan area was decreasing. 

When I consulted the doctor about my daughter, he clearly stated that she was affected by the radiation exposure.
And he gave me advice to move my daughter to The place without Contamination.
First , we moved our daughter to Toyama, where my husband’s  parents house is.

Then there was a miracle.

Our daughter, whom we had to piggy bag to use the toilet, walked 15 minutes to the local beach and swam in a pool. It was only a few days after she arrived Toyama.

It was a miracle after a month of agony

The same miracle happened when we recuperated her in Okinawa, then in Kobe, to where we later relocated. Then she falls back again when she came back to Tokyo. Her condition would be back after a week. Sometimes it comes back as soon as the night she returned.

So we had no choice to stay in Tokyo
we just fled from Tokyo

We were lucky , we could leave all the family together. Many of evacuees from the kanto Or Metropolitan area , mothers and children made a hard decision to move without their fathers who could not give up work to feed the family. I am thankful that we did not have to suffer from such financial strife, it was an easy start in Kobe although we were totally strange to the area.

But more than anything, there is no word that can express how thankful I was to see my daughter coming back alive rapidly.

I wanted to scream all over the world that my daughter got well

And I started to think
So what was happening to her body?
Is something happening to our bodies?

After our relocation, we visited Mita Clinic in Okayama.
Dr. Mita who evacuated from Tokyo at the same time we did
We have been tested to see the effects of exposure to radiation
By taking those tests, I slowly got what seemed to be the answer to my question

There is a place called pituitary in the brain
This is so important place for our body
It controls various hormones

We have been testing the hormones that the site controls
From the test I began to know the impact of radiation exposure on our brain

Cortisol Hormone
Adrenocorticotropic hormone
Growth hormone somatomedin

Our three hormones often do not fall within the Standard value especially the daughter cortisol is always very low

This tendency can be seen among Those who evacuated from the metropolitan area of Tokyo, the
Doctor says
The worse the conditions are , the less cortisol is

After moving here, my daughter got well again.
For the past two years or so, she sometimes falls into symptoms  she suffered while in Tokyo,
This condition overlaps with what the doctor says that people are suffering from poor health Over the past couple of years.

Dr. Mita, however, says that more people are starting to suffer severe symptoms such as weakening of motivation, declined thinking and memory ability, and losing strength to fight against disease

Dr. Mita coined such symptoms as “Degradation of Abilities.”

They are the same symptoms people had after the nuclear bombs dropped
In Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Can we recover what had already been lost?
No one has the answer

I strongly hope to get it back if we can, and I want to refuse to be exposed or deprived any more.
Therefore I would like to work with many people.
But now we are running in the opposite direction.

Now a huge propaganda campaign is going on  in Japan to tell us radiation is safe.
People from the nuclear power industries have said that nuclear power plants are absolutely safe.  But they can’t say that it is absolutely safe after the accident.  now they are trying  to instill in us the story that radiation is safe together with the government.

It’s like true data is manipulated and covered up. Talking about health damage by radiation is a big taboo now.

At least people who were  in the eastern part of Japan, and who are still there have been all exposed to radiation.

Many people have fallen victim to the nuclear accident so the evacuees  find it difficult to speak up about this issue.
In any case, it appears that the government of Japan is trying their best to make people believe radiation itself does not exist.

And for many people it is much easier to accept their so that they can live at ease.

It’s It is getting harder and harder in Japan to say No to radiation exposure.

In Japan we may say No to nuclear power however it is getting harder
and harder to say No to radiation exposure.
This is truly sad. But we do not want to give up.

I’m just saying that please stop doing thisJust saying please stop hurting my child , please stop hurting us.I just got angry because my child was hurt.  I could see that my child was hurt.  I could not forgive.And I believe that this should not be forgiven.It is human beings who are doing this cruel thing, but it is also human beings who stop this.

So I work with a citizen organization against nuclear power, and as
evacuees, we will continue to say No to radiation exposure, share
information on health damages to others,ask people in the eastern part
of Japan to evacuate and support these activities.


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