One of Japan's largest holiday seasons is upon us now, post 3-11. It's called Golden Week, or Goruden Wiku in Japanese English, and it's one of the most anticipated holiday periods of the year from April 29th to May5th. There're several holidays during this period, but the most notable one is on April 29th, which is the Tenno's Birthday. I place extra emphasis on his birthday because of the symbolism he represents for the nation of Japan and for the spiritual unity of the Japanese nation. Images of the former Tenno Showa come to mind when he too stood amongst the millions in the ashes of the aftermath of devastation. Perhaps it was his image alone that offered solace and comfort to so many without hope.
I hope Japan's image can survive the type of senseless fallout caused by the media. Western news sources butchered Fukushima to pieces, so I feel as though I have a sort of mandate to correct the distortion of the facts by the media, so to speak. I say these things because I have been to Fukushima just as many or more times than the average traveller. I have camped out up there, I have bathed in some of its most exclusive natural hot springs. My Jukujo's mom lives out there. I have eaten all or most of its traditional cuisines. I love Fukushima. This prefecture of Japan is/was a bastion of abundant nature and greenery, so much so, it inspired me to publish my first book back in 2008. In my opinion, Tohoku is the Jewel of Japan.
Like Chernobyl, the stain of radioactive fallout may forever tarnish the image of this part of Japan - I hope not, we'll see. Let's clear one thing up for sure though, Fukushima is no Chernobyl! The Japanese are forgiving of their own on this one. Japan Agriculture and ordinary Japanese will continue to buy products from this area, and will support local farmers in these effected zones. This is a type of beauty not found in many countries where people are not governed by fear and smear, but by a collective will to do what's for the greater good and what's right even in the face of uncertainty. Western media cannot spread fear that deep here because Japanese are a sensible people at the worst of times; this is one of those times.
This Golden Week I hope to hear of media sources covering stories related to hope, restoration, and healing. I want to see Japanese and Non-Japanese visiting the effected areas and assisting with relief efforts, and whatever other services that can be offered. Golden Week is a time to rest and to reflect on the beauty of nature and life. Fukushima, in Tohoku Prefecture, is no Chernobyl. It is a great prefecture. We must all do our part to push back against the negativity and smear of the whole region by foreign and even local media outlets. This must be done in order to protect the image of northern Japan and its many beautiful prefectures. What happened at the Fukushima nuclear power plant happened at that plant and for the most part is under control and poses no threat. Chernobyl was a complete disaster in comparison with what happened in Fukushima.
FUKUSHIMA is no Chernobyl.