DECONTAMINATION GHOSTS _ a performance poem by Yuri Kageyama (excerpt from “NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet”

Mounds of bags in Fukushima

Mounds of bags called “flexible containers,” or “fle-con,” in Fukushima. Photo by Yuri Kageyama.

DECONTAMINATION GHOSTS a performance poem by Yuri Kageyama an excerpt from “NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet” being performed at Z Space in San Francisco July 8-9, 2017. Written by Yuri Kageyama. Directed by Carla Blank. Performed by Takemi Kitamura, Monisha Shiva and Shigeko Sara Suga with Music by Melvin Gibbs, Isaku Kageyama and Kouzan Kikuchi. Lighting by Blu. Film by Yoshiaki Tago.

(with video and Drum and Fue, as in Kabuki Ghost scenes)

(In English speak normally, quickly)
Flexible Container
(Chant very slowly in Japanese, both voices together)
Fooh reh kooh she boo rew
Kon tay nah
Fooh reh kooh she boo rew
Kon tay nah
Fooh reh kooh she boo rew
Kon tay nah

Decontamination Efforts in Fukushima. Photo by Yuri Kageyama.

Decontamination Efforts in Fukushima. Photo by Yuri Kageyama.

Flexible Container
Foo reh kon
Foo reh kon
Foo reh kon
(One voice starts counting slowly and keeps counting slowly in Japanese. Overlay as the other voice starts, with the slow mechanical Japanese chant)
Hitotsu Futatsu Mittsu Yottsu Itsutsu Muttsu Nanatsu ….
Foo reh kon
Foo reh kon
Foo reh kon
Fooh reh kooh she boo rew
Fooh reh kooh she boo rew
Fooh reh kooh she boo rew
Kon tay nah
Kon tay nah
Kon tay nah
(fade out)

Note to readers: The Japanese government is backing expensive projects for giant shovels to scrape off topsoil in a stretch of land as big as the state of Massachusetts, and storing them in plastic bags, mounds and mounds of them _ 13 million flexible containers by the official count _ so areas in Fukushima can be declared safe enough for people to come back and live. This wasn’t attempted in Chernobyl, or any place in the world. The government is ending aid in March for those who evacuated from the areas being declared safe after decontamination. Before the 2011 nuclear accident, the government used to set the safe limit for radiation exposure at about 1 millisievert a year. But these days health experts are saying the definitive link with cancer is detected scientifically at 100 millisieverts a year or higher, and so Fukushima people at most will be exposed to far less at under 20 millisieverts, which, they say, would be safe.

Decontamination efforts in Fukushima

Decontamination efforts in Fukushima. Photo by Yuri Kageyama.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: MEDITATION ON AN UNDER-REPORTED CATASTROPHE BY A POET _ at Z Space, San Francisco July 8 – 9, 2017

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet


NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA
Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet

Written by Yuri Kageyama | Directed by Carla Blank
Z Space 450 Florida St. San Francisco CA 94110
SAT July 8, 2017 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
SUN July 9, 2017 2 p.m.
$10 admission (free with student ID)
Discussion with audience and cast after each show.
For tickets and other information, please click on this special Z space site.

“Yuri Kageyama, with her epic poem, has earned a place among the leading world poets. This work proves that the poet as a journalist can expose conditions that are ignored by the media.” _ Ishmael Reed

“A commentary on what it means to be human in the 21st Century.” _ Basir Mchawi

“A beacon of light in a darkening world.” _ Paul Armstrong

“Tough yet faithful production and its dedication to truth-telling.” _ David Henderson

“The nuclear age of post-World War II Japan has never ended.” _ Hisami Kuroiwa

The performers in NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: From left to right: Shigeko Sara Suga, Monisha Shiva, Takemi Kitamura (photo by Tennessee Reed)

The performers in NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: From left to right: Shigeko Sara Suga, Monisha Shiva, Takemi Kitamura (photo by Tennessee Reed)

Fukushima is the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. It will take decades and billions of dollars to keep the multiple meltdowns under control. Spewed radiation has reached as far as the American West Coast. Some 100,000 people were displaced from the no-go zone. But, six years after 3.11, the story hardly makes headlines.

Journalist Yuri Kageyama turns to poetry, dance, theater, music and film, to remind us that the human stories must not be forgotten. Carla Blank, who has directed plays in Xiangtan and Ramallah, as well as collaborated with Suzushi Hanayagi and Robert Wilson, brings together a multicultural cast of artists to create provocative theater. Performing as collaborators are actors/dancers Takemi Kitamura, Monisha Shiva, Shigeko Sara Suga and musicians Stomu Takeishi, Isaku Kageyama, Kouzan Kikuchi and Joe Small. Lighting design by Blu. Documentary video of Fukushima by Yoshiaki Tago.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA is a literary prayer for Japan. It explores the friendship between women, juxtaposing the intimately personal with the catastrophic. The piece, which had a debut run at La MaMa in New York in 2015, continues to develop and premieres on the West Coast at Z Space in San Francisco.

For more information, interviews and other queries:
Please click on Contact

BIOS OF THE ARTISTS:
THE PLAYWRIGHT

Yuri Kageyama. Photo by Junji Kurokawa.

Yuri Kageyama. Photo by Junji Kurokawa.

YURI KAGEYAMA is an award-winning journalist, poet, songwriter, filmmaker and author of “The New and Selected Yuri” and “The Very Special Day.” Her spoken-word band the Yuricane has featured Melvin Gibbs, Eric Kamau Gravatt, Morgan Fisher, Pheeroan akLaff and Winchester Nii Tete. She is published in ”Breaking Silence,” “On a Bed of Rice,” “Pow Wow,” Cultural Weekly, Y’Bird, Konch and Public Poetry Series. http://yurikageyama.com/

THE DIRECTOR

Carla Blank

Carla Blank

CARLA BLANK is a writer, editor, director, dramaturge and a teacher and performer of dance and theater for more than 50 years. She worked with Robert Wilson to create “KOOL _Dancing in My Mind,” inspired by Japanese choreographer Suzushi Hanayagi. She directed Wajahat Ali’s “The Domestic Crusaders” from a restaurant reading in Newark, California, to Off Broadway and the Kennedy Center. http://www.carlablank.com/bio.htm

THE ACTORS

TAKEMI KITAMURA, choreographer, dancer, puppeteer, Japanese sword fighter and actor, appeared in “The Oldest Boy” at Lincoln Center, “The Indian Queen” directed by Peter Sellars; “Shank’s Mare” by Tom Lee and Koryu Nishikawa V; “Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed” by Dan Hurlin and “Memory Rings” by Phantom Limb Co. She has worked with Nami Yamamoto, Sondra Loring and Sally Silvers. http://takemikitamura.com/

Takemi Kitamura

TAKEMI KITAMURA (CENTER). PHOTO BY TENNESSEE REED.


Monisha Shiva

MONISHA SHIVA. PHOTO BY TENNESSEE REED.

MONISHA SHIVA is an actor, dancer, choreographer and painter, appearing in “The Domestic Crusaders” and “The Rats,” for theater, and independent films such as “Small Delights,” “Carroll Park,” “Echoes” and “Ukkiya Jeevan.” A native New Yorker, she has studied classical Indian dance and Bollywood, jazz and samba dancing, and acting at William Esper Studios and Studio 5. http://www.monishashiva.com/Monisha/home.html

Shigeko Suga

SHIGEKO SUGA (LEFT). PHOTO BY TENNESSEE REED.


SHIGEKO SARA SUGA, actress, director, artistic associate at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and Flamenco and Butoh dancer, has performed in 150 productions, including Pan Asian Rep.’s “Shogun Macbeth” and “No No Boy.” She dedicates her performance to her nephew Ryoei Suga, who volunteered in Kesennuma after the 2011 tsunami and now devotes his life there as a fisherman and monk. www.shigekosuga.com

THE MUSICIANS

Stomu Takeishi

STOMU TAKEISHI is a master of the fretless electric bass and has played and recorded in a variety of jazz settings with artists such as Henry Threadgill, Brandon Ross, Myra Melford, Don Cherry, Randy Brecker, Satoko Fujii, Dave Liebman, Cuong Vu, Paul Motian and Pat Metheny. He tours worldwide and performs at various international jazz festivals.

Isaku Kageyama. Photo by Koji Sasahara. ISAKU KAGEYAMA. PHOTO BY KOJI SASAHARA.

ISAKU KAGEYAMA is a taiko drummer and percussionist, working with Asano Taiko UnitOne in Los Angeles, film-scoring extravaganza “The Masterpiece Experience” and Tokyo ensemble Amanojaku. A magna cum laude Berklee College of Music graduate, he teaches at Wellesley, University of Connecticut and Brown. http://isakukageyama.com/

Kouzan Kikuchi

KOUZAN KIKUCHI. PHOTO BY JUNJI KUROKAWA.

KOUZAN KIKUCHI, shakuhachi player from Fukushima, studied minyo shamisen with his mother. A graduate of the Tokyo University of the Arts, he studied with National Treasure Houzan Yamamoto. He has worked with Ebizo Ichikawa, Shinobu Terajima and Motoko Ishii. In 2011, he became Tozanryu Shakuhachi Foundation “shihan” with highest honors.

JOE SMALL is a taiko artist, who is a member of Eitetsu Hayashi’s Fu-un no Kai and creator of the original concert, “Spall Fragments.” A Swarthmore graduate, he apprenticed for two years with Kodo, researched Japanese music as a Fulbright Fellow and holds an MFA in Dance from UCLA. He teaches at the Los Angeles Taiko Institute. www.joesmalltaiko.com

Joe Small

THE LIGHTING DESIGNER

BLU lived in New York for 20 years and was resident designer at the Cubiculo and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. A Bessie Award winner, he was lighting designer for renowned dance theater artists such as Sally Gross, Eiko and Koma, Ping Chong, Donald Byrd, Nancy Meehan and Paula Josa Jones.

THE FILMMAKER

YOSHIAKI TAGO

YOSHIAKI TAGO

YOSHIAKI TAGO directed “A.F.O.,” “Believer,” “Worst Contact,” “Meido in Akihabara.” His short “The Song of a Tube Manufacturer” won the runner-up prize at the Yasujiro Ozu Memorial Film Festival in 2013. He serves as film adviser for Takashi Murakami. He has worked with Nobuhiko Obayashi, Takashi Miike and Macoto Tezuka. He is documenting “News from Fukushima” as a film.

fukushima
Yuri Kageyama reports with a photographer in the Fukushima no-go zone. Photo by Kazuhiro Onuki.


What people are saying about NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: MEDITATION ON AN UNDER-REPORTED CATASTROPHE BY A POET.

Yuri Kageyama, with her epic poem, has earned a place among the leading world poets. This work proves that the poet as a journalist can expose conditions that are ignored by the media. _ Ishmael Reed poet, essayist, playwright, publisher, lyricist, author of MUMBO JUMBO, THE LAST DAYS OF LOUISIANA RED and THE COMPLETE MUHAMMAD ALI, MacArthur Fellowship, professor at the University of California Berkeley, San Francisco Jazz Poet Laureate (2012-2016).

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA is a commentary on what it means to be human in the 21st Century. While we are divided by race, ethnicity, language, geography and culture, the essence of our humanity remains constant. In NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA, the cast, director and playwright all come together to create a montage of courage, uncertainty and hope in the face of disaster. _ Basir Mchawi producer, community organizer and radio show host at WBAI Radio in New York, who has taught at the City University of New York, public schools and independent Black schools.

A truly emotional experience. _ Liliana Perez child psychologist and Ph.D.

A vital story of our times. Spoken word and music from a talented multicultural ensemble. A beacon of light in a darkening world. _ Paul Armstrong artistic director at International Arts Initiatives, a Vancouver-based nonprofit for cultural advancement through the arts and education.

I welcomed NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA _ into my consciousness, with deep gratitude, seeing it twice, two days in succession _ all the while marveling at the tough yet faithful production and its dedication to truth-telling. _ David Henderson poet, co-founder of Umbra and the Black Arts Movement, author of ‘SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY. JIMI HEDNRIX: VOODOO CHILD.

Tragically, Fukushima is still constantly being shaken by earthquakes. NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA echoes the mourning of Bon Odori dance to warn us again and again that the nuclear age of post-World War II Japan has never ended. _ Hisami Kuroiwa movie producer and executive for “The Shell Collector,” “”Lafcadio Hearn: His Journey to Ithaca,” “Sunday,” “Bent” and the Silver Bear-winning “Smoke.”

Fukushima: Excellent musical accompaniment to poignant poetry, with minimal yet imaginative staging and choreography. Musicians were absolutely superb! _ Nana pianist and New Yorker.

What a delight was the new theater piece featuring Shigeko Suga, which did a short run at La MaMa. Ms. Suga and her fellow performers glided beautifully with wit, authority and grace through the stylized performances. See this show and be transported magically. _ George Ferencz co-founder of the Impossible Ragtime Theater, resident director at La MaMa (1982-2008), who has also directed at the Actors’ Theater of Louisville, Berkeley Rep and Cleveland Playhouse.

News that enraptures and engages through Sound. A Poet sings of the unreported calamity at Fukushima in NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA to Melvin Gibbs’ bass. _ Katsumi a Japanese living in New York.

It spoke of what’s most critically needed in this age. Despite advances in civilization and culture, the power of emotions has weakened, and people don’t know how to talk to each other. Everyone who took part in this performance, and those who came to see it, although of different races and thinking, all felt clearly the existence of what we know is so important, what we feel is so needed: Love. Love is not an abstract concept. It is about how we treasure our family, how we treat our lovers, our friends. I have lived to see many people who hurt others out of selfishness, betrayed others without qualms, and then went on to hide what they had done. But in the end, what is desired is not achieved, leaving only hunger, and, because of that, the cycle gets repeated again. What I saw here is not just cultural collaboration but what is at the center of that _ a warm feeling, and the expression of the message that the world cannot go on this way. I pray more people will be able to feel love through seeing this performance. I pray as someone who believes in love. _ Toshinori “Toshichael Jackson” Tani dancer, member of TL Brothers and instructor.

An excerpt from NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: “Hiroshima.” Filmed and edited by Yuri Kageyama.

Monisha Shiva. Photo by Tennessee Reed.

Monisha Shiva. Photo by Tennessee Reed.

THE YURICANE BACK AT THE PINK COW APRIL 4, 2015

THE YURICANE BACK AT THE PINK COW SAT APRIL 4, 2015 TOKYO JAPAN
PHOTOS BY EBA CHAN

The Yuricane

Hirokazu Suyama Jackson

Hirokazu Suyama Jackson

withyuuirhciropinkcow

yuuirhicoagain

pinkcow 2

hirofromfacebook

facebook2

Excerpts from “NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: MEDITATION ON AN UNDER-REPORTED CATASTROPHE BY A POET” debutng at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York September 2015, directed by Carla Blank with dance and music.

Yuri Kageyama – spoken word
Hirokazu Suyama Jackson – drums
Yuuichiro Ishii – guitar
Nobutaka Yamasaki – keyboard

MYTHICAL MONSTER
A Poem by Yuri Kageyama

Catfish sleeps
Buried in the mud
Of meltdown metal
A black-light coastline
Fifty reactors
Tomari to Genkai
Catfish moves
And the Earth rumbles
Sways its tail
And skyscrapers crumble
Swishes a whisker
Bridges, roads shatter
Catfish grows
Bigger and bigger
Eight snake faces
Eight dragon tails
Volcanic eruption
Yamata no Orochi
Monster lives
Our daughters and sons
Every year, a sacrifice
Hundred eight brave samurai
They’re all dead,
Trying to kill it

An Ode To A Nuclear Catastrophe _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Published in the January 2015 issue of KONCH MAGAZINE, edited by Ishmael Reed and Tennessee Reed:

AN ODE TO A NUCLEAR CATASTROPHE
_ A POEM BY YURI KAGEYAMA

PART ONE: HIROSHIMA

they wander like a whisper
still
over this city
blending with the sea breeze
the soft light
the cracks of scars
not just one ghost or two
but tens of thousands
who all looked up and saw a flash
turning people into dead globs of charcoal;
there are no photos from that day,
they wander, crawling, naked, moaning,
flesh hanging like tatters;
they’re asking that question,
we did nothing wrong
why oh why
when all it can do is
kill kill kill kill
nothing else
turning skin eyeballs laughter head back legs
into a keloid of hell,
but no one really answers.

^___< PART TWO: FUKUSHIMA

Y’all, it’s a Meltdown nation
Since Three-Eleven
Covered in the fear
Of unseen radiation
But Don’t you expect
Any revolution
All you will find
Is fear and contamination.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
Instead of a holler
Hear just a whimper
They say it is safe
The kids like Chernobyl
Are coming down sick
With Thyroid cancer.

Y’all, it’s no hallucination
The refugees’ life
No compensation
No resolution
Just nuclear explosions
Get your dosimeter
Cesium in the water
Lost Imagination

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
The radiated Brothers
Faces are hidden
Goggles and masks
Like an astronaut
From head to toe
The Invisible workers

Tsunami Demolition
God’s DeCreation
Genetic Devastation
Our next Generation.
Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
No-go zones forever
The World must remember.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

^___< PART THREE: IT IS ALL TELEVIZED

Tiny cars gobbled up
In a crescendo of raging water
They are not plastic toys
Floating in a tub
They drop from
Concrete, suddenly bending like rubber
We see people moving
Flecks of flesh, faces inside
Are they screaming?
Are they laughing?
Are they thinking of death?
As we all watch
Hundreds of miles away,
It is all televised
The flickering screens and broadcaster voices
Remind us of what we have already felt
Our own skins shaking
Hard breathing, fear of dying,
The swaying building
A giant quake not seen for centuries
Rattling in a bolt of God’s wrath
Or uncaring
Tipping the bath tub of
The Pacific Ocean
Blanketing miles of coastlines with junk and mud
Buses on top of roofs
Ships climbing into towns
Thousands dead
Thousands dead
Thousands dead
Brothers, children, farmers, teachers, truck drivers
Our prayers aren’t over
When it is again all televised
The shuddering explosion
At Fukushima Daiichi
Nuclear power plant
Oh, my God
Oh, my God
Oh, my God
東京電力によりますと今日午後3時36分ころ福島第一原子力発電所第一号機で復旧作業中に直下型の大きなゆれがありドーンという爆発音が聞こえ白煙があがったということです。この爆発で東京電力社員二人と作業員二人とあわせて四人がけがをしたということです。爆発の原因など詳しいことはまだ分かっていません。
Tokyo Electric Power Co. is reporting that about 3:36 p.m. today there was a vertical sharking, an explosion going boom, and white smoke rising at Reactor One of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. As a result of this explosion, two Tokyo Electric Power Co. employees and two other workers have been injured. The cause of the explosion is under investigation, and other details are not immediately available.
We don’t know it yet
We are living the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl
That phrase
We write and hear
Later
Over and over
The worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl
A fume of noise and error
Spewing invisible radiation
Names we know like plutonium
And iodine but with strange numbers after it, like 131
Or stranger names we do not know
Cesium
Tellurium
Strontium
Overnight
Part of our everyday lives
福島原子力発電所第一号機では 炉心を冷却する水の水位が急激に下がり続けるなど不安定な状況が続いています。こうした状況で燃料が溶け出す炉心溶融が起きている可能性があります。
Unstable conditions are continuing at Reactor One of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant as the water level continues to drop for the coolant designed to cool the reactor core. Under these conditions, there is likely a meltdown.
We are all witnesses
We are all victims
We are all reporters.
We are all mothers
We are all children
We are all perpetrators
We are all culprits
Although no one knows
And no one is accountable
Although it is all televised
Smoke billowing from
A giant fire with no flames
A ghostly skeleton of bleeding
Gnarled steel
Please stay indoors
Please shut your doors and windows.
Massive radiation has arrived.

^___< PART FOUR: MYTHICAL MONSTER

鯰Catfish sleeps
Buried in the mud
Of meltdown metal
A black-light coastline
Fifty reactors
Tomari to Genkai
鯰 Catfish moves
And the Earth rumbles
Sways its tail
And skyscrapers crumble
Swishes a whisker
Bridges, roads shatter
鯰Catfish grows
Bigger and bigger
Eight snake faces
Eight dragon tails
Volcanic eruption
Yamata no Orochi
鯰 Monster lives
Our daughters and sons
Every year, a sacrifice
Hundred eight brave samurai
They’re all dead,
Trying to kill it 鯰

^___< PART FIVE: A MOTHER SPEAKS

Please listen and tell the world.
How our children in Fukushima are getting thyroid cancer, one by one.
My daughter is one of them.
Pediatric thyroid cancer is rare.
The chance for getting it is under one in a million.
One in a million.
But in Fukushima, it’s 112 out of some 380,000 children tested, and the tally is growing.
This is Fukushima after Three-Eleven.
Beautiful Fukushima, where rice paddies stretch between lazy mountains.
Beautiful Fukushima, where snow falls everywhere like fluffy rice.
Beautiful Fukushima, where, when spring finally comes, cherry trees explode in pink chiffon.
But this is Fukushima after Three-Eleven.
No other place in Japan is like that.
No other place in the world is like that _ except for the Ukraine and Belarus.
But they say these cases are turning up, these cases that should be under one in a million, because we are looking so much harder, testing all the children in Fukushima.
The authorities say they are just playing it safe.
When no one really feels safe
After Three-Eleven in Fukushima.
My little girl got surgery and so her tumor was removed.
And the doctor told me: Aren’t you so lucky?
Aren’t you so lucky we did those tests to save your child?
If we hadn’t, the cancer might not have been found.
But I don’t feel lucky.
I don’t feel lucky at all.

^___<

FUKUSHIMA HIPHOP: Poetry by Yuri Kageyama written in homage to Ahmir Khalib Thompson and The Roots


Official video by The Roots “What They Do” 1996 Geffen Records.

FUKUSHIMA HIPHOP
Poetry by Yuri Kageyama
in homage to Ahmir Khalib Thompson and The Roots

fukushima3
photo by Yuri Kageyama

Y’all, it’s a Meltdown nation
Since Three-Eleven
Covered in the fear
Of unseen radiation
But Don’t you expect
Any revolution
All you will find
Is fear and contamination.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
Instead of a holler
Hear just a whimper
They say it is safe
The kids like Chernobyl
Are coming down sick
With Thyroid cancer.

Y’all, it’s no hallucination
The refugees’ life
No compensation
No resolution
Just nuclear explosions
Get your dosimeter
Cesium in the water
Lost Imagination

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
The radiated Brothers
Faces are hidden
Goggles and masks
Like an astronaut
From head to toe
The Invisible workers

Tsunami Demolition
God’s DeCreation
Genetic Devastation
Our next Generation.
Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
No-go zones forever
The World must remember.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

fukushima1

fukushima2
photos by Yuri Kageyama

TURNING JAPANESE poetry and reading by Yuri Kageyama

TURNING JAPANESE a poem by Yuri Kageyama
Film and Photos by Ian Thomas Ash
Reading by Yuri Kageyama
Wincester Nii Tete on percussion and Hiromichi Ugaya on bass at The Pink Cow in Tokyo for a “Looking At Fukushima” event May 7, 2013.

TURNING JAPANESE

a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Turning Japanese is not masturbation
Could even be for sale
So be proud

Take architecture:
We take space that’s smaller than a toilet
Create a garden to express the Universe
Todaiji Temple grandeur hierachy
It doesn’t even use any nails

Turning Japanese is not masturbation
Could even be for sale
So be proud

Take ikebana:
Flowers and herbs and blades of grass
Sculpture ecology Basho-esque balance
Homage to God’s perfection of design
It doesn’t even last a week

Turning Japanese is not masturbation
Could even be fore sale
So be proud

Take law and order:
Our trains are clean, run always on time
Apology on the PA if they’re two minutes late
The homeless politely take off their shoes
To get in their cardboard homes

Turning Japanese is not masturbation
Could even be for sale
So be proud

Take politics:
They tell us we have a democracy
Imported direct from the US of A
A new prime minister every year or so
What’s his name _ Koizumi, Abe, Fukuda, Aso, Hatoyama, Kan, Noda _ Abe again?
Please remember!

Turning Japanese is not masturbation
Could even be for sale
So be proud

Take women:
Excuse me, I mean, Take girls:
Uniform miniskirts, eyelash extensions
Never have jobs or grow older than 13
But grow Barbie’s breasts

Turning Japanese is not masturbation
Could even be for sale
So be proud

Technology:
Robots, Pokemon, gadgets galore
Attention to detail, precision with vengeance
We get everything right _ unless something goes wrong
Like a nuclear meltdown

Turning Japanese is not masturbation
Could even be for sale
So be proud

Celebration
Revolution
Masturbation
Nuclear nation
Hydrogen explosion
Can I have your attention
Masturbation
Radiation
Nuclear nation …..

LOOKING AT FUKUSHIMA


The Asian American Journalists Association presents
“LOOKING AT FUKUSHIMA _ An Evening with Hiromichi Ugaya,”
a talk, photo slideshow and discussion session with a veteran journalist documenting a post-nuclear disaster landscape.

THE PINK COW
5-5-1 Roppongi Minatoku Tokyo Roi Building B1F
TUESDAY May 7, 2013 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
2,500 yen for a Great Buffet is the only charge. Drinks pay as you go at the bar.
A public English-language event.
Come on time to catch a musical performance opening the event.
Musicians and poets welcome for Jam Open Mike to close the event.

Hiromichi “Hiro” UGAYA is a veteran journalist, photographer and educator, who has devoted his life recently to intensive coverage of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe and the plight of the tens of thousands of people the accident has displaced. A former reporter at Asahi newspaper and writer for AERA magazine, he has authored more than half a dozen books on security issues, media criticism, Internet technology and Japanese pop culture. A graduate of Kyoto University, he holds a Master’s in International Security Affairs from Columbia University. His latest book “Fukushima’s Lost Seasons” is a poetic photo essay of the serene flowers and trees of the region that have been invisibly devastated by radiation. He is also a bassist and performs regularly at Tokyo clubs.