What is it like to live in the aftermath of disaster?



For the people of Fukushima, it means sleepless nights recalling the
punishing jolt and “Iron Wave” that ravaged their homes and families.
It means living in limbo and worrying about radiation contamination.

And yet post-disaster life also is a time to find new jobs, to raise children
and to carry on treasured community customs. This is what a group of
San Francisco State University students learned during a reporting trip
to Japan in August 2014.

These are the stories of the people of Fukushima who are challenging
the odds as if to declare, “We are here.”

Portraits of Fukushima

July 8, 2015 Portraits
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Tomoko Endo poses at a temporary housing center for Tomioka City residents in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Endo had to be evacuated due to the spread of radioactive materials from the Fukushima power plant explosion. Endo hopes for better, and is looking toward the future. August 14, 2014.
Photo by Gavin McIntyre

Portraits of people who have dedicated their lives to rebuilding and revitalizing their communities after the Fukushima disasters.

Kazuya Sato

March 6, 2015 oral history
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Kazuya Sato, 22, a geography major, sits on the campus plaza steps at Fukushima University in Japan. Sato was trapped on a train when the earthquake struck, and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite this, Sato continues to go to school, and has been accepted to Tokyo University for graduate school. August  21, 2014.

Photo by Gavin McIntyre

Kazuya Sato, 21, is a graduate student at Tokyo University. He changed his career path after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Fear and Eating

April 23, 2015 Community
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Ali budner Fukushima_produce

Reporter Ali Budner joined the Dilena Takeyama Center tour of Fukushima to examine issues of food safety.

Washed Away

April 21, 2015 Video
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Screenshot 2015-04-21 10.49.09

Kayo Tadano describes how her grandfather perished when the tsunami swept through their home in Soma City.

The Principal and his School

January 29, 2015 Community
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Toshihiko Takahama, principal of Toyoma Junior High School, talks in the gym of Toyoma High School about how the tsunami destroyed the school and the surrounding area. Residents of Toyoma are divided about whether to rebuild the school because of the painful memories of the tsunami. August 20, 2014.

Principal Takahara Toshihiko explains that families are torn over what to do about Tomoya Jr. High School.

Renewing Energy from Within

April 5, 2015 Community, Feature, Video
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RAJIO TAISO

Kaneko Eiko hopes to get people back on their feet and bring joy to their lives by teaching Radio Exercise to those in and out of temporary housing.