.128 - Living in a Radiation Zone
.128 miliseiverts. This is the radiation reading at my son's kindergarten school in Yangawa-machi, Date-shi, Fukushima-ken. This update is going to discuss something that will be in the documentary and not talked about much on the news anymore.
When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, I never realize that the effects would still be affecting me today. When the tsunami caused severe damage to the Dai-ichi power plant, I never realized how much things would change.
I was in Japan a week after the disaster to be with my family. I convinced my wife who was several months pregnant to get out of the region with our two sons (then 4 and 3) for awhile. We went to Niigata and Tokyo. It was a brief reprieve.
But when the funds got low, we had no choice but to return to Yanagawa. There was no where else to go. It was home. No one knew then how much radiation had infiltrated region or how far. Some felt the government was not totally forthright with information.
Soon more reports came out and then came the evacuations. Initially it was just the are around the Dai-ichi plant. The US government suggested a 50 miles radius, which Yanagawa was within. The Japanese government chose a smaller radius. Again, we had no where else to go. We were stuck.
About a month after I returned to the US, a friend sent me an article which reported that Yamakiya and some other town were being evacuated due to high levels of radiation. It broke my heart. When I was an English teacher in Kawamata, coming to the community of Yamakiya was a joy. It's a a small enclave in the mountains, full of rice fields and farms. There was also a dairy farm there. I'd take a 40 minute bus ride into the mountain to get to the jr. high school. Usually, my supervisor would drive me up when I visited the elementary or kindergarten. The kids were always full or joy and totemo genki (very energetic). There was an innocence there that you find in rare places. And, now all of that would be gone, possibly forever.
I knew then that this film needed to be completed and Yamakiya Taiko Club story told. As a filmmaker, it's never easy to fully remain detached from your subject matter. And, in all honesty this project is no exception, especially when I return to Yanagawa a couple of weeks ago.
Needing to spend time with my own family, I have not had the chance to visit Kawamata and the Yamakiya group yet. But, I am certain what I've seen here will be there as well...
Radiation measurement devices are popping up around town like wild dandelions.I first noticed one at my son's kindergarten school. One of the school workers was using a hand device, which read .136 miliseiverts. But off to the side where you walk onto the school grounds was a large display with a solar panel, which also gave a radiation reading. I've seen them at the park, the jr. high school, next to the town's main train station, and even at a community center in the town of Ryozen.
This is the "new normal" in the region. It's a sign that this situation will be with us for awhile. Yamakiya may have been evacuated from an area which has high levels of radiation, but they are still in an area with lower levels. We're in the same boat. I've had people say just get out. But, unless you're rich, and have the financial means there isn't anywhere to go. You are sequestered to live in a radiation zone.
The people are concerned. I spoke to a group of ladies last week and the discussion at the hair salon was radiation. Many of the students from Yamakiya have said they are worried about if it will affect their health in the future. Drummer, Moe Hirano said, " Life was forced to change with something we can’t see. I didn’t think I would learn the danger of life this way."
This documentary will be about the Yamakiya Taiko Club's journey. Living within this environment will be an important part of the story.
Thank you to all who have supported this effort. This is why we need your continued support for this project. Don't let the drums of the Yamakiya Taiko Club go silent, let their voices be heard, through the documentary. Domo arigatogozaimasu.
seconds to go
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Your name listed on the website (to be constructed) and in the film credits under THANK YOU! 5ドル以上 ウェブサイト（準備中）と映画のクレジットで「THANK YOU」の下に名前をクレジットEstimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Your name listed on the website under THANK YOU! + An exclusive high res digital photo of the YamakiyaTaiko Club pick especially for you via email. Some will be from performances, others from behind the scenes (Den Den Daiko Package) 10ドル以上（でんでん太鼓セット） 内容：ウェブサイト（準備中）と映画のクレジットで「THANK YOU」の下に名前をクレジット+山木屋太鼓クラブのパフォーマンスのものや舞台裏の高画質写真をメールでお送り致します。Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Den Den Daiko Package + A Yamakiya Taiko Club wristband+DVD of the final film 25ドル以上 でんでん太鼓セット+山木屋太鼓クラブのリストバンド１個+映画のDVDEstimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Den Den Daiko Package + A Yamakiya Taiko Club wristband + A DVD of the final film + Digital download of a Yamakiya Taiko Song (Shime Daiko Package) 50ドル以上（締太鼓セット） でんでん太鼓セット+山木屋太鼓クラブのリストバンド+映画のDVD+山木屋太鼓曲のデジタル·ダウンロードEstimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Shime Daiko Package + Yamakiya Thank You Chopsticks 75ドル以上 締太鼓セット+山木屋太鼓クラブのお箸1セットEstimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Shime Daiko Package + Your name listed on the final film credits under THANK YOU + Yamakiya Thank You Chopsticks + Yamakiya Taiko Keyring (This key ring was specially created for the group’s first trip to the United States) + A Yamakiya Taiko Club T-Shirt (designed by artist Karen Y. Buster) (Taru Daiko Package) 100ドル以上（樽太鼓セット） 締太鼓セット+山北太鼓クラブのお箸1セット+山木屋太鼓のキーホルダー（このキーホルダーは山木屋太鼓クラブがアメリカ招待用に作られたものです）+山木屋太鼓クラブTシャツ1枚（カレンYバスターによるデザイン）。映画の「THANK YOU」の下に名前をクレジット。Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)
Taru Daiko Package + A Yamakiya Taiko music CD + TOMODACHI T-Shirt (Shirts donated by US Japan Council for TOMODACHI Initiative, which helped bring the Yamakiya Taiko Club to the USA) 150ドル以上 先着10名様。 樽太鼓セット+山木屋太鼓クラブ音楽CD+TOMODACHI Tシャツ1枚*。 *このTOMODACHI Tシャツは、米日カウンシルによって寄付されました。米日カウンシルは山木屋太鼓クラブをアメリカに招待してくれた機関の一つです。Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
Taru Daiko Package + A Yamakiya Taiko music CD 200ドル以上 樽太鼓セット+山木屋太鼓クラブ音楽CDEstimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Taru Daiko Package + A Yamakiya Taiko music CD + DVD of a Yamakiya Taiko Club Performance (Miya Daiko Package) 250ドル以上（宮太鼓セット） 樽太鼓セット+山木屋太鼓クラブ音楽CD+山木屋太鼓クラブのパフォーマンスDVDEstimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
Your name listed on the website and final film credits under SPECIAL THANK YOU + DVD of Final Film + A Yamakiya Taiko Keyring + DVD of Yamakiya Taiko Club Performance + Yamakiya Taiko music CD + a Yamakiya Taiko Club T-Shirt (designed by artist Karen Y. Buster) (Odaiko Package) 500ドル以上（大太鼓セット） ウェブサイトと映画のクレジットの「SPECIAL THANK YOU」の下に名前を載せさせて頂きます。映画DVD、山木屋太鼓クラブのキーホルダー、山木屋太鼓クラブのパフォーマンスDVD、山木屋太鼓クラブの音楽CD、山木屋太鼓Tシャツ1枚（カレンYバスターによるデザイン）Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
Odaiko Package + TOMODACHI T-shirt + Signed Limited Edition Yamakiya Taiko Logo Print (Designed by artist Karen Y. Buster) 1,000ドル以上 大太鼓セット+TOMODACHI Tシャツ1枚+山木屋太鼓クラブのロゴプリント（カレンYバスターによるデザイン）Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,500 or moreYou selected
Odaiko Package + Signed Limited Edition Yamakiya Taiko Logo Print (Designed by artist Karen Y. Buster) + Associate Producer Credit at End of the Film 1500ドル以上 大太鼓セット+山木屋太鼓クラブのロゴプリント（カレンYバスターによるデザイン）+準プロデューサーとしての映画の最後にクレジットEstimated delivery:
Pledge $2,000 or moreYou selected
Odaiko Package + TOMODACHI T-Shirts + Signed Limited Edition Yamakiya Taiko Logo Print (Designed by artist Karen Y. Buster) + 2 V.I.P. tickets to a screening in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Washington DC, New York or Tokyo (travel and accommodation not included). Associate Producer Credit at beginning of the film 2,000ドル以上 大太鼓セット+TOMODACHI Tシャツ1枚+山木屋太鼓クラブのロゴプリント（カレンYバスターによるデザイン）+VIPチケット2枚（ロサンゼルス、ボルチモア、ワシントンDC、ニューヨークまたは東京いずれかの映画鑑賞券、渡航費宿泊費は含みません）。準プロデューサーとして映画の最初にクレジットEstimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)
Odaiko Package + 2 TOMODACHI T-Shirts + Signed Limited Edition Yamakiya Taiko Logo Print (Designed by artist Karen Y. Buster) + 2 V.I.P. tickets to a screening in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Washington DC, New York or Tokyo (travel and accommodation not included). Co-Producer credit at the end of the film. 2,500ドル以上 大太鼓セット+TOMODACHI Tシャツ2枚+山木屋太鼓クラブのロゴプリント（カレンYバスターによるデザイン）、VIPチケット2枚（ロサンゼルス、ボルチモア、ワシントンDC、ニューヨークまたは東京いずれかの映画鑑賞券、渡航費宿泊費は含みません）、共同プロデューサーとして映画の最後にクレジットEstimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)
Odaiko Package, 2 TOMODACHI T-Shirts + Signed Limited Edition Yamakiya Taiko Logo Print (Designed by artist Karen Y. Buster) + 4 V.I.P. tickets to a screening in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Washington DC, New York or Tokyo (travel and accommodation not included).Executive Producer credit at the beginning of the film. 5,000ドル以上 先着2名様 大太鼓セット、TOMODACHI Tシャツ2枚、山木屋太鼓クラブのロゴプリント（カレンYバスターによるデザイン）、VIPチケット4枚（ロサンゼルス、ボルチモア、ワシントンDC、ニューヨークまたは東京いずれかの映画鑑賞券、渡航費宿泊費は含みません）、制作責任者として映画の最初に名前をクレジット。Estimated delivery:
- (29 days)