Farmers’ Resilience in Tohoku after the Fukushima Accident

Decontamination of soil near an apartment complex in Fukushima City, 2016

Ethnographic Work in Fukushima Prefecture: At the third key field site of the Small-scale Economies Project, Fukushima, we anticipated that the magnitude of the environmental damage caused by the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Plant Accident may have been too large to test our hypothesis of the importance of food diversity, social networks and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).

Contrary to our expectation, however, our interviews of farmers in Fukushima revealed the critical importance of TEK and local networks for maintaining residents’ identity and pride.

Fukushima farmers have deep connections to their land. Here, a shrine located on a Farm in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima, Japan, 2016.

Veggie Market Fukushima
Farmers’ market run by the Fukushima Branch of La Via Campesina [Nominren], offering produce grown outside of Nuclear-effect Fukushima area, 2016.