Micro-politics of Radiation
Young Mothers Looking for a Voice in Post-3.11 Fukushima
The triple disasters of 11 March 2011 in northeastern Japan have exacerbated existing vulnerabilities and created new ones all over the Tohoku region. In Fukushima, the fear of radiation has been compounded by the perception of the state's failure to provide timely and relevant information to local residents. This lack of information has particularly affected one of the most vulnerable segments of the population, young mothers with children, forcing many to make impossible choices between supporting the economic rebuilding of their communities and protecting their children from the threat of radiation. Based on detailed ethnography and interviews conducted from just weeks after the disaster, this article discusses the ongoing struggle of women to find a place of safety and a voice of protest in the face of local and national efforts to silence their fears.