Fukushima Samurai by Noriko Takasugi

Issue 91

The Samurai warriors portrayed here were once residents in the area close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. They are no longer allowed to live there since 3.11 but to enter during the day*. Each of them stands firmly with their subtle but impressive expression at the sites in their hometown that had a personal meaning for them.

Since 2011, I have devoted my time to capturing the survivors of 3.11. These photos are part of my long-term project that differs from the major news stories or other projects about the disaster, having been investigating the evacuees not as victims, but as representative of Japanese identity, examining how they are surviving and fighting their fate to retain their sense of self. 

Although the typical image of contemporary Japan might be a positive one in the eyes of people outside Japan, with Tokyo’s high-tech buildings for example, much of the country still remains hidden. These secret parts are not necessarily extraordinary for us, but an accumulation of our choices in ordinary everyday life. My ordinary life and Japanese root came across to these Samurai while I am taking the light and shadow of them by my camera.

Noriko Takasugi lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.
To view more of Noriko's work, please visit his website.