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    IFLAC is a voluntary Association that strives for peace by building bridges of understanding and peace through culture, literature and communication. IFLAC is founded and directed by Egyptian-born Israeli writer Ada Aharoni (Ph.D), since 1999.

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    If I Knew That I Would Die Tomorrow…

    This powerful poem by Taki Yuriko, IFLAC Peace Ambassador in Japan, was first published in English in Syndic Literary Journal No. 5.

    Taki Yuriko

    Poet Taki Yuriko



    By Taki Yuriko
    (Translated by John and Deborah Saxon)

    If I knew that
    I would die tomorrow,
    What would I do right now?

    That poison, money, was what
    Enticed us Japanese,
    Who knew Hiroshima and Nagasaki all too well,
    Into permitting nuclear power.
    They came to poor areas,
    Throwing money around,
    Without which it soon became impossible
    To get by.
    Everyone bathed in newfound cash,
    And 54 nuclear plants “for peace” went up
    In our tiny land.
    Camouflaged deterrence.

    It’s quiet.
    Can’t see anything.
    Don’t smell anything.
    A nice autumn day.

    Right after the accident
    The government launched
    An “All is Safe” campaign blitz.

    But we had to start making
    So many more decisions.
    Evacuate? Don’t evacuate?
    Eat it? Don’t eat it?
    Hang my wash out? No?
    Wear a mask? Don’t need it?

    Silence your mocking!!
    We were abandoned by our government.
    Exposed to radiation.
    Made to be guinea pigs.

    What creatures on earth
    Kill their own kind?
    Only humans.


    The Chinese version, translated by Dr. Kuei-shen Lee, was published in the Taiwanese newspaper “Jiyu Jiho” (for a larger view, click the picture below).

    Poem by Taki Yuriko in Chinese

    3 Comments on “If I Knew That I Would Die Tomorrow…”

    1. selenedreams says:

      Great poem captures the essence and the reality of nuclear plants. From Hiroshima to present day no government has looked at the danger of nuclear reactors, no one thinks about us humans.


    2. Danni says:

      Wonderful and strong poem on the bitter reality of how people are forgotten by their own government.


    3. […] she focuses on the Fukushima disaster in 2011 and its aftermaths. We have previously published If I Knew That I Would Die tomorrow… and reviewed her book Sakura, the Cherry […]


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