Sakura, the Cherry BlossomPosted: 2014/01/29
Text: Solveig Hansen
Japanese poet Taki Yuriko represents a loud and strong voice against nuclear power. Her powerful book Sakura, the Cherry Blossom is a one and a half year record in poetic form of what happened in Japan from the day disaster struck in Fukushima in March 2011 to December 2012. The first poem, Spring Has Gone!, tells the story of Katya, who as an infant was blasted with radiation from Chernobyl and came to Japan. 2 weeks after the Fukushima accident, workers are deemed unusable and immediately fired when they reach the defined maximum radiation level. They are used once and thrown away, like a radiation protection suit. 17 months later, a young mother still looks for her 6 year old daughter, engulfed instantly by the waves.
Dr. Susana Roberts, IFLAC Vice Director in South America, calls the book “a great testimonial book of this time” in her review below.
IFLAC member Taki Yuriko is a regular contributor to the Syndic Literary Journal. Her poems are translated from Japanese by John and Deborah Saxon.
Review by Susana Roberts
This brilliant book edited by Sanbun editors-New Delhi, is a testimonial work of a woman living near Fukushima; she tells us how people of Japan live in danger surrounded of a nuclear system of destruction. When this book arrived at home it shocked me its reading, it remembered me that times of desperation, impatient and impotence during that date 3-11-2011 in Fukushima plants blast. From this distant place, I felt in sorrow because Japanese people suffering – brothers of my soul far from here, in the border of the same hell.
Taki Yuriko in this book gives the people their voices and explains to us in the preface the meaning of cherry blossom in times of Sakura. It is an unforgettable book.
She is brilliant poet, with an important biography, formerly in journalism, now working at the Kumon Institute of Education, member of IFLAC in Japan, and a member of WAAC. This book was awarded by the International Writers and Artists Association President Teresinka Pereira. The poems, one by one, place us immerse in a great silence of condolence in a profound reflection. At the end, the text contains the suggestion from UN about radiation and the consequences. A Great testimonial Book of this time!
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In the preface of the book, Taki Yuriko describes how the cherry blossoms (sakura) one year after Fukushima “opened to a fullness not seen in recent years, seeming to encourage the Fukushima accident victims.” The scientists, however, explained that the cherry trees, too, had been exposed to the radioactive fallout. The radioactive cesium strongly resembles the potassium that the cherry trees need, and the trees ingested large quantities of it from the soil, causing the brilliant blossoming.