Sunday, March 24, 2013

Starting over

Since the last time I wrote in this blog over two years ago, I was looking forward to a new growing season in Tokyo starting in the spring. However on March 11 Japan was hit by the largest earthquake in modern times and a tsunami 30 meters high. This did not happen near Tokyo, but the effect shook the whole country.

Worse, and the reason I haven't written anything, is that soon after the earthquake the Fukushima nuclear reactors failed in the worst nuclear incident since Chernobyl. The land immediately around the reactor is irradiated and will be unusable for production for the next several hundred years. The dust plume caused by the Fukushima explosion spewed radioactive material, cesium mostly, into the atmosphere and that material settled throughout the eastern Japan area. Tokyo was also dusted with this material.

So instead of starting up a new crop in the spring of 2011, I sent my family to Seattle for several months to wait out the initial dust plume and I refrained from planting anything that could be contaminated by the radioactive fallout.

The dust has settled, and the concern about radioactivity in the Tokyo area has also settled. Two years later, it's time to restart.

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