A Body in Fukushima
photo by William Johnston

A Body in Fukushima

In January 2014, I traveled to Fukushima, Japan with photographer and Japanese history professor from Wesleyan University, William Johnston. We went into areas severely affected by the explosions of the Fukushima Daiichi plants, some only recently open for visitors. In the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the reactors suffered massive damage, releasing high volumes of radiation into the surrounding land and sea. Because the plants continue to emit radiation and the cleaning process is slow and difficult, tens of thousands of people still live in temporary housing far from home. Regional train service was discontinued, and the abandoned tracks are covered with overgrown weeds. The stations near the sea were completely swept away by the tsunami. By placing my body in these places, I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. Now desolate, only time and wind continue to move.

A Body in Fukushima is an upcoming gallery exhibition showcasing this latest collaboration between Eiko and Johnston. The exhibition, currently in the planning phase, will include Johnston's photographs as well as remnants from Eiko's performing such as her futon and costumes. A Body in Fukushima will debut at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art later this year and travel to the Galleries of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.