Rescuing Pre-Disaster Memories
We visit the town of Okuma in Fukushima Prefecture. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant stands on the town’s coast. In 2019, evacuation orders were lifted in the decontaminated areas, and preparations are now underway to welcome back residents. As the town’s scenery undergoes major changes with reconstruction work, the local government has launched a project to preserve objects rescued from sites awaiting demolition.
The effort to rescue and preserve historical materials started in 2017. In a "difficult-to-return zone," first they make sure that the radiation dose is below reference levels.
The recovered items are stored at the town’s decontaminated gymnasium. More than 900 items have been gathered from private homes and public facilities.
The rescue team is made up of Okuma residents who have gathered from evacuation sites in various parts of the prefecture. In Okuma, more than 1,500 households were faced with the possibility of giving up land that had been in their families for generations.