Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Love Harukaze 2013: Creating the Future!

The legendary free urban gathering, Harukaze (“Spring Love”), is back for its fifth year—again set to bring good vibes to Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park on Saturday, March 30th and Sunday, March 31st during the height of cherry blossom season. Following the ongoing event theme of “Building the Future”, this year we will focus upon three main sub-themes: supporting children in Fukushima, shifting to alternative energy use, and advocating the right to dance.

Come out with your family, friends, or on your own to this amazing weekend extravaganza to contemplate new lifestyles following the 2011 disaster, while also enjoying the gorgeous sakura and feeding your mind and soul with some Spring Love!

Date/Time : Saturday, March 30th (12:00〜20:00)
Sunday, March 31st (11:00 〜 20:00)
Venue : Yoyogi Park (Outdoor Stage area)* Rain or shine!!

Admission : Free!! (Donations kindly accepted)

Event Highlights :
  • Top-rated musical and dance performances on three stages
  • Peace Dome featuring talk sessions related to this year’s event themes, and more
  • All stages and booths powered through solar energy and biofuel…no nuclear energy or fossil fuels!!
  • Art Gallery
  • Workshops
  • Kids activity area
  • Skate Ramp
  • Love and Peace Parade / The Un-named Parade
  • Chillout Flea Market featuring ecological and fair-trade goods
  • Food/drink stalls featuring healthy/organic ingredients
  • NPO/NGO booths
Event sponsored by:
 Harukaze Organizing Committee
, Kanto Regional Environmental Office
, Shibuya Ward Office
With cooperation from: A SEED JAPAN, BE-IN, BUENA SUERTE, Kadoman Planning, BALANCE, TEAM, Third Culture, WAON PRODUCTION, Peace Not War Japan, POSIVISION, RA, natural smile

Sister Event : Earth Day Tokyo 2013

This year’s event themes :

* Supporting Citizens in Fukushima

We believe that one of the missions of Harukaze Spring Love is to keep the conversation going re. what is continuing to take place in Fukushima prefecture. In Tokyo in particular, our lifestyles have been supported by the electricity made at the Fukushima nuclear power plants. The reality, however, is that nuclear power has provided large amounts of money in Fukushima prefecture, from which the lives of certain individuals have benefited economically. Fukushima’s innocent citizens, including its children have suffered greatly as a consequence of nuclear policy and the resulting accident. By keeping the discussion going regarding what citizens in Fukushima continue to face, we can figure out ways to offer support in this regard.

*Spring Love Harukaze will include exhibition booths with information about citizens in Fukushima, as well as inviting guest speakers who are involved in providing support in this regard. Donations will also be collected and given to groups doing work in this area.

* Shifting to alternative energy use

The electricity for all stages at Spring Love Harukaze will be provided through solar energy. Additional electricity usage will come from one to two electrical generators that are powered using biofuel. In addition to reducing the amount of noise coming from the event area and providing a more quality listening experience, this will prove that it is indeed possible to power music festivals—as well as society in general!—through existing energy networks without relying upon nuclear energy or fossil fuels.

In addition to simply raising our voice against nuclear energy, we are leading through an example of positive action in this regard.

* Advocating the right to dance

The Entertainment Business Act serves to enact restrictions with regard to appropriateness within the entertainment industry. Originally established in the immediate postwar period to prevent prostitution, the law in fact serves to regulate dancing in live houses and clubs—and police have recently begun utilizing this law as a justification for crackdowns in this regard (particularly in the Kansai region).

Spring Love Harukaze is participating in the “Let’s Dance!” petition drive, which aims to exclude dancing from the list of restricted activities associated with this law. Please sign one of the petitions circulating throughout the event venue and show your support for the freedom to dance!

2013 Participating Artists

TALK GUESTS : Coming Soon!

Additional Event Information

* Smokers: Please respect the event’s general no-smoking policy by smoking only within designated areas!

* Harukaze has a “gomi-zero” (“no garbage”) policy
. Please leave the venue as clean as you found it by separating your trash at one of the provided garbage stations. Garbage cleanup is an extremely expensive undertaking, and if this policy is not respected, we may not be able to offer this free festival in the future. Show some spring love by supporting “gomi-zero”!!

Volunteers needed before and during the event!!
 We ask anyone with ideas and passion regarding our peaceful shared future to please contact us! We are looking for those who can help us before the event dates and during the event for the following tasks: Site management, translation/interpretation, cleanup, various administrative tasks,
etc. If you are able to help, please contact us at

* Organization: Harukaze is put together by a collective of individuals who aim to use the power of messages, ideas, expression and art to create a positive shared future that is built upon ideals such as peace, ecology and culture.
 All staff, activists and artists are working on an entirely volunteer basis, and Spring Love Harukaze is funded entirely by the donations of like-minded individuals, as well as sales from goods during the event.
Harukaze will have several fundraising collection boxes placed on site. This event is not possible without the voluntary work of our staff, and your donations will be an essential force for this
free event to continue in the future. We ask all attendees to stand up for SPRING LOVE and its peaceful and progressive causes for future generations to come!

Event History

Enjoyed by many event-goers during its first run from 1998-2002, when it was known simply as “Harukaze,” the festival returned in 2009 together with Peace Not War Japan—adding discussions on peace-related issues into the lineup and collecting donations for grassroots peace organizations during the 2009 and 2010 festivals.

Following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, the 2011 event included a candlelight memorial, panel discussions on issues related to nuclear power and alternative energy, and song tributes for disaster victims led by gospel singer (and festival director) Yuka Kamebuchi with her ensemble “VOJA” (Voices of Japan). The 2012 Harukaze event, “Think It!”, continued the discussion by encouraging festival-goers to reflect upon and implement alternative cultural perspectives and sustainable living into their own lives.

Highlights from Past Festivals:

2012 :


2010 :

2009 :

Monday, March 11, 2013

Watch Lucy Walker's acclaimed documentary The Tsunami & The Cherry Blossom for free today

Watch Lucy Walker's acclaimed documentary The Tsunami & The Cherry Blossom for free today at her website:

Don't forget Tohoku

Via Scott Ree of the Namida Project: "Don't forget Tohoku." 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nuclear survivor Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner: "Remember"

Via the Hawaii Independent, nuclear survivor Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner's "Remember":

On the 59th anniversary of the dropping of the “Bravo” bomb on my home, I find myself wrestling with what it means to remember, recommit and resist.

From 1946 to 1958, the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests in my home, the Marshall Islands, all of which were considered atmospheric. The most powerful of those tests was the “Bravo” shot, a 15 megaton device detonated on March 1, 1954, at Bikini atoll – which was 1,000 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb. Since then, the US has continued to deny responsibility while many Marshallese continue to die due to cancer and other radiation related illnesses. In my own family both my grandparents passed away before I was born due to cancer and just two years ago I lost my ten year old niece Bianca to leukaemia. Radiation related illnesses endure into today, and many more of our family members continue to battle with the effects of those tests which took place over 50 years ago.

We Marshallese grow up with this history and these stories. We know them all too well. Not just stories of cancer, but also stories of babies born with no limbs, of stillbirths and thyroid problems, of families starving on outer atolls after being displaced from their own homes, stories of ash that fell from the sky that looked like snow. And then there are the stories of the land we lost – the beautiful bountiful Bikini atoll, how the elders cried as they were ripped from the shores of their ancestors...

 I am proud to say I come from a line of activists who have fought against these atrocities. My uncle Dwight Heine was the principal draftsman of the Marshallese protest submitted in 1954 to the UN regarding the nuclear test. The document he wrote is quiet, dignified, and understated. “Some of our people were hurt during the recent nuclear test,” he wrote, “and we have asked the aid of the United Nations, of which the United States is a member and to which it is answerable for its administration of the trust territory, to stop the experiments there. Or, if this is not possible, then to be a little more careful..."

It’s time that the next generation, our generation, picks up the torch from our elders and continues the fight for justice for our people. Oceania Rising brings together the next generation of activists - not just from the Marshallese community, but also from Kanaka Maoli, Chamorro, Okinawan, Japanese, and Tongan communities. This event is not only about honouring Marshallese nuclear survivors, but it is also about honouring our shared histories of solidarity building against militarization, imperialism and the impacts that it’s had on our Oceania. I am grateful to be learning more about these shared stories within our Pacific brothers and sisters’ communities, and I am grateful to learn more about my own history as well. It is this history which gives us the strength that is needed to continue to remember, recommit, and resist, as we continue the struggle to bring about change for our people. 

Nuclear Savage: The Island Experiments of Secret Project 4.1: "They used us as a radiation experiment."

The word "savage" has been used to refer to people from so-called primitive cultures, but in his 2011 documentary, filmmaker Adam Horowitz turns the concept on its head and asks who was the real "savage" in the US nuclear human experiment "Project 4.1".  

 In the 1950s, the U.S. nuclear test bombed the Marshall Islands 67 times, vaporizing islands and exposing entire populations to radioactive fallout measured at 750 times the level of emitted by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. After the people of Rongelap received near fatal doses of radiation from one of these tests, the US intentionally moved them to a highly contaminated island to serve as nuclear test subjects for 30 years,  to measure the affects of nuclear radiation on humans. The experiment was conceived by scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of two U.S. governmental laboratories that designs nuclear weapons.

 In Nuclear Savage, the people of Rongelap describe an unbelievable level of suffering from recurring cancers, miscarriages, and birth defects (babies that look like jellyfish)  that have affected multiple generations.

Horowitz, a Santa Fe, New Mexico native, explains his life-long interest in this hidden history:
I always felt like I had nuclear weapons in my backyard. I wanted to find some story to tell about nuclear weapons that hadn’t been told. When I found out about this, I knew that this was one story to be told. It’s captivating about how these people have lived with this mess that was created around them...

“You imagine blue skies and clear water. But when I arrived it was so much worse than I dreamed.

“I didn’t believe it and was quite skeptical of the stories I was being told. But I started to meet a lot of survivors of the experiments and the story became stronger. I think in northern New Mexico, we get a pretty rose-colored view of the labs. We are taught that the labs created peace and kept the Soviet Union at bay. We’re getting a very sanitized view, and I found the history is so much darker than we were ever taught.

“I made this film to give the people in the Marshall Islands a voice. They had their land ruined and contaminated. Now the people are living with birth defects. I felt the responsibility to tell this story because people did need to hear it.
A 7-minute preview (from 2012) may be seen at the website of the Peace on Earth Film Festival and on YouTube.

Monday, March 4, 2013

ICAN: "What Nuclear Weapons Really Do to People & the Environment"

Int. Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Statement at the conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Oslo on March 2 & 3, 2013: "We wanted governments and diplomats to see what nuclear weapons really do to people and the environment. Happy to share with you the Civil Society video statement at the conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Oslo"

During the US military occupation of Japan, US authorities censored all media discussions of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But by 1952, the end of the Occupation, accounts of nuclear survivors’ ongoing struggles with radiation sickness became widespread.

 In 1954, 23 crew members of the Lucky Dragon Japanese fishing trawler were irradiated when the US nuclear test bombed the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. In protest, 30 million Japanese people — over a third of the population — signed a petition demanding the end of nuclear test bombings.

The US nuclear test bombed islands in the Asia-Pacific over 100 times from 1946 to 1962. Survivors of the Bikini Atoll bombings have suffered from miscarriages, profound birth defects, and high rates of cancer. The US also nuclear test bombed the American Southwest over 1,000 times.*  Washington's most recent (underground) nuclear test bombing took place in December 2012, with almost no media coverage. Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui commented,  “I wonder why President Obama, who said he would seek a nuclear-free world, carried out the test."

Despite the well-known health and environmental consequences of nuclear radiation, and widespread protest, France nuclear bombed Mururoa, and its sister atoll Fangataufa in French Polynesia from 1966 to 1995.  Greenpeace reported that France's first nuclear (plutonium) bombing sucked all the water from the lagoon, "raining dead fish and mollusks down on the atoll", and  spread radioactive contamination across the Pacific to Peru and New Zealand.

The UK nuclear test bombed Australia from 1955 to 1963, exposing Australians, especially aboriginal Australians, to nuclear radiation. The Australian government forcibly removed tribal members from their homelands; when they attempted to return, they developed radiation-related health disorders. Radioactive contamination destroyed their way of life.

Although the human costs of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are now known, the suffering of many hundreds of thousands of other nuclear (test bombings, depleted uranium weapons, uranium mining, nuclear weapons production, nuclear waste dumping) survivors worldwide remain much less known. However their suffering reflect a globally interrelated web of nuclear violence that touches us all.

* The National Cancer Institute runs a program to help Americans identify if they were exposed to radioactive 1-131 fallout from US nuclear test bombings  between 1951 and 1963; this isotope can cause thyroid disorder or cancer.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tokyo Waka: A (cinematic) poem about a city, its people, and 20,000 crows

Thanks to Aki Gibbons, SF-based visual artist and writer, who blogs  at Tokyo Dreaming and Okinawa Blue, for the head's up on Tokyo Waka: A City Poem, screening at the International Buddhist Film Festival, which opens in San Francisco today.

A  meditative exploration of Tokyo and post-Bubble, post-3/11 Japan.