Melted-Down Fuel Removal at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant will commence in 2021, according to new timeline

Yesterday, I was at the library, reading the English newspaper The Japan Times. One of the front page stories was about the new timeline for removal of the melted-down radioactive fuel at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

According to the new timeline, removal will begin in 2021.

I’m sure it will be done by hardy robots. It is not possible for humans to get near the melted-down fuel, due to its high radioactivity.

Three reactors melted down, and the fuel in them totals 800 tons. (Amy’s note: One ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds.)

According to my calculations, 300 tons equals:

160 elephants


3 AN cargo airplanes


800 polar bear


266 pickup trucks


106,666 turkeys

But the 800 tons of fuel is radioactive so make that:

160 extremely deadly elephants


3 extremely deadly AN cargo airplanes


800 extremely deadly polar bears


266 extremely deadly pickup trucks


106,666 extremely deadly turkeys

Anyway, here is the article:


Here is a lovely timeline from the enemy TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company.) TEPCO owns the plant and it is their responsiblity to clean it up.

By the way, I don’t have to worry about TEPCO reading my blog and turning off my home’s electricity as payback for saying mean things about them. I don’t live in the Tokyo area, thus TEPCO doesn’t provide my electricity. Fukushima City is in Tohoku, and we get our electricity from Tohoku’s electricity company.

(numbers for determining what weighs how many tons are from


Christmas music in one of my favorite stores….

There’s a store near my home that always has great music blaring through its speakers.  I decided to take a little video so you can hear it.

In Japan, a lot of the music that we hear in shopping centers and grocery stores is in English—the same pop songs that are being played in the shopping centers of my homeland, the United States of America.

And a shorter video:

December in Japan means Christmas products. Christmas cards (above)

and Christmas stickers (below) for example.

Christmas is a new holiday in Japan, borrowed from the cultures of Europe.


December in Japan also means items for the upcoming celebration of the New Year. (January first in Japan.)

In the same shop, we’ve got New Year’s Day stickers, and so on. (Below)

Netflix’s TV show “Daybreak” which glorifies apocalyptic disaster, making it seem “fun” for kids…..

I wrote a poem:



Another boring day

at school

We wanted to play

but we had to study.


Quake! QUAKE!

Quick, kids!


An ecstasy of water

killling our parents

and our grandparents

pulling them under

the green sea.


Meanwhile, having a meltdown

I cried and cried like I was

a two-year-old again

but nobody comforted me

Mommy and daddy were gone.


Netflix, you would not tell with such high zest

to teenagers ardent for some unadulterated fun

The Old Lie:

Dulce et Ludorem est

Your father and mother are dead.




by Amy Lange Kawamura

based on Wilfred Owen’s poem DULCE ET DECORUM EST




Space Park Museum, Koriyama City

Today, I’d like to share some old photos from Koriyama City.

Koriyama City is the biggest city (population-wise) in Fukushima Prefecture.


Behind me is a building which has a museum at its top.


Here I am! At the museum!!!!


Looking down.


Above is a model train set.


Did you have super high-speed trains where you live?

In addition to Japan, super high speed trains are also in the People’s Republic of China, Europe, Saudi Arabia, South Korea….





Koriyama City!!!!!!

I am a huge fan of exclamation points. Notice how much nicer they are rather than:

Koriyama City…..

Koriyama City????

Koriyama City%%%

Koriyama City”””””

Koriyama City$$$$$$

So let’s keep exclamation points alive and well. The more, the better. It’s the little things in life that bring joy.  !!!!!




Kokeshi—traditional doll from Tohoku Region

In my last post, the name of the book was: “The Little Kokeshi Doll from Fukushima.”

Kokeshi Dolls are traditional dolls. They are originally from the Tohoku Region, which is where Fukushima is located.

For us here in Tohoku, Kokeshi have a very recognizable shape: tall, slender, round. A traditional kokeshi keeps to a specific color sheme: Usually red, green, black. Kokeshi probably date back to the Edo Period (1603-1867.) Visitors would travel to hot springs here in Tohoku and purchase the kokeshi dolls as souvenirs.

Nowadays some (many? all?) Americans are familiar with Japanese kokeshi dolls.

However, when American think about kokeshi dolls, they are usually referring to modern kokeshi dolls, also called “Creative Kokeshi.”

For example, these are modern creative kokeshi dolls:

You can see the shape of a modern creative type of Kokeshi is very different than the traditional type. And a modern style can be painted in pretty much in any design.

(These two modern style kokeshi are from the Rakuten website:

A few years ago, my son and I went to a workshop where we painted traditional kokeshi.

The above photo shows a map of Tohoku. Each region has its own particular type of kokeshi doll.

Futhermore, the craftsperson who made the doll will sign his or her name on the bottom.

Kokeshi dolls are a form of art.

First, the face is painted on.

In a workshop like this, we are not allowed to paint just any sort of face. We have to adhere to the traditional type.

In order to paint the stripes around the body, the wooden doll is spun around on this machine.

It wasn’t as easy as it looks!

I think, always, when one actually tries to do an artform for oneself, then we respect that artform so much more because we realize how difficult it is.

Finished Kokeshi. These are professional ones. (Not made by amateurs like me and my son.)

My son is finished painting his kokeshi. One doll was given to his Japanese grandmother and one to his American grandmother.

(And yes, this was several years ago…so my son does NOT look like this anymore!) ❤

The Little Kokeshi Doll from Fukushima by writer/illustrator Sunny Seki

While in the United States last summer, I purchased (from the internet) this book! It’s called“The Little Kokeshi Doll from Fukushima.”Kokeshi no Hanashi コケシのはなし.

It was written and illustrated by Tokyo-born Sunny Seki. — Sanii Seki サニー関 (文・絵)

He moved to the U.S. when he was a young adult and now lives in California. Here is his website:

I absolutely love these illustrations!!!!!! Seki is so very talented.

The coolest feature of this book is that it is written in both Japanese AND English! That’s something I really appreciate, and rare to find in a children’s picture book.

I purchased the book with the intention of donating it to the school library of my son’s former elementary school (and where I am currently a library volunteer.)

On Thursday, I gave it to the school’s vice-principal.

Sunny Seki signed the book with a personal message to the kids at this school.

It means so much to these children to know that they are cared for by a writer/illustrator in the U.S. !!!!!!!

“Treatment Water Storage Tanks” (That irradiated water you might have heard about ….)

(above images from Irasutoya)

One thing that one must know about nuclear power plants is that they need water–a lot of water– to run. That’s why they are always built right next to a large body of water.

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was built on the east coast of northern Japan, in Fukushima Prefecture, and it sent the electricity that it generated far away, down to a different region–the Tokyo region.

Click here and you can see a photo of Fukushima Daiichi from its sea side:

I’ll give my own translation of the Japanese written in that photo:

Top left, in white print: Current circumstances at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

From left to right, bottom: Unit 4, Unit 3, Unit 2, Unit 1*

Top, right, in background: Treatment Water Storage Tanks


Here is an article in English that explains why these tanks exist:

Quoting the article:

“Groundwater becomes contaminated when it flows into the buildings of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns in 2011 following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.”

Fukushima is mountainous, so the water flows from the mountains to the ocean in the form of groundwater. It passes throught the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and becomes radioactive with the substance Tritium. Normally, that water would then flow into the ocean, contaminating the ocean with Tritium. However, TEPCO is trying to catch that groundwater. After it catches the groundwater, it then stores the water in tanks (as shown in the photo.)


Here are the statistics from TEPCO. TEPCO (Tokyo Electric) is the knucklehead company that owns and operates this nuclear power plant, so it’s a little like getting gun control information from the National Rifle Association.

Here’s information from the Fukushima government.

Here’s a blog that has great photos of not only the water tanks, but also the land around the water tanks–so you can see a bit of the layout of the area. This blog seems to be run by, um, a cat and I think maybe the cat lives in Akita Prefecture (northwest of Fukushima Prefecture.) But I’m not actually quite sure. LOL

*Notes: Each unit is a nuclear reactor. Do not be misled by the term “unit!”

Before the meltdowns, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant had six nuclear reactors in total.

Core meltdowns occurred in Units One, Two, and Three.

(Meltdowns did NOT occur in Units Four, Five, Six because they happened to be shut down at the time on March 11, 2011.)