Flowers Year Round in Fukushima City–February 2018

These photos are from possibly the coldest month of the year in Fukushima City (or at least it feels like it because winter has been dragging on for so long.) As you’ve seen from the two previous posts, Fukushima City DOES get snow in winter. Not as much as some other parts of Japan (further north, further west places), but more snow than places down south like Tokyo. Our snow here is pretty manageable, I guess. But it can destroy the trees. Thus, instead of flowers (which are not found much deep in winter,) I want to show you the trees during winter because it’s interesting how Japanese people protect them from the snow.

This is in the grounds of a local school. The coverings on the tree are beautiful, but their primary purpose is to protect the tree if there is a heavy snowfall. (There is usually is at least once a year–or more.)

According to my knowledge (and I’m no expert,) this is a very traditional way of protecting the trees. It’s so lovely, in my opinion.

This, I believe, is a home. I guess the bamboo pole helps the tree keep its shape in case the snow should be so heavy as to weigh down the branches. (And just a few short years ago–2015? we had a HUGE dump of heavy snow that was destroying the roofs of bicycles sheds, carports and so on.) These tree protections can be seen all over Tohoku (northern part of Honshu) in winter and I think they are really beautiful.


Prologue to photo series “Flowers Year Round in Fukushima City”

The posts over the next several days are a year-long project for me (and for you 🙂

Like many people who use the internet, a few years ago I saw a photo of mutated flowers in Japan. They were taken by a man who lives across the border from Fukushima Prefecture (in the south) and thus he lives fairly near the nuclear power plant. (Although NOT in the exclusion zone.) There is absolutely nothing at all wrong with him taking these photos and displaying them on the internet. He is free to do as he wants, and say what he believes.

The man who took the photos believes that the flowers’ mutations are a result of radiation from the nuclear meltdowns.  He may be right. He may be wrong. One of the frustrating things is that scientists can not pinpoint exactly what causes a mutation (as far as I am aware, not being a scientist myself.)

Mutations happen naturally. So we don’t know if a.) the flowers’ mutations are a result of extra radiation from the meltdowns or b.) the flowers’ mutations occured naturally (called fasciation,) and were not the result of nuclear meltdown radiation. Nobody knows. If they say that they do, they are lying. People can have opinions, though, as to what caused the flowers’ mutations.

Here is a link to the photos of the man’s photos of flowers which have mutations. (I am not going to post the photos here directly because I don’t own the photos, nor do I have permission to post them.)

So anyway, I saw these photos when they were originally viral, and then later saw them again. The second time I saw them, I thought, “Hmmm… I wonder if it is true that there are deformed flowers in Fukushima City? I have not seen any. But I don’t pay much attention. What’s true? What’s not true?”

So starting in September of 2017, I took photos of flowers when I saw them–for an entire year.  (This is the way I chose which flowers to take: it was completely random. If I rode my bike by some flowers and I had my camera, I snapped a picture. I didn’t think anything at all other than “Oh, pretty! Flowers! Take photo!” Usually I was rushing somewhere. Believe it or not, nobody pays me for taking photos of flowers and sticking them in my blog. Actually, scratch that. Believe it. Nobody pays me anything at all for this. It’s 100% unbiased.)

The project has two purposes: 1.) The original purpose is to show whether or not Fukushima City does indeed have more than its share of deformed flowers. (During my entire year of stopping and looking at the flowers and snapping their photos, I never onced saw a deformed flower. Shrug. They may be there, though. I’m hardly a florist.) 2.) The second purpose is to show the beauty of Fukushima City. This was not my original purpose, but I realized as I never actually saw any deformed flowers, that um, well…… they sure are pretty.

I do NOT label the names of the flowers. Why not? Because I don’t know anything about flowers. That’s why.

Okay, we shall start tomorrow….with September flowers.