いちえふ 福島第一原子力発電所労働記(1) (モーニング KC)


The life of a Fukushima nuclear clean-up worker, shown in Manga art

Former Fukushima worker depicts life inside crippled nuclear plant in manga http://japandailypress.com/former-mangafukushima-worker-depicts-life-inside-crippled-nuclear-plant-in-manga-2646389/We’re used to having superheroes, athletes, samurai, chefs, and even taxmen, depicted in mangaseries, but would you be interested in reading about the “adventures” of nuclear plant workers? Well, if it depicts life at the crippledFukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, then maybe there is enough of an audience for this unique kind of story.

Comic artist Kazuto Tatsuta (not his real name, for obvious reasons) decided to work at the plant, the site of one of the worst nuclear accidents of recent times, from June to December 2012 as he was still a struggling manga artist back then. He was inspired to create 1F: The Labor Diary Of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (“Ichi-Efu”), which gives the public a very rare and unique look at how the workers cope with working in one of the most dangerous places in the country right now. But for them, Tatsuta explains that it is not really “hell on earth,” but rather a day-to-day careful routine to ensure that they will be protected from the constant radiation. He said it was just like any other construction job, and there was no real sense of physical danger because radiation is something you couldn’t see. But he had to stop working at the plant later on because he was already nearing the annual legal exposure limit of 20 millisieverts.

He then decided to write and draw the story of what he and the other workers experienced everyday. His first episode was published in the weekly manga magazine Morning, and even won a newcomer award for the 49-year-old artist. He is expected to release the next few episodes as a book next month, and his publisher Kodansha Ltd. is planning on turning it into a series. However, Tatsuta emphasizes that his story is not meant to take any side in the ongoing debate about the need for nuclear power vs the safety of the public. He also doesn’t mean to glorify nuclear plant workers, but said they deserve to earn more than what they’re getting, around $80-$200 a day, given the hazardous nature of their job. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the operator of the nuclear plant, refused to make any statement about the book, but spokesman Koichiro Shiraki said, “It’s just a manga.”

Fukushima Nuclear Worker Pens Manga About Experience












Kazuto Takita, a former laborer at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, debuted a manga series about his experiences in the 48th issue of Kodansha‘s Morning magazine on Thursday. The manga also debuted on the same day in Kodansha‘s digital magazine D Morning.

The manga Ryūta is writing is titled 1F: Fukushima Daiichi Genshiryoku Hatsudenjo Rōdōki (1F: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Work Log). The 1F in the title stands for the numerical designation for the Fukushima plant. After the earlier “1F” one-shot was published on October 3 and caused a huge stir among the public, the decision was quickly made to turn the story into a full series.

48-year old Kazuto Takita was a laborer at the powerplant after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and he received the grand prize in “34th Manga Open,” a competition that Morning organized to find new talent.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun’s Mantan Web

Manga “1F” Takes You Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Ichi Efu, by Kazuto Tatsuta.

A manga by artist going by the name Kazuto Tatsuta takes readers inside the crippled nuclear plant of Fukushima Dai-Ichi, or ichi efu (1F) – as insiders dubbed it – a place he himself worked in 2012, a decision he took in a period of financial struggle.

The graphic novel “1F: The Labor Diary Of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant,” (いちえふ ~福島第一原子力発電所労働記~) offers a rare peek into the plant which was hit by one of the most powerful tsunamis in Japan’s history on March 11, 2011.

The plant currently remains accessible exclusively to plant workers, employees of Tepco – the operating company – and few representatives of the press, on occasional tours.

In the pilot chapter, he describes the daily routine of the laborers, the different masks, layers of protective suits and clothing they have to wear every day, the use of an Active Personal Dosimeter which alerts them when they reach the daily radiation dose allowed, and their trip back and forth from the J-village, a former sports center that was converted into a residence for the laborers after the accident.

Tatsuta’s manga won the 34th Manga Open award in 2013.


Life at Fukushima No. 1 gets manga treatment

by Yuri Kageyama


First off, no one who works at Tepco’s wrecked nuclear plant calls it Fukushima “Dai-ichi,” comic book artist Kazuto Tatsuta says in his book about his time on the job. It’s “ichi efu,” or 1F.

It’s not “hell on earth,” but a life filled with a careful routine to protect against radiation.

A good part of the day is spent putting on and taking off protective layer after layer: hazmat suits, gloves, boots and filtered masks. Even bus and van interiors are covered in plastic.

Workers say they will lose their jobs if they talk to reporters and their bosses find out. That makes Tatsuta’s manga, “1F: The Labor Diary Of Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant,” a rare look at the nuclear complex that suffered three meltdowns after the 2011 tsunami and will take decades to decommission.

Tatsuta worked at the plant from June to December 2012, in part because he was struggling as a manga artist, but “1F” is his biggest success yet.

The opening episode won a newcomer award and was published last year in Morning, a weekly manga magazine with a circulation of 300,000. The first several episodes are coming out as a book next month, and publisher Kodansha Ltd. plans on turning “1F” into a series.

Tatsuta said “1F” is not about taking sides in the debate over nuclear power, but simply a story of what it’s like to work there.

“I just want to keep a record for history. I want to record what life was like, what I experienced,” he said in his studio outside Tokyo this week.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. rarely provides media access to the inner workings of the plant, except for orchestrated media tours.

Tatsuta is a pen name. The 49-year-old artist asked that his real name not be used for fear of being barred from working at the No. 1 plant in the future.

He said the job is surprisingly similar to other construction work, which also carries its risks, such as flying sparks and crashing walls.

“I never felt I was in physical danger. You can’t see radiation,” he said.

Tatsuta’s story, complete with drawings of shattered reactor buildings, brings to life everyday details — how gloves get drenched with sweat, or how annoyingly itchy a nose can get behind the mask.

Laughter and camaraderie fill the rest area, where drinks and food are plentiful but there are no flushing toilets. In one telling scene, an elderly worker says: “This is like going to war.” Drawings show the daily routine, different kinds of masks, the layout of the grounds.

After Tatsuta had to quit when his radiation exposure neared the annual legal limit of 20 millisieverts, he decided to put down what he had undergone in manga.

Almost every profession — baseball player, salaryman, samurai, chef — has been depicted in manga. But no manga had ever depicted the life of the nuclear worker.

Tatsuta stressed that he does not want to glorify them but insists they deserve to get paid more. The work starts at about ¥8,000 a day, although it goes up to ¥20,000 per day for the most dangerous tasks.

Tepco declined to directly comment on the book. “It’s just manga,” said spokesman Koichiro Shiraki, who has read the work.




ルポ イチエフ――福島第一原発レベル7の現場 + いちえふ 福島第一原子力発電所労働記(1) (モーニング KC) + 今日もいい天気 原発事故編 (アクションコミックス)
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