The Ibuki Communication No. 8 February 2016

The Dreaming Pumpkin


Our collaboration with the organic farming specialists in Fukushima started with our first encounter with Mr. Okawara. It started with the extreme fright with our first experience with the nuclear accident of the First Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It was the beginning of a crisis in our life, the threat of our very life, the life of the Earth, the life of the Ocean… all of these immense phases of existence, strange enough, were seeking loving individual relationship with each one of us. We were beginning to take our first steps toward this immense nature, trying first to apologize to it for our terrible pride, our presumption as if we could take over the control of nature.

All of a sudden, consumers began to show fear only at the sight of the indication “Product of Fukushima”, because they feel their life is threatened. This causes uneasiness in those who produce such threatening food. Some of these people committed suicide, as they felt unable to recover from their psychological damage. Only those who have experienced similar suffering could understand, but we have tried to imagine what it must be like.

It was through his experience of planting and watching and harvesting of the “Golden Thread Pumpkins” that Mr. Okawara let us share with him. For Mr. Okawara and his people, those pumpkins had been just a vegetable, and it had never occurred to them that one could bake cakes with them. So, there we were with the new idea, the debut of a confectionary.

Seisen Women’s University, which is situated in Shinagawa, had already made a treaty with the government of Shinagawa Ward offering nourishing menus as fair trade. Included in the device was the invention of the Golden Thread Pumpkin Cake, which became extremely popular, to the satisfaction of Seisen students who can now help financially and nutritionally the disaster victims of Fukushima. Now we are witnessing more and more collaboration among various units of activities. The event called the “Happier Life and Unity of Local Power” on the weekend of Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14 added special color and life by the participation of more than a hundred local groups. At its opening ceremony, the greeting by the Mayor of Shinagawa was followed by an extremely lively Seisen Girls’ cheering presentation. The fifth anniversary of the East Japan Great Earthquake is thus being commemorated in many creative ways. The threat of nuclear damage is still there, and so are our prayers and mutual encouragement.