Nuclear Ghost: Atomic Livelihoods in Fukushima’s Gray Zone

University of California Press, April 2023

Ryo Morimoto, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Richard Stockton Bicentennial Preceptor

“There is a nuclear ghost in Minamisōma.” This is how one resident describes a mysterious experience following the 2011 nuclear fallout in coastal Fukushima. Investigating the nuclear ghost among the graying population, Ryo Morimoto encounters radiation’s shapeshifting effects. What happens if state authorities, scientific experts, and the public disagree about the extent and nature of the harm caused by the accident? In one of the first in-depth ethnographic accounts of coastal Fukushima written in English, Nuclear Ghost tells the stories of a diverse group of residents who aspire to live and die well in their now irradiated homes. Their determination to recover their land, cultures and histories for future generations provides a compelling case study for reimagining relationality and accountability in the ever-atomizing world.

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