Ichi-F

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Ichi-F
Cover of Ichi-F.jpg
いちえふ
(Ichi-efu)
Manga
Written byKazuto Tatsuta
Published byKodansha
English publisher
DemographicSeinen
MagazineMorning
Original runOct. 31, 2013Oct. 8, 2015
Volumes3 (Japanese edition)
1 (English-language edition)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (Japanese: いちえふ 福島第一原子力発電所労働記, Hepburn: Ichi-efu Fukushima Daiichi Genshiryoku Hatsudensho Rōdōki) is a graphic memoir by Kazuto Tatsuta about his time as a worker on the ongoing cleanup following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The manga, which Tatsuta wrote under a pseudonym for fear of being barred from the plant site,[1] was originally published as a one-shot, winning Kodansha's MANGA OPEN contest. It was later extended into a full series, which was serialized in Morning from Oct. 31, 2013 until Oct. 8, 2015.

The title is derived from the cleanup workers' nickname for the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, "ichiefu" or "1-F."

Three collected volumes were published in Japan in 2014 and 2015.[2] Kodansha Comics USA published an English-language edition as a single volume on March 7, 2017, close to the sixth anniversary of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that precipitated the disaster.

The series was widely read and discussed in Japan as one of the only pieces of reliable reporting from inside the cleanup site,[3] which was previously only accessible to the media through tours tightly controlled by plant operator TEPCO.[4]

Referring to his work in the Japanese subtitle as a "record of labor," Tatsuta describes the daily lives of workers at the site down to small details, such as how itchy their noses would become after hours under protective masks. (That chapter, titled "Itchy Nose", was republished in the March 2017 issue of Harper's Magazine.[5]) Other notable details include a description of the multi-layered subcontracting system employed by TEPCO to hire cleanup workers. The unnamed company that Tatsuta worked for is a sixth subcontractor of TEPCO, and after all the intermediaries took their cuts, his salary was only 8,000 yen per day, rising to 20,000 yen on days when he was called upon to enter the reactor buildings.[6]

Neither the manga nor Tatsuta have posed an answer to whether Japanese nuclear power plants should be closed. When Kyodo News asked why Tatsuta wrote the series, he said, "I wanted to describe the gap between what the public thought and what I saw inside. 'Ichiefu' is...like my diary, but I am pleased if it has resulted in showing the workers' real lives."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Danielle Demetriou (March 26, 2014). "Life as a Fukushima nuclear worker uncovered in comic". Telegraph. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "「いちえふ 福島第一原子力発電所労働記」既刊・関連作品一覧". Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  3. ^ Philip Brasor (February 17, 2018). "Media reports de-romanticize the cleanup work on the Fukushima nuclear power plant". The Japan Times Online. Japan Times. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Danielle Demetriou (March 26, 2014). "Life as a Fukushima nuclear worker uncovered in comic". Telegraph. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Kazuto Tatsuta (March 2017). "Itchy Nose". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Satoshi Iizuka (March 2, 2016). "Manga artist and ex-Fukushima No. 1 worker portrays life, progress at troubled plant". The Japan Times Online. Kyodo. Retrieved December 24, 2018.