Fukushima Mon Amour
There was a time when I had to use a map to explain to friends from outside of Japan exactly where my wife came from.
I don't have to do that now.... since the 3/11 quake, tsunami and resulting nuclear accident, it seems almost everyone knows where Fukushima is.
This was shot in my wife's hometown of Ishikawa-machi, some 55km inland from the reactors of Dai-Ichi. I shot it just down the road from our house in 2008, the first sakura season after we returned to Japan to live. It was a very joyful spring.
Above the family's house in Ishikawa there is a 500 year-old cherry tree. It's a listed 'treasure' of Fukushima Prefecture and visited by many people throughout hanami season. Our parties there with family always include many strangers, visitors to 'Takadazakura' (that's the name of the tree). Good fun times. The tree in our Ishikawa garden grew from a cutting taken from Takadazakura.
I hope to spend some time under its branches again soon.
It's been a tough year for Fukushima and the future is far from certain or rosy.
It's a beautiful part of Japan. I cherish these photos. They remind me of good, carefree times in Fukushima. We look forward having such times again.
Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8