Tetsu Kariya, author of the gourmet manga “Oishinbo,” says in the series’ latest edition that radiation is so high in Fukushima Prefecture it is causing nosebleeds among local residents.
The theme echoes one in a previous story that critics panned when Kariya had the main character suffer a nosebleed after visiting the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The controversial episodes ran in Shogakukan Inc.’s Big Comic Spirits magazine last May. But when the manga was compiled into book form, critical passages, including one linking nosebleeds and radiation exposure, were watered down.
In his latest book, published by Yugensha, Kariya questions the Environment Ministry’s assertion that radiation is unlikely to be causing nosebleeds locally. He cites surveys that found that “many people” have been suffering nosebleeds in the prefecture.
Kariya has written extensively about the plight of Fukushima farmers and fishermen, whose troubles he has studied at first hand. He has visited places around the nuclear power station.
He said he altered some controversial episodes in the new book to prevent misunderstanding and to protect real people who were identifiable in previous episodes and who others criticized.
In the final chapter, Kariya emphasizes that the reconstruction of the lives of the people is far more important than the recovery of the land of Fukushima.
“It is only you who can protect yourselves,” he said, addressing them in general. “Please have the courage to flee from Fukushima.”