Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

Suspending Nuclearity: Ecologics of Planting Seeds after the Nuclear Fallout in Fukushima, Japan

By Hiroko Kumaki

Cite As:
Kumaki, Hiroko. 2022. “Suspending Nuclearity: Ecologics of Planting Seeds after the Nuclear Fallout in Fukushima, Japan.” Cultural Anthropology 37, no. 4: 707–737.


In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011, radiation and its potential health effects have become a central concern, shaping debates on the nuclearity of Fukushima. However, residents living in the former evacuation zone often challenged the centrality of nuclearity to their experiences of the nuclear fallout. Taking seriously their efforts to move beyond nuclearity, this article elucidates their varied concerns for the ways in which social and ecological relations—or what I call “ecologics”—have been rearranged after the fallout in the name of their biological and economic well-being. By challenging practices that imposed market logics of containment and equivalence on their living environment, these residents enacted alternatives cultivating socioecological relations that facilitated trust and care in their communities. I argue that residents negotiated partial boundaries not only against radiation but also against socioecological arrangements that tore apart their relationships of mutual support and further reappropriated their land for political economic projects. 




suspending nuclearity; ecologics; health and well-being; partial boundaries; Japan; Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident; 帰還住民; 健康; 地元学; コミュニティ再生; 折り合い; 放射能汚染; 開発主義; 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故