June 1, 2021
160 color photos
11.25 Inches (US)
8.75 Inches (US)
$35.00 USD, £25.95 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
June 1, 2021
160 color photos
11.25 Inches (US)
8.75 Inches (US)
$27.99 USD, £20.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

A Body in Fukushima

A photographic account of an extended solo performance in irradiated Fukushima between 2014 and 2019

On March 11, 2011 one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history devastated Japan, triggering a massive tsunami and nuclear meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex in a triple disaster known as 3.11. On five separate journeys, Japanese-born performer and dancer Eiko Otake and historian and photographer William Johnston visited multiple locations across Fukushima, creating 200 transformative color photographs that document the irradiated landscape, accentuated by Eiko's poses depicting both the sorrow and dignity of the land. The book also includes essays and commentary reflecting on art, disaster, and grief.

From the Preface
THIS IS A BOOK OF FUKUSHIMA. THIS IS A BOOK OF WAILING AND UPSET, inhabiting time after March 11, 2011 and imagining time before then. This is a book of the irradiated landscape of Fukushima. This is a book of violence, and of disasters, fast and slow. This is a book of people, mountains, fields and the sea. This book is A Body in Fukushima: the body of a performer—an immigrant artist from Japan, and the body of a historian who is also a photographer, and the body of the land itself.

We traveled together to Fukushima five times between 2014 and 2019. Eiko performed in the disrupted landscapes. Bill photographed the performances. Together we selected the photographs and writings for this book, and Bill wrote the captions. The year 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Timeline in the book extends to include a deeper history that is part of this tragedy and this place. And Places Visited shows the coastline where we performed and photographed. We hope that these images allow you to enter Fukushima, to feel and smell it. —EO & WJ

About the Authors

Born and raised in Japan and now a longtime New Yorker, EIKO OTAKE is a movement-based interdisciplinary artist. WILLIAM JOHNSTON grew up in Wyoming where he developed an interest in Japanese culture and Zen Buddhism; he is a photographer and historian at Wesleyan University.


"What would bring someone to travel thousands of miles to the still toxic site of a monumental disaster in order to perform in the evacuated silence for a camera? What are the ethical dimensions of such an act?  What place does beauty have in the wake of massive trauma? Who has the right to speak, to dance, to situate themselves in places from which others were forcibly extracted? This book is a record of two significant, internationally-oriented artists as they struggle with such questions and resolve that, as Akira Kurosawa once said, 'To be an artist means never to look away.'"—Forrest Gander

"Otake and Johnston's stunning collaborative work will forever haunt us with a sense of belatedness. It compels us to consider the longue durée of 3.11 disaster and its connectedness to many losses, pain and the ongoing structural injustices in Fukushima and beyond."—Lisa Yoneyama, author of Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space and the Dialectics of Memory

"Oscillating across dance and photography, movement and stillness, poetry and prose, history and the everyday, anger and hope—a stunning testament to both the beauty and sadness of Fukushima."—Takashi Fujitani, Dr. David Chu, Professor of Asia-Pacific Studies, University of Toronto

"In this luminous record of bearing witness to post-nuclear catastrophe, testimony and poetry move together with William Johnston's pellucid photographs of movement artist Eiko Otake as she performatively embodies the irradiated landscapes of Fukushima. A Body in Fukushima is riveting, gorgeous, not to be forgotten."—Marilyn Ivy, author of Discourses of the Vanishing: Modernity, Phantasm, and Japan
Wesleyan University Press

9780819580269 : a-body-in-fukushima-otake-johnston
June 1, 2021
$35.00 USD
9780819580252 : a-body-in-fukushima-otake-johnston
Electronic book text
June 1, 2021
$27.99 USD

Other Titles in PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / Regional & Ethnic

Dancing Transnational Feminisms

edited by Ananya Chatterjea, Hui Niu Wilcox, Alessandra Lebea Williams, foreword by D. Soyini Madison, series edited by Piya Chatterjee
Dec 2021 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Baring Unbearable Sensualities

Rosemarie A. Roberts
Oct 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflict

Ahalya Satkunaratnam
Apr 2020 - Wesleyan University Press
$75.00 USD - Hardback
$22.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$17.99 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in Photographs: portraits

Faces of the Civil War Navies

Ronald S. Coddington - with a foreword by Craig L. Symonds
Nov 2016 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$32.95 USD - Hardback
$32.95 USD - Electronic book text

Faces of the Civil War

Ronald S. Coddington - with a Foreword by Michael Fellman
Sep 2004 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$33.95 USD - Hardback
$33.95 USD - Electronic book text

Washington Seen

Fredric M. Miller and Howard F. Gillette Jr.
Nov 1995 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$39.95 USD - Hardback