Episode 320 – Minamata, Part 2

As the 1950s become the 1960s, the truth of Chisso’s failure to address its problems comes out thanks to a new round of poisoning on the other side of Japan. The people of Minamata seek justice for themselves.

Don’t forget to check out Swords of Northshire!


Minamata Disease Museum – English Site, Japanese Site

George, Timothy S. Minamata: Pollution and the Struggle for Democracy in Postwar Japan. 

Almeida, Paul and Linda B. Stearns. Political Opportunities and Local Grassroots Environmental Movements: The Case of Minamata.” Social Problems 45, No 1. (February, 1998).

Harada, Masazumi. “Environmental Contamination and Human Rights — Case of Minamata.” Industrial and Environmental Crisis Quarterly 8, No 2 (1994).


Mutual Aid Society Protestors at the gates of a Chisso factory.
Participants in the 18 month sit in at Chisso HQ; so far as I know, this is the longest sit in in Japanese history.
Patients and family members of Minamata disease victims hold portraits of dead loved ones at a protest against Chisso.
The memorial at the Minamata Disease Museum today. The museum is run by the Mutual Aid Society and has excellent resources in Japanese and English.



2 thoughts on “Episode 320 – Minamata, Part 2”

  1. What happened to the opening and ending music? Why’s it different?
    Also, considering your description about Yukio Mishma’s seppuku, the crushing of leftist movements, the student protests, and the Miike mine strike, I wouldn’t say you’ve ever spoken of the postwar era glowingly. You’ve always portrayed it as impressive and a time of great change, but never with rose-colored glasses.

    1. I’m glad I’ve been able to convey some of that balance. I do feel like I sometimes don’t do enough to emphasize the darker side of the whole “economic miracle” narrative.
      The new music is actually the same song as the original, just a different performance. I was digging through the archives of the shakuhachi fan site I found the 100 year old recordings on, and found another performance of Miyako no Haru I liked slightly more.

Comments are closed.