Cutting-Edge Research
in Kyoto University


Harmful Rumors in the Area of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Discrimination caused by the public’s lack of understanding regarding radiation risks.

A poster for the movie Godzilla
(Toho Co., Ltd., 1954)
The monster Godzilla was born as a
consequence of hydrogen bomb
testing at Bikini Atoll. The film is an
example of what Prof. Sugimoto calls
“radiation-induced transformation tales.”

Having witnessed the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011, I produced a paper titled The Desire for Radiation-Induced Transformation Tales. The paper asserts that the Japanese public’s fears concerning radiation (radiophobia) date back to national memories of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and have been fueled by movies and TV dramas enjoyed as entertainment. It also describes how the resulting superficial knowledge of radiation concerns has led to discrimination against Fukushima and the other affected areas.

Yoshihiko Sugimoto, MA
Graduate School of Letters