[Column] A strange present


I bought my friend a birthday present.
Haven’t given it to her yet.

It’s a Japanese tea set.
A near tea shop imports a lot of tea-related things from Japan like fancy items.

It’s a Japanese tea set but I changed the green tea with Mate tea.

Mate tea tastes like Matcha.

The green tea was produced where my grandparents live in Japan. It’s the principal product of that prefecture.
They used to give me a lot of the tea.

The shop staff asked me why I changed the Japanese green tea to Mate tea.

I was,

because, ……

She didn’t ask me twice.
Goodbye green tea. I’m sorry, granda.

I just can’t be dishonest.


3/11 is coming.
Media will all focus on earthquake and tsunami damage.
We wave our hands to a lot of the victims.

but we never finish waving our hands.
Will we ever see the disaster end ?
Until the very last moment, how many goodbyes will we have to say ?

My friend is moving to Japan.

I didn’t want to ruin her dream.


I just changed the green tea to Mate tea.




Français :

[Édito] Cadeau étrange


J’ai acheté un cadeau d’anniversaire à mon amie.
Je ne lui ai pas encore donné.

C’est un ensemble à thé japonais.
Un magasin de thé voisin importe beaucoup de choses japonaises liées au thé comme des objets de luxe.

C’est un ensemble à thé japonais mais j’ai remplacé le thé vert par du thé Mate.

Le thé Mate a un coût proche du Matcha.

Le thé vert a été produit là où vivent mes grands-parents au Japon. C’est le principal produit de cette préfecture.
Ils avaient l’habitude de me donner beaucoup de thé.

La personne du magasin m’a demandé pourquoi je changeais le thé vert japonais par du thé Mate.


parce que, ……

Elle ne me l’a pas demandé deux fois.
Bye-bye thé vert. Je suis désolé, mamie.

Seulement je ne peux pas être malhonnête.

le 11 mars approche.
Les médias vont tous se focaliser sur les dégâts du séisme et du tsunami.
Nous n’avons que nos mains pour tellement de victimes.

mais nous n’arrêterons jamais d’agiter nos mains.
Verrons-nous jamais la fin de la catastrophe ?
Jusqu’au tout dernier moment, combien d’adieux allons nous avoir à donner ?

Mon amie part au Japon.

Je n’ai pas voulu ruiner ses rêves.


J’ai seulement changé le thé vert pour du thé Mate.

    1. Can you guarantee which teas are and which are not? I am sure Mochi-san does not have a gamma spectrometer to test it so why not just do the simplest thing and skip the green tea. I will, sadly, forever.

      1. and even if the tested sample turned to be cesium free (not sure about other nuclides), how about other sample ?
        Leaves are not evenly contaminated. There are thick parts and less thick parts.

        1. Dear Iori,
          it’s reasonable to asses that if a sample is radiation free so it’s all the cultivation because I’m speaking of low scale tea garden that are so small that it would be extremely uncommon to have patches of radiation across the fields. I’m speaking and considering family farming not the industial one as seen in Makinohara.
          As I see it, to me it’s perfectly safe to drink green tea from Uji, Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and especially from Miyazaky and Kagoshima.
          Just don’t drink blended tea bought at the supermarket but just drink tea from local farming, tea that has the JAS lable (organic) and that it’s screened for radiation.
          Then also consider that the infusion process takes away 9/10 of radionuclides contained in the leaves…

          1. Alessandro, I think it is great of you to clear up which teas are safe to drink from Japan. I however am not willing to take the risk of eating or drinking anything from Japan, especially since the Tepco clean up crew is burning radio active debris and also dumping it into the rivers there. No one who does not have their head in the sand here in the US about Fukushima is drinking any tea from Japan. I feel bad for the tea farmers and all the farmers in Japan but I don’t care what percentage of radiation is steamed a way from the tea, no thanks to the remaining percentage. I rarely drink any tea anymore and If I do I try to make sure it is harvested in the US. Though it probably isn’t all that safe either for other reasons. I guess organic herbal teas, not from Japan or China may be the best.

  1. With half-lives in the 100’s to thousands of years, sadly we will NOT see the end of this.

    Everyone with whom I speak about the contamination being spread through the air and discharged into the sea, responds that we, here on the west coast of the U.S. are too far removed to be affected as the distance so large and the sea so vast. As if the contamination will somehow ‘go away.’

    I have wondered about the green tea, too, and have discontinued drinking it. And what about Chinese tea, or japanese teas from other regions in Japan? Are there folks in this, our Fukushima-diary community, who are testing it.

    Keep up the good fight, Mochi san.

  2. In French,

    “Le thé Mate a un coût proche du Matcha”

    should be:

    “Le thé Mate a un gout proche du Matcha”

    The French word for “taste” is “gout”, not “cout” which means “cost”.

  3. I got a gift from my friends in Japan when I visited them in October 2010 during their wedding cermony containing a tea pot and two boxes of tea. When this tea is consumed I will sadly not have anymore Japanese tea in my immediate life. Perhaps when I retire in 35-40 years, I will stop caring for the risk of cancer.

  4. Dear Mochizuki-san, heart-wrenching post. Peace in your heart.
    We have a 17-year-old Naoya from Kyoto. He’s here for the night. A very friendly chap. We’ve had a great evening exchanging gifts. It was soothing to hear them laugh and chat with my 16-year-old daughter.
    But she had asked me vehemently not to mention Fukushima. I’ve managed to keep quiet about it… Indeed, we don’t want to ruin people’s dreams.
    During the meal though, Naoya said with his clumsy English: “We have many problems in Japan.”

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About this site

This website updates the latest news about the Fukushima nuclear plant and also archives the past news from 2011. Because it's always updated and added live, articles, categories and the tags are not necessarily fitted in the latest format.
I am the writer of this website. About page remains in 2014. This is because my memory about 311 was clearer than now, 2023, and I think it can have a historical value. Now I'm living in Romania with 3 cats as an independent data scientist.
Actually, nothing has progressed in the plant since 2011. We still don't even know what is going on inside. They must keep cooling the crippled reactors by water, but additionally groundwater keeps flowing into the reactor buildings from the broken parts. This is why highly contaminated water is always produced more than it can circulate. Tepco is planning to officially discharge this water to the Pacific but Tritium is still remaining in it. They dilute this with seawater so that it is legally safe, but scientifically the same amount of radioactive tritium is contained. They say it is safe to discharge, but none of them have drunk it.