In this compelling oral history, Ogata Masato, fisherman and Minamata disease sufferer, tells of the devastation of methyl mercury poisoning. Spanning fifty years, his story describes the impact of industrial pollution on his own life, on his extended family, and on the fishing culture of the Shiranui Sea. A one-time leader of Minamata disease patients seeking certification and compensation, Masato breaks away to follow his personal path to redemption. Masato's story, larger than any one man or one incident, raises questions we must all consider as beneficiaries of modern industry and technology.
Keibo Oiwa is an anthropologist teaching at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama. Ogata Masato is a fisherman and activist in Kyushu, Japan. Karen Colligan-Taylor is professor emerita of Japanese studies at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Part 1 Translator's Introduction Part 2 Prologue: "Out to the Mythological Sea" Part 3 Part I Chapter 4 A Vibrant Village Chapter 5 The Bitter Sea Chapter 6 Competing Souls Chapter 7 What's Going On? Chapter 8 Two Hints Chapter 9 Within the Circle Chapter 10 School Days Chapter 11 A Family Ordeal Chapter 12 Leaving Home Chapter 13 A Compass Restored Part 14 Part II Chapter 15 Rising Tides Chapter 16 Social Activism Chapter 17 Life Changes Chapter 18 Leaving the Movement Chapter 19 The Depths of Despair Chapter 20 Facing My Demons Chapter 21 Tokoyo no fune, Boat to the Eternal World Chapter 22 Bearing Witness Chapter 23 A Will of Stone Chapter 24 A Place of Atonement Part 25 Part III Chapter 26 Beneath the Light of the Sun and the Moon Chapter 27 The Chisso Within Us Chapter 28 Keep the Embers Glowing Chapter 29 Nusari, Embracing Life as a Gift Chapter 30 Moyainaoshi, Moored Together Again Chapter 31 Epilogue