Fumiaki (Shisei) Kuwabara
Photographs: Fumiaki Kuwabara
Text: Fumiaki Kuwabara, Haruhiko Tokuomi
Publisher: Sanichi Shobo
Comments: Hardcover under dust jacket with slipcase, 241 x 257 mm, 134 pages, 62 pictures. Text by Fumiaki Kuwabara, Haruhiko Tokuomi. Included in the Japanese photo book by Kaneko and Vartanian p 80-85. In pristine condition.
„The "Minamata Disease Case" of the 20th Century was caused by the chemical manufacturer Shin-Nihon Chisso Hiryo's (Shin-Nihon Nitrogen Fertilizer, present "Chisso") Minamata Plant, the company 's main plant in Minamata City. The mercury (methyl mercury) used as a catalyst in the manufacturing process was discharged directly into Minamata Bay for a long time.
It is assumed one of the problems was the diet of the fishermen in Minamata, consisting of plenty of fish from Minamata Bay and coastal Shiranui Sea.
The official discovery (or verification) of Minamata Disease was May 1, 1956. The officially acknowledged victims of Minamata disease at present number approximately 2,300, but there are thousands of persons not officially acknowledged but administratively relieved (approximately 13,000). Each of them has been paid 2.5 million yen.
The real tragedy of Minamata lies in the hampered development of newborn babies, who have not eaten the contaminated fish, but developed through the disease through their mother's intake of the methyl mercury.
The "Minamata Disease Case.' is an environmental issue caused by the double edged sword of rapid and high economic growth in Japan. At present, there number approximately 5.000 s persons who have applied to the administration as vicitims of Minamata disease. Since 1965, I have continued to record the plight of Minamata.“ (Text taken from Kuwabara's site)
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