I visited Rikugien Gardens to see biological impacts of Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant accident. Though I have visited various places in Japan to see the health consequences of the accident, I have never found any effect against creatures in Japan.
Rikugien was established in 1702 by feudal lord Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu who was well-known for his literary accomplishments. Rikugien has been counted as one of two excellent gardens of the Edo period together with Koishikawa Korakuen. The garden was built by Mr. Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa, a famous favorite of the fifth Shogun Tunayoshi Tokugawa, as his villa in 1702. This garden is a typical Daimyo garden called a Kaiyuu pond garden with hills and ponds. Because the land had been on a corner of the flat Musashino, he dug a pond and made hills. The name, Rikugien, came from "six elements of Waka poems" that had been derived from "six styles of poems" written in the old Chinese poetry book "Mao-shi". In this garden, a big pond with some islands is surrounded by trees and offering imitations of famous Japanese beautiful spots such as Wakanoura in Kishuu(Wakayama Prefecture). The garden became the property of Iwasaki family of Mitsubishi group and was contributed to Tokyo city and opened to the public in 1938. Rikugien was appointed as special beauty spot of Japan in 1953. We can see various creatures living there too.
Generally speaking, animal's growth is so fast than human beings that they are more sensitive to radioactive materials of the environment than us. So I visited The Rikugien Gardens to see effects of the accident against creatures which are grown up by Japanese food and water. Fortunately, I could see them grown up safely and I couldn't find any impact of the accident. It seems that there is no problem for childbirth and child-rearing in Tokyo Japan.
Posted by Yoshitaka Kiriake from Japan on February 21, 2014.