Among Rumored Blacklists, Studio Ghibli Makes Its Voice Heard

Protests don't get any more polite than this. Late last week, a banner appeared on a Studio Ghibli building outside Tokyo's city centre. The banner read: "Studio Ghibli wants to make movies with electricity that's not from nuclear power plants."

The banner has cute sunflowers drawn on it. Studio Ghibli is well within its right to protest. Japan is a free country. The Japanese entertainment industry, however, is not.

The ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster has caused the country to re-examine its energy policy, with protesters calling for Japan to stop using nuclear power. According to Yahoo! News, between 75 and 80 percent of Japanese are in favour of eliminating the country's 54 nuclear plants.

The majority of Japanese celebrities are trying to help by encouraging people to donate to relief efforts or appear in public service announcements.

Hayao Miyazaki, responsible for classics like My neighbour Totoro, is a known technophobe who doesn't own a computer and compared iPad use to masturbation. Studio Ghibli's protest isn't his latest anti-technology rant, and he's not alone in his outcry.

Some like author Haruki Murakami, Japan's most famous novelist, are openly criticizing the government and the country's nuclear dependence. One actor, Taro Yamamoto has also been vocal about his anti-nuclear, anti-TEPCO opinions.

"I can't stay silent while Japan continues the state terrorism of nuclear power," Yamamoto tweeted."

The Fukushima nuclear plants are owned and operated by TEPCO (The Tokyo Electric Power Company).

There are rumors that TEPCO even created a blacklist of actors and musicians who are protesting the nuclear industry.

After participating in a protest and letting his feelings known via Twitter, Yamamoto left a television drama he was slated to appear in. His agency said Yamamoto wasn't leaving the show, but Yamamoto later quit the program and left his talent agency of 13 years.

"I can't stay silent while Japan continues the state terrorism of nuclear power," Yamamoto tweeted.

Studio Ghibli's protest is far gentler, if not engimatic. "This is an honest expression of Mr. Miyazaki's feelings," a Ghibli spokeswoman told Japan Real Time. The banner doesn't express an ultimatum or a demand, but a simple and honest desire in a complex world.

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond. (Top photo: 2ch)


    I don't approve of blacklists of any type, and I support the right of the people to protest nuclear power.

    However.... these protests are based on emotion and a poor understanding of nuclear power. Yes the disaster that has happened is bad, but

    1) It was caused by nature, not humans. The power plant was built by humans (even survived the earthquake perfectly intact), but it was the tsunami that knocked out the backup generators. The people at the power plant were prepared for a tsunami, but just not one of this magnitude.

    2) Nuclear power has operated safely in Japan for decades. In fact, around the whole world, there have only ever been 2 Nuclear Accidents that were serious (Chernobyl and Fukushima). Three Mile Island was a relative blip on the radar and very little radiation actually escaped.

    3) Like Chernobyl, the Fukushima plant was old, designed in the 60's. Modern Nuclear Power plants are extremely safe. But because of those blasted hippies, we can't build any new ones because they, in their ignorance, automatically assume Nuclear = Bad! Anyone who actually understands the technology properly should be in favor of more nuclear power plants (built away from coast-lines though).

    4) Nuclear Waste is not much of a problem anymore. We have reactors designed to reuse nuclear waste in repeated cycles, leaving very little harmful waste products. Plus, it's not that much more radioactive that the Uranium you put in the plant in the first place, so why NOT bury it back into the ground? Uranium's from the ground, ain't it? Radioactive waste isn't some sort of "green goo" that you see on the Simpsons!

    Look, I can't convince you - go read a textbook. No, DON'T go to those green-peace propaganda sites (and while I broadly agree with a lot of what green peace does in terms of whale preservation and forest conservation, I disagree with them heartily on the nuclear issue). Go read an ACTUAL PHYSICS TEXTBOOK on the subject. Just go to a local university or a public library and read the science for yourself. Once you educate yourself, you'll realize that Nuclear Power isn't as scary as the Green Peace folks make it out to be. The Green Peace people oppose nuclear power on principle (because it's linked to nuclear weapons) not on any actual scientific fact).

    In fact, just go to "The Guardian" and read George Monbiot's article on Nuclear power. He's a prominent leftist himself.

      The irony with Nuclear power plants is that the safer it is, the harder it is to deal with the aftermath.

      Alexander Kovalenko, Chernobyl power plant's former-deputy director, in an interview mentioned that Chernobyl power plant's meltdown was easy to manage because it was not sealed like the Fukushima one's, so they could easily reach the melted cores and dump cooling agents on it. The Fukushima cores however are fully roofed and sealed meaning getting access to them is extremely difficult. This probably the greatest reason why the situation blew out to what it is today.

      Quite simply the mess was due to the ill-prepared power plant operators.

        Actually it was the earthquake but whatever.

          Yeah I know it was the the Earthquake (Tsunami) but what I was referring to was the aftermath, or the handling of the situation that allowed more cores to explode.

      I agree 100%, you've summed up my view on the Nuclear Power issue entirely.

      Nuclear power is foolish. No matter how safe humans make it, it will always be fallible. It's never a question of if there will be a nuclear meltdown, it's only a question of when. You don't need "crazed greeny propaganda" to see that, only history.

      And at the very least, if we must have Nuclear power, building it in one of the most unstable fault line regions of the world is retarded.

        That's all fine Zack (PHD Renewable Energy). So suggest us an alternative safe, clean, disaster proof energy source that can supply the 10 trillion trillion gigawatts that we consume each year and we'll happily use it.

        Oh wait, it hasn't been invented! what slight miscalculation to your (and everyone else's) anti nuclear arguments.

        Zack, do you know how many people die every year in order mining coal for power plants? Do you know how many coal-fueled power plant explosions involving death happen every year?

        Hundreds of deaths a year, every year.

        No one has died from a nuclear power plant failure since Chernobyl. Even Fukushima hasn't killed people yet. This is why they say nuclear is the safest form of energy.

        Wind and hydro plants cannot produce as much power as coal or nuclear. Coal kills more. You can complain that humans are fallible and their inventions always will be, but at the moment only one kind of power plant is killing people every year, and that's coal.

        This is to say nothing of the pollution that coal plants produce, either.

    Engimatic, or enigmatic? Seriously Gizmodo that story was ruined by poor proof reading. This world is already turning out like Idiocracy, don't add more evidence than there already is.

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