Friday, January 20, 2012

Four Years, Eleven Pages

Four years ago, I came back from Japan full of ideas. But due to my short-term memory and general inertia, most ideas fizzled out, save one - to type out Keiko-san's story. Let's have a little flashback: at the time of the trip, most of us were concerned mainly with anime, JPop and the typical teenage stuff. But we grew serious at times. Once at the Nagasaki Peace Memorial, and the other, at the Minamata Disease Municipal Museum.

What we saw there was, to be frank, deeply disturbing. They had footage from the past, and watching the cats writhing in pain hurt even the non-animal lover. And most of us loved animals. But what made almost all of us cry was listening to the tale of Keiko-san: a woman who survived the Minamata Disease.

When I got back, I was full of starry, albeit vague, ambitions about making a difference in the lives of the sufferers. But the most I got was to circulate the story I typed/transcribed among our small group. Nothing concrete came out of it.

But now, four years later, thanks to the power of Smashwords, I managed to get the story out. Yup, the story is basically what I heard those years ago, transcribed onto the computer and now, out in the internet. And since I played no part in this story, this is naturally free. You can find it under the title Keiko-san's Story: An Account of the Minamata Tragedy.

This is the cover of the ebook. It's my first time doing a cover,
so I hope you'll understand if it's not very good (or to put it bluntly,
terrible). And of course, there's no need to worry about
copyright. I took this photo myself(: 

And you know what? This may be one of the best times to read her story. I (and I hope I'm not the only one, because that would mean I'm hallucinating), have been hearing reports and rumors of tainted food. E.g. the Melamine scandal in China. But I think the postscript to the story, which isn't in the book, is quite hopeful.

You see, we visited a Chisso plant (R.B.S Co. Ltd) the next day, Chisso being the company responsible for the Minamata Disease. This waste processing factory, affectionately christened by my friends and I as "The Shit Factory", is one of the greenest places I have ever seen. They use a Reactor-Bio-System (the R.B.S) or microbe processing to treat the waste, resulting in a absolutely no smells at all. And you know what? They turn the waste into fertiliser and the water that comes out is supposed to be clean enough to swim in (the ducks in the canals looked happy). So you see, there's hope for everyone.

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