These stickers began appearing in the streets of Shibuya in 2011, after the disastrous earthquake and tsunami that took over 20,000 Japanese lives. Added to that, there is an ongoing nuclear crisis ~ one that the artist believes that foreigners understand better than the actual Japanese, who just want to forget. 281 is just the number he wore on a jersey back in high school. It’s “nostalgia for happier times.” He is a forty-something Japanese guy who is single-handedly trying to keep the Fukushima disaster in the hearts and minds of the Japanese people so that they can band together in consciousness to prevent something like this from happening again. The earthquake, tsunami, humans can’t control, but the presence of nuclear facilities and the danger they represent, can be controlled.
The artist feels like in many ways, Tokyo people have all but forgotten the devastation and drama and have gone back to their daily lives, shopping…while the people of Fukushima are still living the terror every day, a city that has to be mindful of its electrical output, while Tokyo, Osaka, everywhere else, just wastes it all…there is a slow resentment building and eventually, Japan will have to acknowledge it. Or, do they wait for another disaster to unite them again briefly, before separating them yet again? For more info: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/10/an-interview-with-281-anti-nuke.html
jun14. Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.