Music from the anti-nuclear movement: Japan

Laka has a large collection of music (on vinyl, LPs & Singles and on CD or even VHS and Music Cassettes) supporting the anti-nuclear struggle. Most of these recordings are documenting a specific struggle in a specific era and location, and are living documents of that decennia long struggle. We’re focusing on officially released music, but if appropriate added some digital content too. Music is part of Laka's 'special collections' - the culture of the international anti-nuclear movement - which also includes a large collection of anti-nuclear songbooks, posters and graphic novels. If you have anything to add, want to make a contribution or an inquiry about a specific record, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Motoharu Sano, As Warned, As Planned, 1988 frontcoverMotoharu Sano, As Warned, As Planned, 1988 backcover

佐野元春 (Motoharu Sano)
警告どおり 計画どおり (As Warned, As Planned)
Single, 7" Vinyl, 1988

Motoharu Sano is a very well known Japanese musician. In the mid-1980’s, in his capacity as DJ at FM Tokyo he planned to play Japanese antinuclear songs in a program he called ‘Atomic Power Generation’. At the time FM Tokyo programs accounted for 90% of programming of some regional FM-stations, often owned by local governments, some of which hosted nuclear power plants. One of those stations, partly owned by Hokuriku Electric Power, complained about Sano’s program. Sano conceded and changed the program to Western music. But not long after that, however, he released Keikoku dõri, keikaku dõri (As Warned, As Planned), his 27th single [picture disc], in which he refers to “unreliable journalism” when “children just want to know the truth”, repeating “Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, they’re all exactly as warned”, and asking the question: “Where will be the next nuclear catastrophe?”

Why? / Atrocious Madness
反対子供虐待 / Stop The Nuclear Nightmare No Weapons, No Power
7" EP, 33 rpm, 2001

This is a Japanese/US cooperation; Atrocious Madness is a hardcore punk band from Portland, U.S.A, and did a Japanese tour in 2001. Why are from Obu, some 250km southwest from Tokyo. This EP is from 2001 and released on the independent F.F.T. label from Osaka. Not really much to find on this release.

Various Artists
Sayonara Nuclear Power
Digital release, 11 March 2012

Sayonara Nuclear Power is a memorial masterpieces for antinuclear. Its music consists of 14 musicians from Japan and from overseas. These abstract sounds are made from their own thoughts and feelings to the Nuclear power. We will be pleased if listeners find some kind of an inspiration from the music.
This compilation had been released on March 11, a year after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Yellow Magic Orchestra, No Nukes 2012 frontcoverYellow Magic Orchestra, No Nukes 2012 backcover

Yellow Magic Orchestra
No Nukes 2012
CD Album, 2012

One year after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster, the Japanese goverment still had no plan to change their energy policy and were promoting the nuclear energy policy even further. Member of the groundbreaking Japanese technopop group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) and Academy Award-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, stated that a musical event should be held under the theme of banning nuclear power plants. The No Nukes 2012 event has come to be realized with the cooperation of fellow artists and staffs in support with Sakamoto’s appeal. The purpose of the event is to prove to people in Japan and the world, that humans and nukes cannot coexist, whether it to be for weapons and/or electricity.
The two-day mass rock concert was held on July 7–8, 2012, in the Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba, near Tokyo. Profits from the concert were donated to Sayonara Genpatsu 1000 Man Nin Akushon (Citizens’ Committee for the 10 Million People’s Petition to say Goodbye to Nuclear Power Plants), an anti-nuclear group which Sakamoto has been backing, along with Nobel Prize-winning author Oe Kenzaburo and others. The concert featured performances by 18 groups, including pioneering electronic groups Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra as well as rock bands Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Acidman, and others. More at the ‘No Nukes 2012’ website

Yellow Magic Orchestra, No Nukes 2012 frontcoverYellow Magic Orchestra, No Nukes 2012 backcover

Various Artists
A Compilation of No Nukes Mo’ Survivals
CD, 2012

One of the, no doubt, many such initiatives to commemorate the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima. This compilation with eight Japanese punk/hardcore bands by the independent label Mo’ Survivals / Western Cannibals. Unfortunately not much more information on the unfolded cover, except a thank you to all bands and to anti-nuclear people all over the world. Other than the occasion and subject matter, there doesn’t seem to be a connection with Yellow Magic Orchestra’s No Nukes concerts or release.

Strange Factory - Fukushima Nightmare 2012, frontcoverStrange Factory - Fukushima Nightmare 2012, backcover

Strange Factory
Fukushima Nightmare
7” EP, 45 rpm, 2012

Strange Factory was a hardcore punk band from the Fukushima area. In the aftermath of 3.11 the trio took part in numerous demonstrations, including the large Ginza Sound Demonstration - the name given to some demonstrations with sound trucks – on August 6th, 2011. In October on August 6th, 2011. In October the following year, they released the harsh Fukushima Nightmare EP, featuring chaotic punk numbers “Town of Death” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” 800 copies were pressed. It was their second EP (with folded sleeve), apart from a compilation, and turned out to be their last. “We didn’t change our musical style, but our experiences shaped the lyrics drastically,” leadsinger Ryo says. “We wanted to tell people about our negative experiences, both mentally and physically, as a result of 3.11.”

Little Masta - Save Children from Nuclear Pollution 2013 frontcoverLittle Masta - Save Children from Nuclear Pollution 2013 backcover

Little Masta with Maximum Vibration
Save Children From Nuclear Pollution
CD, 2013

Third album by the Japanese organ player Little Masta, released in April 2013, with the very outspoken “I hate Radiation” and “Divorce (Because of a Damaged Nuclear Plant)” in which he sings about different reactions to the radioactive threat: “Mothers are struggling to protect food supply from Radioactive Contamination / Fathers say, ‘Don’t be nervous honey baby.’”
Little Masta moved in October 2011 with his family to Okinawa in order to protect children from radioactive contamination. Some people accused him of over exaggeration. But he says on his Bandcamp page that only parents can make that decision, they have to judge the situation and every attempt to provide an environment that is even a little better, can be the reason to move.