“After dinner, the round-faced, quirky old professor pulled his necklace out of his shirt,” says Sea of Miracles director, Dan Malloy. “It was a small clay flute shaped like a football. He announced that he would be performing an old Japanese protest song. The room went silent. He closed his eyes and started to play.”
The ocean surrounding Iwai Island and Nagashima in Yamaguchi Prefecture’s Kaminoseki Town is home to precious and endangered creatures, such as the crested murrelet, finless porpoise and numerous rare endemic fish, shellfish and seabirds. It’s an area with many natural beaches—one that retains an atmosphere of the Inland Sea of the past. But there are plans afoot to build Japan’s newest nuclear power plant there, which would be the first one built since the Fukushima meltdown in 2011. Its construction would destroy an ancient way of life and further threaten fragile species at this potential World Heritage site.
“This is a place of wonder, like a miracle.”
– Midori Takashima
Patagonia grantee and activist Midori Takashima, founder of the Kaminoseki Nature Conservation Association, along with fishermen and farmers who have been fighting construction of the plant for 35 years, continue the battle to preserve Kaminoseki’s sea and natural environment. In 2017, Patagonia Japan helped them organize stakeholders and held workshops to support their vision and further strategic planning to stop the power plant. We also produced Sea of Miracles so people around the world could learn about this tragic plan and help stop it.
“The pressure bestowed on our team to make this film kept me up at night,” Dan admits. “When we departed for Japan, we had the daunting task of distilling a 35-year struggle into a 15-minute film. But that night at the dinner table, the actual task became clear. We needed to build an effective tool for a battle that was still being fought.”
Through the Granted Film Festival, we held screening parties for Sea of Miracles at 22 Patagonia stores in four cities throughout Japan. The film significantly increased public awareness, highlighting both the accomplishments and the challenges that lie ahead. Through all of this work, a ring of support like never before is expanding to aid new efforts to stop construction of the nuclear power plant and protect this valuable area.
For Dan and the Sea of Miracles crew, it was an honor to be given the opportunity to tell the story of these determined activists. “I would like to thank Midori, Toshio and all of the people of Iwai Island for letting us bear witness to their lifetime of activism and fortitude. I hope that in some small way this film helps.”
Protect the Sea of Miracles
Help stop this power plant from being built. Donate to the Kaminoseki Nature Conservation Association at Crowdrise.