Masao Yoshida, Fukushima 1 plant director at the time of the March 2011 accident, has died. Image Source: EX-SKF.
The director of Fukushima Dai-ichi #1, site of the meltdowns during the Fukushima nuclear crisis, has died. Contrary to what the former PM of Japan has claimed (see here), Masao Yoshida, leader of the Fukushima Fifty who stayed behind, insisted that his workers never considered abandoning the plant during the disaster. From EX-SKF via Mainichi Shinbun on 9 July 2013:
The idea of Bodhisattva describes heroic-minded enlightenment and a path to liberation. Wiki:"Masao Yoshida (age 58), who was the plant manager at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, died in the morning of July 9. Sources at TEPCO revealed the news to Mainichi. While he was the plant manager in March 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident happened. He led the accident response at the plant. He left the post in December 2011. He underwent an emergency surgery in July 2012 for cerebral hemorrhage."
Jiji Tsushin says the cause of death was the cancer of the esophagus. In the first and the only interview he gave was right before the emergency brain surgery. He said he saw divine beings in the workers, who would go out and do the work in a hellish situation, come back and go out again. ...
[In his own words:] "I don't know if I was prepared, but in the end, if we were to leave and water injection stopped, more radiation would leak. Then, Reactors 5 and 6, which were somehow stable, would melt, I mean the fuel would melt, once there was no one at the plant. If the plant was left all by itself, more radiation would leak. We managed to stabilize Fukushima II (Daini) Power plant, but we might not be able to be there [if Fukushima I was abandoned and more radiation leaked]. That would be a catastrophe. If you think that way, there is no way we could just run away.
In that situation, in the tremendous amount of radioactivity, my colleagues went to the scenes of the accident a number of times. It was them who did all they could, and all I did was to watch them do it. ...
In a Buddhism text that I've been reading for a long time, there is a mention of divine figures issuing from the ground. That was what I felt was happening in the hellish situation at the plant. Workers would go to the scenes of the accident, then come back upstairs (at the Anti-Seismic Building), they were dead tired, without sleep, with not enough food, reaching the limit of their physical strength. Then they would go out again, and come back, and go out again. There were many workers like them. When I saw these workers, I knew I had to do whatever I could for them. It's my belief that we have been able to restore the plant to the current level [of relative stability], because of these workers."
The precise word Mr. Yoshida uses for "divine figure" is "Bodhisattva" - one who vows to save all beings before becoming a buddha.
See my earlier posts on the sacrifices made by the Fukushima Fifty workers during 2011, here and here. Their courage prevented a global environmental catastrophe worse than what occurred.Kṣitigarbha is ... [a] popular bodhisattva in Japan and China. He is known for aiding those who are lost. His greatest compassionate vow is:If I do not go to the hell to help the suffering beings there, who else will go? ... if the hells are not empty I will not become a Buddha. Only when all living beings have been saved, will I attain Bodhi.
See all my posts on Nuclear topics.