Changing The World, One Tag At A Time


I started taking pictures of work by the street artist known as 281_Antinuke a couple of years ago because I thought it was beautiful. Now I shoot it because I think it’s the voice of young Japanese saying to their society: we don’t want prosperity at the price of environmental destruction.

While the government tries to distract people with the 2020 Olympics and talk of reviving the economy, street artists like 281_Antinuke are out there reminding people that the radiation coming from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that melted down in the wake of the 3/11 tsunami and become the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, still isn’t contained.

They say it takes seven exposures to an idea for people to take notice. 281_Antinuke’s art is quietly ratcheting up the public’s awareness meter, one piece of graffiti at a time.



The “bomb” on the far right is made from the “T” logo of TEPCO, the electric company responsible for the Fukushima disaster.



This Santa has the face of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose efforts to peddle Japanese nuclear technology to the rest of the world, relax weapons export laws, and pass a state secrets law that allows the government to jail anyone who writes about subjects politicians doesn’t want to become public (like nuclear disasters) makes him public enemy number one in the eyes of many Japanese anti-nuclear activists.

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more