MICHIKO ISHIMURE was born on March 11, 1927 in
Kumamoto Prefecture on Amakusa Island off the west coast of Kyushu, one of the four main
islands of Japan. When she was three months old her parents, Kametaro and Haruno
Shiraishi, moved to Minamata, a small village of Kyushu on the Bay of Minamata, where her
father continued his trade of stonecutter. The eldest in the family of three brothers and
one sister, MICHIKO grew up in the "low strata of a community which was formed in the
process of a village's transformation to a town." She maintained "a brilliant
record" in the local primary vocational training school and graduated at 16. Since
this was 1943in the middle of World War II and Japanese manpower was absorbed by the
military machineshe was given an immediate position as substitute teacher in a
primary school in town. She resigned in 1947 to marry Hiroshi Ishimure, a war veteran
doing day labor until he became teacher at Minamata High School. One reason for leaving
teaching she has said was that she "felt ashamed" of the role she had played as
a teacher in promoting the wartime propaganda that demanded "100 million commit
suicide fighting the enemy."
For the next few years, MlCHlKO ISHIMURE took an occasional minor job, but spent most of
her time in traditional housewifely activities, growing rice for the family and in raising
their only child, a son Michio born on October 5, 1948, who is now a graduate in Physical
Education from Nagoya University.
Shy and frail and feeling herself of a lowly origin, Mrs. ISHIMURE nevertheless had a
burning ambition to become a writer and poet. In the early 1950s, she felt keenly the
disappearance of traditional community life and she identified with the villagers who
confided in her their fears as sons left the farms for the cities to try to earn a living.
In seeking to find others with her interests and concerns, she came into touch with study
groups of the local labor union and the Japanese Communist Party. She began to feel, as
many other "intellectuals" of that period, that communism equated with freedom
and self expression. However, joining the "Circle Village," a literary movement
begun by one of Minamata's most talented poets and leading Communists, she soon learned
that the party had no time for personal causes. When she began to publicize the plight of
the victims of Minamata Disease and criticized the party for its stand against her
activities, she was investigated, accused of being a Trotskyite, and informed that she was
allowed to write only for the party organ. She quit, "with an abiding distrust of
organizations which are overcentralized, bureaucratic and do not give their chapters
freedom." Her distrust is reflected in the loose organization of the movement to
fight Minamata Disease.
In the early years of this century Minamata was a beautiful, clear bay of the Shiranui
Sea. The people along its shores were poor but well fed due to the bounties of earth and
sea. Fish and rice were their mainstay, with a little wheat and barley, but few fruits or
vegetables. Fish played a particularly prominent dietary role because they were plentiful
and fishing was a major livelihood.
In 1908, one of Japan's earliest chemical producers, the Chisso (Nitrogen) Company, built
a carbide plant at Minamata. The village of 10,000which grew to 50,000 by
1956became a one-company town, with Chisso controlling the political and economic
life of the community. The company showed a lack of concern for human and esthetic values,
typical of many industries in the early stages of national industrial development. For
example, it emptied its solid wastes into the baywhich was a natural settling
ponduntil 1933, and its untreated liquid wastes until 1960 when reaction to the
discovery of Minamata Disease forced it to install an effluent purification device.
Chisso expanded the Minamata plant in 1927. By the end of World War II the corporation,
with its headquarters in Tokyo, had become one of the largest chemical manufacturers in
Japan. In 1955, more than 10 products, including PVC vinyl, were being turned out by the
Minamata factory, and its liquid wastes were still being emptied into an estuary of the
canal leading to the bay. As Jun Ui, a biologist in the Department of Sanitary Engineering
at Tokyo University later wrote, "the multiplicity of the elements with which the sea
water was polluted, was one of the causes of the delay in successfully determining the
cause of [Minamata] disease."
During the developing years of the chemical industry little was known about the dangers of
chemicals and chemical waste being passed on directly or indirectly into the environment.
But as early as 1925 Chisso recognized its responsibility for polluting the waters and
damaging the fish life of Minamata Bay by its waste disposal procedures. It paid the
protesting fishermen's unionwhich had fishing rights in the polluted area-¥1,500 on
the condition that "there will be no more complaints forever."
The issue was revived in 1943 and again Chisso agreed to compensation, this time ¥152,500
"to compensate the damage for the past and future by throwing the polluted waste
water, remnants and garbage to the sea area, where the union holds the right to
fish." Again it paid on the grounds that the issue never be reraised and that the
agreement be binding on "successors to the union."
In the early 1950s, a strange phenomenon was noticed in the fishing hamlets of Myogin,
Tsukinoura, Itzuki and Yudo which were strung out along a narrow strip of land between the
steep hills and Minamata Bay. Cats in these hamlets were reported to be standing on their
heads, rubbing their noses into the sand until the skin came off and then jumping into the
sea and drowning.
As a sensitive woman and aspiring writer, Mrs. ISHIMURE was both disturbed and intrigued
by these stories and wanted very much to see for herself the "dancing cats."
Then word began to spread of the same strange behavior appearing among members of the
fishermen's families, particularly among those who owned the cats. Mrs. ISHIMURE knew that
in the societal context of Japan an ordinary housewife could not walk into these villages
and begin asking questions, yet she felt an "inexplicable force" drawing her to
them. She hit upon the excuse of visiting classmates living there. "I pretended I was
just wondering how they were," she later wrote, "and brought up the matter of
the cats casually." In this manner, she learned about both the cats and
theusuallyelderly persons who were exhibiting the same bizarre symptoms which
the villagers referred to variously as the "dancing cat,"
"high-collar" (i.e., modern), "civilization" or "mysterious"
disease. What surprised and shocked her was the derision and lack of pity expressed by her
friends for the victims. Many took the Buddhist position that they were paying for sins
committed in lives past, others ascribed the disease to evil spirits, leprosy or simply to
the senility of old age. Victims were hidden away by their own families, as if the
affliction itself were shameful; some feared it was contagious. Appalled by what she
learned, she could not bring herself to ask to visit any of the sufferers to see the
ravages of the disease firsthand.
Minamata Disease was first seen in 1953; that year 13 persons were known to be suffering
from this strange malady. It usually manifested itself first in numbness and a
"drunken" loss of coordination, which progressively led to a total loss of the
ability to walk, speak, write, see, hear, smell and feel. In its later stages it resulted
in severe deformation of the body, convulsions, fantastic behavior and death. By 1956,
some 52 persons were known sufferers and by 1958, the Minamata City Hospital had to add a
wing to accommodate the patients.
In May 1956, Dr. Hajime Hosokawa, Director of the Chisso Factory Hospital, officially
identified this condition as a discrete but unknown disease. On his initiative the
"Committee to Control the Weird Disease of Minamata" was established, with
members drawn from local physicians' associations and from the city and factory hospitals.
In August a research team from Kumamoto University Medical School was organized as the
"Medical Research Team for the Weird Disease of Minamata." Associated with it
was the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and the United States National
Institutes of Health. Preliminary findings in November described the disease as "an
intoxication caused by intake of marine products of Minamata Bay."
During the next two years warnings were issued and central government funds were given for
"research into cause, and receiving facilities and medical care for patients."
Yet, little was understood by the villagers themselves, and government aid, as is
frequently the case, was slow in making itself felt. Fishermen were urged to fish beyond
the Shiranui Sea, a palpable hardship since the average fisherman used a two-oared boat,
rowed by himself and his wife, which was neither seaworthy nor large enough to venture
In July 1959, the Kumamoto Team identified mercury as the cause of what became officially
known as Minamata Disease. Its source, they said, must be waste from the Chisso plant
since it was the only industry in the area.
At this point, factory cooperation ceased. It denied responsibility, refused to allow
scientists access to its drainage flume and refused to divulge the chemicals used in its
various manufacturing processes. Dr. Hosokawa had confirmed by experiments on cats that
the factory drain contained substances that could cause Minamata Disease, but his findings
were suppressed by the factory and he was ordered to stop his research into the disease.
The irony of mercury and other metal poisonings is that the waters into which the
chemicals seep or are dumped do not necessarily register as dangerous, but the aquatic
life cycle imbibes and retains them, and as one species is consumed by another, the
amounts of chemical increase in each succeeding life stage.
When literary friends of Mrs. ISHIMURE who were in government positions learned of her
visit to the fishing hamlets to hear firsthand of the "mysterious disease," they
procured for her a copy of the report made by the Kumamoto University Team which confirmed
that the disease was the destruction of the central nervous system by mercury poisoning
acquired by eating contaminated fish. She also learned that the disease was showing up in
more and more people, not just in the elderly who had been eating poisoned fish for many
years, but in younger and younger people as the accumulation of mercury in fish increased.
When she heard that a young woman her own age had died of Minamata Disease she decided to
visit the city hospital and see the victims herself. The first visit was such a shock to
her sensitive nature and frail constitution that she was "ill and weak for six
months." Each subsequent visit took its emotional and physical toll.
Besides the ordeal of seeing and talking to the Minamata Disease victims, was the pressure
from family, friends and townspeople who felt a housewife should not involve herself in
such affairs and that publicizing the condition of the patients "gave the town a bad
name." During the next few years whenever the pressure got too great she turned for
physical and emotional comfort to the family of the editor of Kumamoto Fudoki (Kumamoto
Record), which was to publish her essays and of which she is now co-publisher.
"Without any hesitation," she wrote, "I told them of my spiritual
loneliness and hunger and begged for food, and at their homes I was able to sleep like a
fish thrown over the beach. During this time without mercy, my family was left alone, but
what could I do? I had many acquaintances who consoled my family . . . . "
Driven by an intense desire to help the sufferers, but with the government siding with the
company in downplaying the disease and refusing to admit to its cause, there were no
official channels open. Her one outlet was in writing. Through her essays and articles she
could expose the condition of the patients as they suffered and died. Since the villagers
came from her own background she instinctively knew their thoughts and feelings and could
speak movingly for them. Where possible, she used their own speech to make more poignant
the condition in which they found themselves and their sense of shame and disbelief that
they could no longer work and care for themselves. To emphasize the simplicity of these
people she wrote in the Kumamoto dialect.
She also interested a group of her literary friends in the plight of the victims and
together they organized the Mutual Aid Society for Minamata Disease Patients, persuading
the patients' families to band together, with each family contributing ¥50 for expenses.
They themselves gave and also begged for money on street corners in neighboring towns.
In the fall of 1959 when the Minamata Fishermen's Cooperative requested compensation for
the loss of their livelihood by the activities of the Chisso company, the Society joined
with the union and likewise made demands upon Chisso for compensation for suffering and
loss of life from Minamata Disease. The company signed agreements in December that year
with both groups. While not accepting responsibility for the disease, the company
nevertheless agreed to pay a "solatium"condolence money"of
¥300,000 (US$833) for each deceased victim, ¥100,000 for each adult patient and ¥30,000
for each incurable child. The company however stated in the agreement that "even in
the event that the factory's drainage be found to have had a causal connection with
Minamata Disease, the Mutual Aid Society of Patient's Families shall not make any new
demand for compensation." The fishermen received less than 10 percent of the loss
they had suffered.
The government now took the position that since the company had paid compensation and was
in the process of installing an effluent purification device, the need to pursue the
source of pollution was no longer necessary. Funds were withdrawn from the Kumamoto Team,
which, however, continued to search for the source of the mercury. Since Minamata Bay had
little tide or current, the team found great quantities of sludge on the bay bottom. It
was only when the company changed drainage sites and the team had a chance to check both
old and new sites, take samples, and check the geographic location of patients that it
"ascertained beyond a doubt that the effluent from the nitrogen company was
responsible for the methyl mercuric compounds found in fish and shellfish in the
bay." By 1964 it also understood the process through which inorganic mercury used by
the company was changed to organic mercury in the sea. The government and the company
still refused to credit the findings.
Writing of this period, Mrs. ISHIMURE says, "no matter how hastily you view the
unprocessed factory waste that started biting into our Islands from the Pacific Coast side
[the Ashio Mine poison case of the 1870s] and continue to drain Japan, it begins to
resemble the blood of the internal organs, the intestines, being squeezed out of our soil.
Flooded with unknown chemicals and covered with soot resembling
poisonous gas, our country is slowly suffocating. The seas, rivers, lakes, the surface of
the ground, the water underground and all living things, including human beings who are
the last receptacle, most certainly accumulate organic acid compounds and organic
In 1965, Minamata Disease was diagnosed in Niigata, on the east coast of Honshu, under
similar circumstances. Again scientists at the university (this time of Niigata) made
public their definite conclusionthat the disease was from mercury emptied into the
river by the Kanose plant of Showa Denko. Again the government did not recognize the
report, although it began checking effluents of all factories using mercury as well as the
waters around such plants. It suggested that perhaps a single accident, rather than the
continuing disposal process, could be the problem.
It was not until September 1968 that the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the Science
and Technology Agency, announced that "waste water from the Chisso plant" and
"waste water from the Kanose plant of Showa Denko" were responsible for the
mercury poisoning that was the cause of Minamata Disease in Minamata and Niigata. This was
15 years after the discovery of the disease in the former, 12 years after its
identification, 10 years after its cause was determined and 3 years after its outbreak in
Niigata. During this time, "the victims rather than offender had to shoulder the
burden of proof, notwithstanding the fact that a specific source was related beyond
question to a specific damage through a causal connection scientifically
It was during these intervening years that Mrs. ISHIMURE brought to the attention of the
people of Japan the plight of the victims of Minamata Disease, helped the patients in
their compensation negotiations with the Chisso company, and assisted them in their
dealings with the government, whether in confrontation in front of the Ministry of Health
in Tokyo or in the long court case in Kumamoto City. During this time not only the
government but "the union leaders, company officials and the city's political leaders
. . . managed to sidetrack the scientific investigation time and again."
The position of the city officials could be understood for the mayor of Minamata was a
former manager of the Chisso plant and about half the assemblymen were associated with the
factory. The union's role was more surprising, but the union was more concerned about the
ongoing strength of the plant and the resultant security of their jobs, than justice for
fishermen-patients who were beyond their ken. The stand of the union finally backfired,
with the union splitting and the new union taking a stand on behalf of the victims. Prior
to the split even Mrs. ISHIMURE's brother, a union member, opposed the Mutual Aid Society
for Minamata Disease Patients.
In the late 1960s, a literary friend living in another part of Kyushu suggested Mrs.
ISHIMURE publish in book form a collection of the essays she had written about the
Minamata victims. In this way her writings would come to the attention of a wider
audience, and she would establish herself as a recognized writer and thus acquire the
status necessary to enable her to carry on her work for the patients. (Indicative of the
importance of status, Mrs. ISHIMURE had been turned downon the basis that she wasn't
an established writerwhen she attempted in 1963 to arrange an exhibition of
photographs of the patients in Kumamoto City.)
Her book, entitled Kukai JodoWaga Minamata (Pure Land Poisoned Sea), was
published in 1968. The theme that runs throughout is that Minamata Disease represents the
sickness of Japanese society. Mrs. ISHIMURE views industrialization and the evils that it
brings with it as an illness because it results in an alienation of the Japanese from
their roots. The book "commanded nationwide response," and aroused public
concern and support for victims of Minamata Disease. She has since published another book
in the same vein, Rumin no Miyako (City of Drifters), printed in March 1973 and in its
third printing a month later, and edited Waga ShiminMinamata-byo Toso (Minamata
DiseaseMy Dead People) (1972), a collection of essays by herself and others.
The publication of Pure LandPoisoned Sea brought attention to the Citizens Council
of Minamata which with Jun Ui and others she had helped found earlier. As a group to study
ways to help Minamata patients, it was, she said, "a mixture of highly regarded
experts and some, like myself, who had only primary school education." Doctors and
professors from the Kumamoto University Hospital who had been involved in the study of the
disease from the beginning were among its most active members.
The Kumamoto Committee to Indict Minamata Disease was set up at about the same time to
help the Citizens Council, "spiritually and materially," and to publish a
monthly newspaper Kokuhatsu (Indictment), which later was changed to Minamata Kanja-san to
Tomoni (Together, or Hand in Hand with Minamata Patients). Three thousand copies were
printed of the first issue; interest was such that printing has increased to 15,000.
Indictment is provided free to those who cannot afford to pay. Its purpose is to obtain
the broadest possible publicity for the patients' fight against the government-business
establishment in order to win financial security for themselves and legal protection from
dangerous abuses of the environment for all. Mrs. ISHIMURE has lent her time and effort to
both Council and Committee, but her talents have been especially engaged in writing for
When two new cases of Minamata Disease were discovered in 1968, the Mutual Aid Society
split into two factions, one seeking renewed compensation negotiations with Chisso, the
other bringing suit for compensation against Chisso in the Kumamoto District Court. Those
negotiating with Chisso reached an understanding with the company in May 1970, after two
years of bitterness, with the company "totally completely uncooperative" much of
the time. At issue was not only increased compensation in view of the official government
fir cling that the company was responsible for causing Minamata Disease, but public
admission by the company of its guilt.
The court case was even more protracted. It came to trial in October 1969 but was not
decided until March 1973. In the interim the litigants and members of the Mutual Aid
Society decided to carry their case to Tokyo and demonstrate where both the government and
media would be forced to notice them, see their deformities, and realize that this would
be the future state of all unless pollution controls were enforced. Thirteen were
arrestedas the Society had planned. The attention of the nation was caught, people
were shocked, and both financial and moral support for the court fight mushroomed. Over
¥10,000,000 were contributed, enough to pay for most of the expenses of the trial and for
continued publication of Indictment for months to come.
In addition a documentary film was made by Director Noriaki Tsuchimoto which had a great
impact on public thinking and perhaps subsequent company action. Entitled
Minamatathe World of Suffering People and shown on Japanese television on November
14, 1970, this film was the first widely viewed audiovisual documentation of "the
real situation of the afflicted people and their inner world." Victims told in their
own words of their distress and shame when they no longer had the strength or physical
control to lead useful lives. Tsuchimoto, whom Mrs. ISHIMURE regards as one of her best
friends, did not base his film directly on her essays but she feels it is "deeply
connected with my work in its spiritI think he made the film in the same
understanding of suffering as mine."
In the fall of 1971 the government officially recognized 18 new Minamata Disease patients
and the prefecture started a comprehensive survey of the Minamata Bay area to discern if
there were other sufferers. The newly designated patients requested compensation
negotiations with Chisso and when their demands weren't met, started a sit-down strike.
They began demonstrating in front of the factory on November 1, and then entrained for
Tokyo to address the main office directors, demanding to speak with the president
directly. Mrs. ISHIMURE helped finance their trip with money from an advance for her third
book, which also paid for a necessary eye operation for herself. Negotiations with the
president were finally successful in 1973 but only after a new patient, angered by the
president's statement that the company could not pay further compensation, replied that if
the company couldn't pay, he couldn't live. He broke an ashtray against the negotiating
table and slashed his wrists. The president, shocked into a recognition of their
desperation, said, "Yes, yes, yes we will pay!" A solatium of
US$60,000-US$68,000 was agreed upon plus monthly payments.
The Kumamoto District Court also handed down its decision in 1973. It found that "the
defendant cannot escape from the liability of negligence." It was a landmark case
because it was the "first time in Japanese history that a local court decided against
the central power, the central government, in favor of local people in relation to a
pollution problem." The people who won the case have now gone to Tokyo to confront
the corporation and ask for a verbal and written apology for "lack of responsibility
and wrecking of the human environment."
From the identification of Minamata Disease until the end of 1972, 59 victims died, 292
were officially recognized as sufferers and 370 were waiting to be certified as such. A
number of patients have been found who were born with the disease, the mercury having
passed through the placental barrier and infected the central nervous system of the fetus
still in the womb. There is no cure for the disease and none anticipated. All that can be
done for the victims is to see that they absorb no more mercury from the environment, that
they are helped to cope with their infirmities and that they are given an amount to live
on to make their lives free from want and as bearable as possible.
Today the Mutual Aid Society is seeking establishment of a Minamata Disease Center Project
which will provide a meeting hall for the patients, a center for care, a medical research
unit, work shops to train patients to regain economic independence where possible, and a
center for the exchange of information between volunteer groups working with or for the
Through the trial, negotiations and meetings Mrs. ISHIMURE lent her physical presence
whenever it was meaningful. She rode with the patients on the bus to Kumamoto City to give
them confidence, and sat with them in the courtroom through hours of hearings. She gave
money whenever she had it and when not sought to raise it from others. She wrote of the
victims and kept constantly before the public the specter of horrors resulting from
environmental irresponsibility on the part of business and government.
In 1968, the Bungei Shunju Publishing Company chose her for the Soichi Oya Award, an award
commemorating one of the most respected Japanese journalists. Mrs. ISHIMURE turned it down
saying she was too busy to "comply with the requirement to receive it." She also
turned down an award from the Kumamoto Nichinichi newspaper because, as she wrote,
"it is not in keeping with what I am doing now."
Her shyness is so intense that she has been known to ask to have a room darkened before
she rises to address an audience, wanting neither to see or be seen, and she has a
"hideaway" house in Kumamoto City which she obtained in a circuitous way so that
even her friends cannot find her.
Although she brought herself to deal with the harsh reality of the present, she has always
yearned to go back to a simple uncomplicated past. In her essay on the sufferings of
Minamata patients, "Groaning From the Dead Sea," included in City of Drifters,
she began: "There is something we cannot do unless we go back to old times. Inside of
me there is something I cannot explainthe scenery of a little village and a town in
a fog." Now that the court case has been won, negotiations with all known patients
completed, and the Japanese public and government alerted to the dangers of a polluted
environment, she would like to turn her attention to the past and write about the War of
Seinan (1877). This rebellion against the Meiji government by samurai of her homeland of
southwestern Kyushu is the kind of quixotic behavior that attracts the romantic side of
her nature. She also has the very Japanese attitude toward suicide. In one essay she
bemoans that the victims of Minamata Disease cannot even kill themselvesthey have
not the strength. Although she suffers from partial blindness she is fond of reading and
is particularly fond of the stories by a famous 18th century playwright of sweethearts who
choose to die together. "The world which lovers can establish by death is
beautiful," she declares.
Evaluating her a colleague says, "she is a superb writer, precise and poetic"
and has established "a unique and fresh style of documentary writing." She has a
deep understanding of Japanese folk culture and of Buddhist folk tradition and belief and
this enables her to touch the wellspring of Japanese being. She represents and identifies
with the vast majority of Japanese who may wear the cloak of modern life but at core are
still moved in traditional ways by age-old values.
In the last analysis her concern for the victims of Minamata Disease, for the destruction
of the environment by man-made pollutants and man's lack of care, are expressions of this
sensitive romantic self which seeks the lost utopia of the past. "I am not the only
one," she says, "all of Japan has experienced a great loss. We have lost too
much, too much beauty, too much simplicity, too much feeling, receptivity. We have lost
and that is all I can say."
American Embassy, Tokyo. Minamata Disease, (unclassified report to U.S. Department of
State). July 24, 1970.
Asahi Shimbun. Tokyo. January 15, 1972 and June 11, 1973.
Environment Agency. Air Pollution Control in Japan. Tokyo. May 1972, 60 p.
______. Pollution Related Diseases and Relief Measures. Tokyo. May 1972, 28 p.
______. Water Pollution Control in Japan. Tokyo. May 1972. 54 p.
Harada, Masazumi. "Methyl-Mercury Poisoning Due to Environmental Contamination
'Minamata Disease'." Department of Constitutional Neuropsychiatry, Institute of
Constitutional Medicine and Department of Neuropsychiatry, Medical School, Kumamoto
University Kumamoto, Japan. 1973.
Ishimure, Michiko. Group Discussion. Transcript. Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. Manila.
September 1, 1973.
______. Kukai Jodo- Waga Minamata (Pure Land-Poisoned Sea) Tokyo: Kodansha Publishing Co.
______. "People of Minamata," Public Forum. Tokyo: Tokyo University School of
Engineering. No. 11, July 5, 1971.
______. Rumin no Miyako (City of Drifters) "Tokyo: Yamato Shobo. 1973.
______. "Self Destruction March," Asahi Evening News. Tokyo. June 11, 1973.
______. Waga Shimin-Minamata-byo Toso (Minamata Disease-My Dead People). Tokyo: Gendai
Japan Times. Tokyo. April 10, 1972.
Krehl Willard A. "Mercury, the Slippery Metal." Nutrition Today. Annapolis,
Maryland: Nutrition Today Society. November/December 1972.
Kuwabara,Shisei. Minamata Disease l960-1970. Tokyo: Asahi Shimbun 1970.
Mainichi Shimbun. Tokyo. May 27, 1971; March 11, May 10, 1972.
Minamata Disease. Study Group of Minamata Disease Kumamoto University. Japan. 1968.
Minamata Disease Center Project. Tokyo: Minamata Disease Center Offices. 1972.
Tamaki, Akioshi "Pollution Control Poses Tough Problems." Japan Times. Tokyo.
January 24, 1972.
"A Tribune of Sufferers," Asahi Evening News. Tokyo August 31, 1973.
Ui, Jun. "Mercury Pollution of Sea and Fresh Water-Its Accumulation Into Water
Biomass." Contribution to 4th Colloquium for Medical Oceanography, Naples. 2-5
October 1969. 33 p. (Mimeographed.)
______. "Minamata Disease and Water Pollution by Industrial Waste," Revue
Internationale D'Oceanographie Medicale. Nice, France. Vol. 13-14, 1969.
Ui, Sonada and Iijima. Excerpt of One Section from Environmental Pollution Control and
Public Opinion. Chapter I ("The Progress of Kagai Problem"), II, 2
("Minamata Disease") and II, 3 ("Regional Development of Kagai"). 1st
International Symposium for Environmental Disruption, Tokyo. 8-14 March 1970.
Yomiuri Shimbun. Tokyo. September 30, 1971; March 10, 1972.
Interviews with persons acquainted with Michiko Ishimure, her service, her writings and
The RMAF is indebted to Matsuyo Yamamoto and Anthony A. Carter for their assistance in
translating Mrs. Ishimure's books and articles from the Japanese language press.