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The cause of Minamata disease—a fatal illness that attacks the nervous system—was first pinpointed in 1957 as organic mercury poisoning from effluent released by the Chisso Corp., a chemical manufacturer and the largest employer in the Japanese city for which the disease was named. For the next 20 years the company denied responsibility, and was joined by the government in its attempt to cover up the problem. One courageous woman, Michiko Shirashi, took up the cause of the people affected by the disease; her book, Paradise of the Bitter Sea , won nationwide recognition and support for the victims. Freelance journalist Mishima gives a gripping account of this long, bitter struggle, with Shirashi at the center. There were lawsuits that ran on for years, and sit-ins at company offices. Finally, there was some recompense for the victims and a start on cleanup. This story is dramatic evidence of the results of a national policy of prosperity at any cost; it permitted one company to irrevocably damage the waters around Minamata. Black-and-white photos.
Posted June 16, 2005
I have a son that was born with mercury poisoning, and this book has really opened my eyes to how far a corporation will go to protect themselves, and worst how far the government will go to protect a company!! The suffering was tremendous.. Michik(A housewife) is the true hero to all those who sufferd in Japan from Mercury poisoning!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.