Translation: 2017-01-17 Entry


ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Reunited Pets: Remember That Day

The other day we were contacted by someone we haven’t heard from in a long while.

Do you all remember the rescue in September 2011 of John-kun in Okuma?

We got the news that John-kun passed away from old age last November.


At that time, within 3 kilometers of Ōkuma’s nuclear power plant they had just started to allow people to temporarily return home. In local newspapers, it was written that a landlady that returned home and found her dog had been waiting there for her, even after 6 months had passed since the disaster.


At that time, in some areas bureaucrats and citizens were bringing their pets back with them after temporarily returning home. But because the region was directly below the nuclear power plant, the radiation levels were especially high, and pets were not allowed to be brought back. Entering the area and rescuing pets was also not permitted.

John’s owner was also overjoyed to reunite with John after six months but knew they couldn’t bring him back to temporary housing. It was a strange time where citizens couldn’t make clear judgments due to fear of that unknown thing known as radiation.

But at that time, one of our volunteers discussed with us about that newspaper article.

I happened to be in that very spot on that very day and went in search of rescue. While were were making our arrangements for the rescue our volunteer got in touch with the owner and gave us the address.

At that time, within 20 kilometers there were gates set up on the roads and on larger roads there were police stationed and you could not pass through without a permit. But the unmanned gates were even more secure at that time so the first gate we approached was sealed up tight with concrete blocks. So we looked for another route again.

We went up a craggy mountain path nicknamed Butamaru Route and successfully made it to Ōkuma. This route is nowadays in a region that has had sanctions lifted, so you can freely pass through it. But it’s a very rugged road, and because the roads often split it is a an incredibly severe road for someone without off-roading experience.

Even now when we pass close by, I remember this road and think how incredible it was that we were able to pass through. That strange atmosphere from that time I think we turned the impossible into the possible and that’s connected to the many lives we were able to save.


We made it into Ōkuma and got on the shortest route to the house where John was and found that he was really waiting there for us.

At first, he was sitting there like a little lawn ornament.

It was hard to tell at first that he wasn’t(^_^;)



We quickly got him on a leash and for a moment he seemed like he wanted to run but he looked into my eyes and seemed to ask, “Is everything okay?”

“Everything’s okay. You really toughed things out, didn’t you?” And then he got into the car.


This was less than 1 kilometer below the nuclear power plant. We learned later that on this day the air dose of radiation was 136 microsieverts (1 meter above ground.) The people that came to this spot could not remain there long.

We put him in a cage and immediately departed for the shelter.


Or at least we tried…

John began to poop quite a bit in the car and started to destroy the cage with great force. We stopped for a moment along the way and made the decision to at least clean up the excrement(^_^;)

To our great misfortune, as we were stopped, a police car approached us. Because they opened the back door we thought they saw inside the car. Plus we were there without a permit, and all over the car were huge animal rescue group stickers.

Ah, we’re busted… or so we thought.

The police officers understood and turned a blind eye for us. We were so grateful.

Later, John was able to be reunited with his owner.



They couldn’t keep him in the temporary housing they moved to after evacuation but they had relatives living near Minamisoma that were able to take him in.


It’s been 5 years and 8 months since the accident at the nuclear power plant, and at the time we rescued him he was already quite a bit old.

It seems John-kun took his final journey.


What if at that time everyone didn’t come together as one and couldn’t rescue that life known as John?

Never to be reunited, and dying in that region. It was a time where animals that couldn’t be saved were likely to die, never to be seen again.

There were so many lives that couldn’t be saved without breaking rules.


Because of this organization called Nyander Guard and because of the many people that accumulated their strength, many rescues were able to be carried out.

To those that made their hearts as one at that time, to those that gathered information, to those that secretly aided us: we are truly thankful to you m(__)m


I think I’ll put flowers on John’s grave nearby.

Rest peacefully, John-kun✿



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