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Polluted Leisure and Blue Spaces: More-than-human concerns in Fukushima

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Clifton EversORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Sage Publications, Inc., 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Following a magnitude 9 earthquake on 11 March, 2011 a tsunami swept the coast of Japan. The devastation was complete and incomprehensible. Thousands of lives were lost and homes destroyed. The earthquake and tsunami disabled the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (Tepco) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing a nuclear accident. Subsequently, pollution in the form of radiation and concrete seawalls more powerfully influence how blue spaces (seas, oceans, rivers, lakes, and other waterways), health, sport, and leisure compose in Fukushima. In this article I reflect on some fieldwork experiences while considering ‘polluted leisure’ at this site. My argument is that pollution complicates any health-led blue spaces discourse that attributes positive transformations achieved during leisure-orientated sport in them. Any accretion of health and wellbeing manifested in blue spaces is shown to simultaneously involve declension, within immediate proximity and/or distant. What may be happening ‘here’ will be affecting what happens ‘over there.’ Pollution ironically ‘makes it clear’ that we are not in charge of wellbeing, health, nature-based sport, and blue spaces correlations on this permanently polluted planet.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Evers C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Sport and Social Issues

Year: 2019

Volume: 45

Issue: 2

Pages: 179-195

Print publication date: 01/04/2021

Online publication date: 29/10/2019

Acceptance date: 15/08/2019

Date deposited: 03/09/2019

ISSN (print): 0193-7235

ISSN (electronic): 1552-7638

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.


DOI: 10.1177/0193723519884854


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