미나Soyoung Son
Minamata disease was started in Minamata city in Japan, it was 1956. Minamata city is located in Southernmost in Japan, there was developed with industrial city as well.There is Chisso Corporation, they use methyl mercury due to make the acetaldehyde, as this processing, they throw away wastewater which didn’t purify and included some methyl mercury to the sea. That is how its disease was getting increasing because a lot of people live in Minamata eat many kind of seafood, like a shell and shell fish which included methyl mercury and they got mercury poisoning. There are cat, pig and dog was getting die and become of strange act first and then human was getting died. But at that time, the government and factory didn’t accept that they did and they didn’t take any action for that terrible situation. After a while, end up they admitted that was their fault and they tried to solve the problem of pollution.
People who get mercury poisoning have variety symptom appeared, such as numbness in hand and feet, paresthesia in every muscles, defect of speech and hearing, also stroke and motor distribute, if serious case, people will be dead and coma.
There are many documentary related in Minamata disease came and the first one was ‘Minamata: The victims and their world’ by Noriaki Tsuchimoto in 1971. This film focus on inform that howmany not only residents in Minamata city suffered from strange affliction and mercury poisoning but also lots of people and animal died by Minamata disease to the world so that people remind this problem, have to be careful and they might try to find solution for the future. Because at that time, thegovernment and factory owned by Chisso keep evading their
responsibility and show slowness act for this problem.

This scene show that people who live in Minamata and nearby, they are doing protest for those who undergo from dreadful disease to push the government to take any action that may be deemed wise. After a while, at Stockholder’s meeting, Chisso Cooperation compensate for people who lose of the one loved, but I think that doesn’t means Chisso Cooperation understand how they feel. When I watch this film, I was reminded of ‘The battle ship; Potemkin’ film, this film was started that the sailor protest because Russian soldier serve the rotten meat, there was a lot of ‘maggot’ and the soldier said that it is fresh meat so don’t say anything about the food to all of sailor. Therefore, all of the sailor were mad at them and decided to remonstrate, because it is not food neither or meat, it is just garbage, if eat this kind of food, people might get sick or be seriously dead. As we learned in class, food is what most people eat happily, culture and even life, it is like a nutriment for human alive, being heath and it shouldn’t be fooled. It could be brought unhappiness or happiness, depends on what has ingredients, how made and when made. Back to first film of Minamata, people ate those fish because they want to live, if people don’t eat anything they will die but this seafood brought death, it is really contradiction. However, the government try to propel to build the model of environment based on this experience and there are many tourist and student to study about history of Minamata disease nowadays. As both film, we can learn lesson that food is really important to human alive and we shouldn’t let food spoiled.


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