” NAMIE, Japan — His may be one of the world’s more quixotic protests.
Angered by what he considers the Japanese government’s attempts to sweep away the inconvenient truths of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Masami Yoshizawa has moved back to his ranch in the radioactive no-man’s land surrounding the devastated plant. He has no neighbors, but plenty of company: hundreds of abandoned cows he has vowed to protect from the government’s kill order.
A large bulldozer — meant to keep out agricultural officials — stands at the entrance to the newly renamed Ranch of Hope like a silent sentinel, guarding a driveway lined with bleached cattle bones and handwritten protest signs.
“Let the Cows of Hope Live!” says one. Another, written on a yellow-painted cow skull, declares: “Nuclear Rebellion!” Inside the now overcrowded ranch, bellowing cows spill from the overflowing cattle sheds into the well-worn pasture, and even trample the yard of the warmly lit farmhouse.
“These cows are living testimony to the human folly here in Fukushima,” said Mr. Yoshizawa, 59, a gruff but eloquent man with a history of protest against his government. “The government wants to kill them because it wants to erase what happened here, and lure Japan back to its pre-accident nuclear status quo. I am not going to let them.” … ”