Watch The Animation That Foretold Fukushima’s Meltdown

Two years ago, Ryo Hirona screened this eerily beautiful video just as a tsunami was about to hit Japan.

A cosmic manticore crashes into an industrial plant. On a bridge, a boy proposes to a girl. The silo explodes. The girl grabs him. They run as fallout darkens the skies.

These scenes are from the music video for Hietsuki Bushi, Omodaka’s achingly beautiful cover of a 12th century folk song about tragic love between political rivals in Kamakura, Japan.

The night before the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, animator Ryo Hirano screened the meltdown scene in Tokyo. It’s an eerie coincidence, one that many including the musicians themselves have noted. The short film has since become something of an elegy to the disaster victims.

Tomorrow will mark the two-year anniversary of the tsunami, which killed 15,881 across Japan. Thousands are still missing, and the ensuing nuclear meltdown has sparked international debate about the risks of nuclear power.

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