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Fighter at Point Zero
September 4, 2011 7:19 AM   Subscribe

"In the wake of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, former Shooto heavyweight champion Enson Inoue has been on a one-man charity mission, repeatedly traveling to northeast Japan to directly help those in need."

A 9-Day Diary of the Trip and an interview about his experience covertly visiting the derelict Fukushima Reactor to feed stray animals and witness the gravity of the disaster zone.
posted by lemuring (22 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
There seems to be a depth to MMA fighting which I previously had not realized.

Either that or all this is a bit of an outlier and yet is fascinating.
posted by hippybear at 7:28 AM on September 4, 2011


I wouldn't say this sort of thing happens every day but, as a whole, the MMA fighter community -- throughout the world -- is full of some very stand-up individuals. It's an interesting dichotomy, to say the least.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:34 AM on September 4, 2011


MMA fighters tends to be a pretty interesting group of people. My boyfriend is writing his dissertation on MMA regulation as compared to football regulation, and the misconceptions in and of themselves are pretty interesting (the rate of concussion is much higher in football, for one thing, but MMA has been marketed and is viewed as much more violent). There are some brainless guys in it to beat eachother up, just like most any other professional sport, but there are also people like Brian Stann, an ex-Marine who started and runs an organization to get veterans trained and hired. In general, they seem like a fairly cerebral body of athletes. And serious fans are obsessive and intense and also, in my experience, fairly cerebral. Since I've been dating my boyfriend, I've come to appreciate MMA way more than I ever anticipated.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:43 AM on September 4, 2011


Enson Inoue, though having had a less-than-amazing record, will go down as one of the toughest and bravest fighters to fight on the big stage. He was, in PrideFC at least, a perennial underdog who waded into deep water without hesitation against some of the top heavyweights of the time. I'm glad to see he is doing well, and applying his considerable willpower to help people who need it.

Never a boring fight with him. Also, he was not the type to tap out of fights. This resulted in him finishing at least one fight without his consciousness, and others with only shreds left.

Woe to the person who tries to interfere with his humanitarian efforts!
posted by TheRedArmy at 7:52 AM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the covertly visiting the derelict Fukushima Reactor link:

I had bought two radiation meters, they were both geiger counters and dosimeters, and I wanted to put one inside of my suit and one outside of my suit.

What kind of suit?

Those white radiation suits you see on TV. They are thin, almost like paper. The contractors have a whole bunch of them. Masks and everything. We were completely sealed off. They have to burn them after every time they go in so they had a bunch of them.

So what did you find out?

Well those suits aren't working. They do nothing. If the meter on the outside of my suit was reading 19 micro seiverts or whatever, the one on the inside was reading around 17. The suits don't do jack s***. They aren't protecting those workers. I don't understand how those people are allowed to go in. They have a false sense of security.

Did you tell the contractors about this?

Yeah I showed my friend the meters, and he kind of freaked out, and said it was his last week working there. You don't feel anything, you get a real false sense of security. We weren't really supposed to be there though so we didn't talk to anybody else.


Related: Fukushima Blows Lid Off Exploited Labour
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:04 AM on September 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


I wouldn't say this sort of thing happens every day but, as a whole, the MMA fighter community -- throughout the world -- is full of some very stand-up individuals. It's an interesting dichotomy, to say the least.

Plenty of boxers and wrestlers were good people, too. It just a sport.
posted by jonmc at 8:04 AM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I came across this report on how the survivors are coping
posted by infini at 8:16 AM on September 4, 2011


Well those suits aren't working. They do nothing. If the meter on the outside of my suit was reading 19 micro seiverts or whatever, the one on the inside was reading around 17. The suits don't do jack s***. They aren't protecting those workers. I don't understand how those people are allowed to go in. They have a false sense of security.

The suits are not intended to protect workers from ambient radioactivity - the suits protect the workers from radioactive particles. That's why they have to be "burned" (actually, the suits are all warehoused on the reactor site as radioactive waste) after use.

Highly radioactive core elements were ejected from the various reactors and fuel pools by the hydrogen explosions. Anyone foolish enough to explore around the the exclusion zone can track this shit back to Tokyo or wherever, on their car tires and clothing.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:22 AM on September 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Well those suits aren't working. They do nothing. If the meter on the outside of my suit was reading 19 micro seiverts or whatever, the one on the inside was reading around 17. The suits don't do jack s***. They aren't protecting those workers.

Err, the purpose of the suits is to keep radioactive particles from contaminating skin and clothing and from being inhaled, not to keep radiation from reaching you. And 19 microSeiverts is tiny.

Anyway, here is a random guy in a radiation suit sneaking into Fukushima and pointing at the camera for some reason.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:25 AM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


As pointed out already, the suits are primarily anti-contamination protection. When you remove them properly afterwards (and the proper removal is trickier than you think, to not spread it to yourself or your other clothing - I wonder if this guy had a trained radcon person help him) you indirectly protect yourself from radiation exposure. You would otherwise continue to receive exposure from the particles on you and any inhaled or ingested radioactive particles.

One could say the suit doesn't do anything for you as far as shielding the radiation while you're in the area. As usual, that's mostly true, but not 100% accurate. If you were working near a surface highly contaminated with beta radioactivity, the Tyvek suit could significantly reduce your shallow skin dose. (Which is usually not a limiting concern and usually that's not what people are talking about.)
posted by ctmf at 8:47 AM on September 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you think you should try to use anti-contamination clothing without a pro there to help you, try this: put on a pair of coveralls over dark-colored clothing, dust yourself with flour, walk into a room with a dark carpet, then try to take off the coveralls. When you're done, where is the flour? Multiply the difficulty when the contamination is invisible.
posted by ctmf at 8:57 AM on September 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Well in light of all that, it sounds like his muckraking style is basically the same as his fighting style, namely Trying Really Hard.
posted by TheRedArmy at 10:12 AM on September 4, 2011


Way too much credit is being given to this man.

If he was going to Japan just to help people I would greatly commend and applaud him but then again I wouldn't know about it.

If he is making his "help" a public relationship bonanza and he is seeking donations as well as selling 50 cents worth of materials for $200 that will energize you and support his cause, he is not doing charity work. He is not helping people, he is exploiting them for fortune. He is no different than the people who are making a fortune off of 9/11 or any other tragedy.
posted by 2manyusernames at 10:21 AM on September 4, 2011


Way too much credit is being given to this man.

Did you actually read any of the article? Thanks to a paypal snafu, he had to give all of the donations and proceeds from his rosary sales back, and went ahead and funded the whole trip out of his pocket. I'm also not sure, I'd call a series of blog posts on a martial arts website a "public relations bonanza". But you didn't read the article, so whatever with that bullshit.

He bought cupcakes and sushi for a bunch of people who lost their homes and belongings and live in a gym. It's that small type of charity that shows true empathy and generosity of spirit. It doesn't say "I know what you need", it says " I know how you feel". That's a beautiful thing.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:16 AM on September 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


The excellent blog Fukushima Diary has been trying to decipher the "man pointing at Fukushima camera" video, aka "Camera Guy".
posted by thescientificmethhead at 11:20 AM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


2manyusernames, it helps to read the links before passing judgement on his character. One would have to be very cynical to think that he's trying to profit off of the needy.

TheRedArmy, according to Day 9 of the journal:

"...We have consulted with a American marine nuclear expert, acquired a Geiger counter and dosimeter, purchased Israeli military radiation suits and made inquiries into renting a truck and getting the vents sealed for our drive into the radiation."

It doesn't seem like they went into the reactor site completely unprepared. It's likely that some details were omitted either for brevity, or perhaps to protect individuals who may have helped them get in and out.
posted by lemuring at 11:24 AM on September 4, 2011


In a weird way, I feel kind of sorry for the guy. He sounds like one of those big hearted people that just can't help but try and put the whole world on their shoulders. I'm somewhat reminded of the basketball player, Manute Bol who just gave until he had nothing left for himself when he needed it. It's easy to be cynical in this world, and easy to forget just how fragile and temporary all of these things that we take for granted are.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:39 AM on September 4, 2011


It wasn't a paypal "snafu" it was the fact that he was asking for donations when he wasn't a non-profit. He can and does still sell crystals at 10,000% markups. The PR bonanza is there, it is what is driving people to his site and netting him huge profit, even counting the cupcakes he bought. His fans are eating it up


It would take a cynic to think he was in it for profit? Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. The fact remains that he is profiting from it. Only a devoted fan wouldn't see that.
posted by 2manyusernames at 11:56 AM on September 4, 2011


"netting him huge profit"

Do you mean monetary profit as opposed to PR? Have any evidence that the donations are going into his pocket instead of being used for people in Japan?
posted by HopperFan at 12:52 PM on September 4, 2011


and the misconceptions in and of themselves are pretty interesting (the rate of concussion is much higher in football, for one thing, but MMA has been marketed and is viewed as much more violent)

MMA is objectively much more violent than football. Concussions are not uncommon in cheerleading and figure skating, but it makes no sense to say they are more or less violent based on how often it occurs.
posted by eddydamascene at 1:49 PM on September 4, 2011


It would take a cynic to think he was in it for profit?

yes.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:57 PM on September 4, 2011


The excellent blog Fukushima Diary has been trying to decipher the "man pointing at Fukushima camera" video, aka "Camera Guy".

A lot of the workers on site are casual labourers, and there may be a reason why in normal times they are itinerant and semi-employed: mental health issues. The Fukushima "pointing man" may be just a few bricks short of a load. He also may be suffering from heat stress or something
posted by KokuRyu at 7:50 PM on September 4, 2011


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