We have suffered, and you have benefited from our suffering

Film Installation

Niigata Minamata Disease, also known as the second Minamata Disease, was confirmed in the Agano River Basin of Niigata Prefecture in 1965, nine years after the 1956 discovery of the first case of Minamata Disease. The first lawsuit over this disease in 1967 was Japan’s first legal case regarding pollution, and marked a turning point in the country’s environmental issues at a time when even the word “environment” had not yet taken root. The audio recording of the plaintiffs’ closing argument at the trial is replayed in this work, as the leader of the legal team, lawyer Bando Katsuhiko, recounts his memories of the struggle against the company responsible. The work was created while walking together with around 100 residents along the banks of the revived Agano River, to the entrance of the factory from where the toxic substance had been discharged. The title of the work is taken from a line spoken by lawyer Bando in the film.