MANHATTAN — On the day of the first explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan last March, photojournalist Ryuichi Hirokawa was snapping photos and carrying a radiation monitor.
When the needle on his monitor swung into dangerous territory, Hirokawa stopped taking photographs and began telling residents of the eastern Japanese province to leave the area as soon as possible, he told NPR.
"The government was saying, 'There's no radiation. It's all fine. There's no problem,'" he said of the disaster that struck March 11, 2011. "We went there, we had radiation monitors and mine was off the charts."
Nearly 50 photos Hirokawa and fellow photojournalist Takashi Morizumi took of the impact of eastern Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis opened at New York University Thursday and will remain on view through the end of May.
Morizumi, who also has photographed the repercussions of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan, aims to document world environmental problems, according to his biography on SaveWarChildren.org.
"I hope to show to many people a view of the things happening around the world that I have been investigating," he said.
"Can mankind's intelligence lead us to a bright future? I want you to keep thinking positively."
The "Fukushima 3.11: After One Year" is free, open to the public and will take place at NYU's Institute of Public Knowledge at 20 Cooper Square.
The show is co-sponsored by Japanese nonprofits Human Rights Now and Peace Boat, and NYU's departments of performance studies and photography.
"Fukushima 3.11: After One Year" will be shown March 8 through May 31 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and from 12-5 p.m. Saturdays.