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Sunday, March 11, 2012

A year after Japan's Earthquake

March 11th 2011 is a day I'll never forget. I was so shocked upon reading the news from Associated Press. Then, I started reading my twitter and saw Japan's celebrities like Ayumi Hamasaki tweeting about the situation. At that moment I was just hoping that death toll will not continue to rise.

[caption id="attachment_118" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Fukushima Nuclear Disaster"]Nuclear[/caption]

This was actually the first time that I was deeply saddened by the news of a natural disaster. I actually followed NHK news on TV. After the devastating news of Japan's earthquake and tsunami, there came a third disaster - The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Incident.

Socks For Japan

I really wanted to do something for Japan. Besides donation, I sent socks to them through the "Socks For Japan" Campaign. Many survivors of the disaster ended up barefooted after fleeing. As it would be freezing cold during March and April, they need socks to keep them warm. Besides socks, I included a note of encouragement and a paper origami. That was the only thing I could do a part for Japan besides financial donation.


On March 25th, I sent the socks through Singapore Post. They received and distributed the socks in mid-April, most likely the socks were distributed to either Rikuzentakata(陸前高田) in Iwate Prefecture or Kesennuma (気仙沼) in Miyagi Prefecture. Both towns were heavily devastated by the tsunami.

Kesennuma, Miyagi

Kesennuma has recovered through the efforts of the people.

Kesennuma, Miyagi
"Kesennuma - A year later"

Despite Japan's triple disaster, we continue to see the goodness and resilient spirit of the Japanese. They are open on twitter regarding their experience during the disasters. Jun Shiomistsu had translated some of the twitter messages.

For instance, Tokyo Disneyland continues to bring smile to the people despite the disaster.

At Tokyo Disneyland:Tokyo Disneyland was handing out its shops’ food and drinks for free to the stranded people nearby.  I saw a bunch of snobby looking highschool girls walking away with large portions of it and initially though “What the …”  But I later I found out they were taking them to the families with little children at emergency evacuation areas.  Very perceptive of them, and a very kind thing to do indeed.

Another story from a foreigner.

From a German friend:A German friend of mine was in Shibuya (downtown Tokyo shopping district) when the earthquake hit.  He was panicking when a Japanese passerby saved him, taking him into a building.  My friend was blown away at how calm and disciplined this Japanese man was.  He went out of the building with firm, unfaltering steps, did everything he was trained to do and came back.  My German friend was deeply impressed by the Japanese people’s actions during the earthquake, saying they looked like a trained army.

We really need to learn much from the Japanese.

Perhaps through this catastrophe, we can also learnt how to appreciate every little things in our life and every problems; no matter how big can be overcome through the spirit of resilience.

I hope for the full recovery of Japan and especially for the people of Fukushima Prefecture whom were evacuated from their hometown due to the nuclear radiation.

どうぞ お元気です!


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