Category: Culture

14 Mar

Shelters in Japan- Need Food, Heating, Nappies

Juju Kurihara Culture, Japan Tags: , 0 Comments

Four days past after the large earthquake in Tohoku region in Japan. The number of refugees has increased to 550,000 on the 14th of March. The damage on the northeast coast side is severe and all the traffic networks are shut down, neither on the land nor by the sea. 

supply

From entire Japan is sending aid to Tohoku but this traffic problem impede. Also the number of refugees are increasing and the aid is just not enough. [/captio

From the supermarkets and Konbini stores in Japan, drinks, bread, cup noodles and prepared food which they can eat without cooking are gone. 

supply food

 

However, this has triggered people's anxiety. People who don't even live in Tohoku region feel threatened and rush in the supermarket to stock up their food supplies. Every day, there are huge queue of people at tills in shops with piled up baskets with dried bread, cup noodle, rice and tin food.

 

The media is telling them not to worry because distribution hasn't stopped. It's just because sending to Tohoku region is the priority at the moment and the shelves seem to be getting empty, but it's not like that. But people seem to be panicked.

petro

 

Same thing is happening to the petro. People queue in front of the petro stations to get a drip more. Now many petro stations have limited service and give commercial vehicles priority.

Under extreme situation, the most important thing is to stay calm and pay attention to the announcement. Because there are many false informations that delude people in a chaotic situation.

super

 

Here in Sendai, too. People are diving into supermarkets first in the morning to stock up their food supply. Well, this is in Sendai and is understandable.

In shelters there is shortage of food especially, besides food, they need heating system, toiletpaper, medicines and nappies. Gasoline is essential for generators to give them light and warmth.

no heating

 

The supplies are on the way but it's slow. There are many older people in those area and they are weak.

Japanese government has decided to accept the offer from China, that they will send blankets. I don't really understand why they have to consider whether they could accept them or not, but I guess this is a political matter…

91 countries are sending their specialist, rescue teams and aids. Even New Zealand who is still recovering from their own disaster also send a rescue team to Japan.

 

volunteer

 

Many volunteers have already made a muve.

This is a volunteer group from Kanazawa prefecture. Providing warm food to refugees. Even a bowl of rice or a cup of miso soup, it is enough to warm them up and to give them a little strength.

 

supply raamen

 

A food company, Nisshin has announced on the 13th that they will distribute a million cup noodles to the refugees in Tohoku region.

Besides, a tent maker has sent three 10ton trucks of tents to the north. The tents they provide are huge, 2,000 square metres made with strong materials and can accommodate 2,000 people in each tent.

Now the most important resorces at the moment is food and fuel. In Sendai, 320,000 people are in shelters and a million meals are needed a day. Japanese government has promised to contribute about 302 billion yen (about $3.7 billion) for the aid for this earthquake. 

According to the emergency disaster control, 55,0142 foods including bread, rice balls and cup noodle and 11,8912 bottles of drinks have been sent to the stricken area in the morning of the 14th. To the isolated area, the aids are dropped by helicopter. However 2,130,000 meals and 940,000 bottles of drinks are requested from the shelters. The shortage of the aids is severe.    

14 Mar

Scheduled Blackouts and Things We Can Do

Juju Kurihara Culture, Japan Tags: , 0 Comments

planned blackouts

After the earthquake on the 11th of March, they are having scheduled blackouts to save power.

In Japan, the power source is divided in two; western Japan and eastern Japan. Curiously enough, they have different power level. In western part they use 50Hz and in eastern part, 60Hz. Although they have transformer to be able to help each part, even so, to cover entire eastern part is almost impossible. In the western Japan, they have reoperated some of the thermal power stations to send excess power to eastern part but still about 10 million kw of energy is short.

planned blackout in yamanashi

 

In the eastern Japan, they are separated in five groups and they have a blackout by taking turn. However this grouping is not so clear and there is a confusion. All day, Tokyo Electric Power was on the TV interview and being blamed of giving unclear announcement.

Way from Tohoku, here in Yamanashi prefecture, they have a turn of sheduled blackout. During the night of the 11th of March, People were lighting up the candles and cooking on the portable stove. A woman says "comparing to what is happening to the north, this is the minimum thing we can do to save some power. It's only a few hours of a day." Exactly.

blackout plan

This is the planning for blackout. Many countries are impressed by this. If you remember big blackout in NY, it's hard to control brown-out and Japan is one of few countries which is capable to manage it. But of course the information is confusing and people are irritated.

tokyo chaos

In Tokyo, the trains were running but less than normal schedule. Stations were full of people who were trying to get to work and became chaotic.

 

 

Until today, there have been 194 aftershock are recorded.

13 Mar

Liquefaction in Tokyo after the quake

Juju Kurihara Culture, Japan Tags: , 1 Comment

Comparing to the damage in the northeast coast of Japan, there is nothing to complain in Tokyo. Yes, the quake was scale 5 and it is scary especially if you are not from Japan but from the countries where never have experienced earthquake. However, Japan is well prepared, thinking of people in Sendai who lost their houses and families, we can't moan having some plates broken. 

The area near Tokyo Bay, the land is man-made. If you remember the earthquake in Kobe in 1995, you might've seen the ground had liquefied. This is what is happening in this area, too.

liquefactionSoon after the quake, the muddy water started coming out from the ground and my mother ran out of the house to get away the mud from the exhaust of my father's car. She sacrificed the parking and other car and saved his treasure.

sank bike

 

 

 

 

Neighbour's parking. The bike and the bicycle are half stuck in the mud. It's all come out from the ground.cleaning the mud

 

 

 

 

In the same afternoon, people started to get rid of the mud because once it dries, the mud turns back to concrete so it has to be quick. Unfortunately my mother has just had the parking done, but the people from the construction company came to help her for getting rid of the mud. Look how thik the mud is. Since the earthquake, all the neighbourhood is helping each other.

mount of mud

 

 

This is the result of a day. They don't know if the municipal will come and collect this but I think this is the minimum they can do for the local residents.

houses

 

 

 

It's a little difficult to see on the photo but you can see the house is a bit tilted because of the wobbly ground.

 

tilted gate

 

 

 

And here you see the gate of a house is well tilted and a big crack on the street. The mud they scraped out has become a good support for the gate, it seems…

leaned trees

 

Same house. Their fence fell down and the hedge are also lean forwards. The house of my mother is tilted backwards and according to her, if she sits on the toilet which is located at the back part of the house, she feels falling backward towards the wall.

 

 

The area where Tokyo Disney Land is totally covered with mud. Here is the link to the video

I'm so relieved that my family and friends are safe despite of lots of work to do. My mother is tired of running around and queuing for the water, or not being able to wash herself. But the most important thing is she is safe under the roof.

They are advicing to the people outside of Tohoku region where have much less damage to cut the power as much as possible. In fact, Tokyo Electric Power has decided a power control until this summer regardless of the recovery of the power. I think that is the minimum we can do at the moment.

13 Mar

2 Days after the quake attack to Japan

Juju Kurihara Culture, Japan Tags: , 0 Comments

 

 

 

sendai

2 days has passed after the earthquake attack in Japan. The rescue is carried out all day and in Tohoku region; Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi,Fukushima and Ibaraki, 5 prefectures there are in 2456 shelters in 135 towns and in total 361,548 people evacuated. Miyagi, where had the most damage has the most, 1008 shelters and 201,910 people evacuated. In many shelters have no electricity nor water and also are short of food and fuel to heat up the place.

A survivor stood devastated on where her house used to be in Sendai.

 

This is the Google Map photo of Ishinomaki City in Miyagi. The photo on the left was taken in 2007 and on the right is obviously after the quake.

google before ishinomakigoogle after ishinomaki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

radiation check

According to the official announcement from Niigata prefecture, two people who were woking at Fukushima nuclear plants when the quake happened were exposed to the radiation and 19 people are possible to be exposed. In Fukushima 40 people were treated. Health centres are examining all the people in the shelters and now about 160 people are possibily exposed to the radiation.  

 

 

  on the roof

So many people are still missing and meanwhile, a man was rescued 15km away from the coast of Fukushima prefecture in the morning of the 13th. When Tsunami attacked his house, he managed to climb up to the roof but Tsunami drew him out to the ocean. Maritime Self Difence Force of Japan found him floating in the middle of ocean asking for a help. He was safely rescued and taken to the hospital but in a good condtion.

 

support from US

Already many support is reaching from all over the world. There are also many foreigners lived in Tohoku area and are missing. Many countries are trying to find out their safety. I like to send all my support and condolences.

12 Mar

Higashi Nihon Daishinsai- Day after

Juju Kurihara Culture, Japan Tags: , 0 Comments

On the 11th of March 2011, a huge earthquake attacked the northeast coast of Japan. It was magnitude 8.8, one of the biggest earthquake in the world in the last century. As I reported yesterday, it happened at 14:46, most of the people were at work, some managed to go home on foot and some remained at work. This earthquake is now named Higashi Nihon Daishinsai. (Eastern Japan Big Earthquake)

Japan is a country of earthquake, centuries and centuries people were liveing with it and it is said that there is no other nation which is as prepared as Japanese. Since we are child, we learn and practice how to act when an earthquake ocurrs. I remember at school and at work, once a year we had an emergency evacuation practice. While we were studying or working, suddenly a siren rang then a director's voice told us that it's quaking. We all sit under the desk with a hood for the protection, then evacuated to the open space.

Even that, in front of the natural disaster, we are helpless. This is the aftermath of the day after.

JR Shinchi Machi station in Fukushima prefecture was wiped out by Tsunami and only remained deformed train and a part of the station.

remain of the station
Kisen Numa in Miyagi prefecture collapsed by Tsunami. kesennuma
Rikuzen Takata in Iwate prefecture is considered as totally destroyed. Entire city was covered with mud and some people who escaped to the rooftop of a supermarked are waiting for a rescue. escaped to the roof
Fire-fighting men are checking inside a car abandoned on the side of the raiway. rescue operation iwate
People are escaping to the shelter, the small truck is passing by destroyed city. to the shelter iwate

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has admitted that after the quake on the 11th of March around at 15:30, there was an explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant and approximately 90 people might have been exposed to radiation.

Fukushima nuclear plant 1 and 2 have started to emit the steam contains radioactivity in order to low the pressure of the plants. Emergency directions was announced to the local residents in four towns about 50,000 perople around the plants escaped from their hometown.  

fukushima nuclear plant

evacuation

 

11 Mar

M8.8 huge earthquake attacked Japan coast, 11/03

Juju Kurihara Culture, Japan, news Tags: , 0 Comments

11th of March at 14:46 Japan time, M8.8 scale earthquake attacked Japan's north-east coast. Majority of Tohoku region has been damaged. In Tokyo resistered an intensiry of 5 and all the tubes in Tokyo have been suspended after the earthquake. There are many power stations in the north region in Japan and all have been stopped the generations. 

]map
The numbers are magnitude and the cross mark in the ocean is the hypocentre. This is the northern region in Japan.

 

It's still quaking, 3,000 people are stuck in Shibuya station due to the suspention of all public transport, they have been adviced to remain in the office and not try to go home.

kasumigaseki

Kasumigaseki, Tokyo

saitama

Saitama

tokyo

Office in Tokyo

Urayasu area in Chiba is a pure made ground and now liquefaction is happening. This is a taxi in front of the station stuck in the water. liquefaction
Smoke is coming out from some buildings in Tokyo

smoke

Destroyed shops in Tokyo shops
Tsunami attacked Fukushima region and a fire broke out fukushima
The oil refineries in Chiba have exploded chiba explosion

There is limited power source in Japan, no power in Tohoku area (northern region) and Yokosuka area and some places in Tokyo. At this moment, many people are missing in especially in Miyagi area and at least 26 peole died.

On BBC news there is a live news. BBC LIVE NEWS.

There is a risk of Tsunami to other Pacific area including Taiwan, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand.

Now according to the latest news from Vienna, all five nuclear plants have been shut down safely and no danger of leaking.

 

 

More about 3.11

M8.8 quake attacked Japan

A year after in Japan

A year after the story of Japanese people

Tokyo report

07 Mar

Konbini sweets for sweet tooth men

Juju Kurihara Culture, Japan Tags: 0 Comments

There are products that boost Konbini stores' sales recently in Japan.

It's “Men's sweets”.

Until a little while ago, sweets were considered for kids and women, and it was a shameful thing that a man has a sweet tooth. Japanese samurai don't like sweets.

But this is changing.

According to a statistics, 70% of sweets buyers are men and most of them buy at Konbini store. The reason behind is simple, men want to buy sweets but still it's a little embarrassing for a man to sit in a pretty cafe and eat a cake surrounded by women or to be seen him choosing some cakes for himself in front of the show case of a patisserie.

This statistics shows the place where people buy sweets. The blue is men and the pink is women. Needless to say, there are more men buyer than women and the most common place for buying sweets is Konbini (the fourth from the top), then supermarkets (the third) and cake shops (the top) come third.  

etatistic

 

man sweets series

cream puff

Otoko no Tiramisu Shuu(Man's tiramisu chou á la créme)

Konbini solves all these problems.

Last June “Men's Sweets” series released from one of the Kobini store, FamilyMart in Japan. The targets are sweet tooth men. For not to embarrass them, the packages are simple but at the same time they focus on the ingredients and the texture of the products. Most of the sweets are less sweet than normal products by using for example bitter chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Also the packaging is important. Men's Sweets series has manly, chic based on black simple packaging. FamilyMart is growing its sales especially with chilled sweets such as cream puffs and almond pudding.

Kobini store is the saviour of Japanese sweet tooth men. Some makes a comment “there are many men sweets lover but they are either embarrassed to go to a cake shop or too busy at work going to a shop during the day. So being able to buy good quality sweets at Konbini store is really a good news for sweet lovers”

almond pudding

Otoko no Annin Dofu (Man's almond pudding)

The photo is another one of the most popular man sweets “Ore no Ekurea (my éclair)“

“Men's Sweets“ as it shows are sweets particularly developed for men since there have been many men who are “secret sweets lovers“ in Japan.

Normally the sweets are made for women and the problem is its size. Those tiny pretty sweets are just not enough to satisfy sweet tooth men. But don't worry, “Men's Sweets” have launched.

First, its size. Compare to a stapler on the desk…

Huge… getting your teeth into this must feel like a dream…

It's big enough to fill even a man's stomach.

Of course what you can expect from this sized éclair is… calorie. It has 566 calories. Considering that an adult man need 2,000 calories a day, just one sweet can give you a huge intake.

ore no ekurea

ore no ekurea 3

ore no ekurea 2

calorie

danshi sweets club

For those who love sweets, there are some clubs such as “Danshi Sweets Club” (Men's Sweets Club) which is founded in one of the Japanese trend magazines called DIME. They talk about new sweets products, new trend in sweets, search for new cake shops or evaluate famous patisseries. They even have forums and puts recipe for Konbini sweets. This is a respectable club for sweet tooth men.

Here is one of their recipe by using a Risou no purin (Ideal Pudding). So easy that anyone can make it!

Ingredients are Risou no purin and a slice of bread.

risou no purin[Risou no Purin]

pan[Pan]

recipe 1

1. Score the surface of the sliced bread

recipe 2

2. Pour over the pudding

recipe 3

3. Sprinkle some dry fruits and put it in the toaster

recipe 4

4. It's done, so easy

recipe 5

5. Sprinkle some powder sugar to finish up

Japanese food is highly recommended in the Western world because of its healthiness but on the contrary, Japan is now following the Western style nutrition.

Then I wonder what gives Japanese men a craving for sweets. Because of the stress Japanese businessmen have from their workload and the pressure from their wives? Or simply this is a backlash against eating super healthy food?

In any cases, Japanese men are craving for “sweets time”. “Sweet approach” this may be a key for Western girls who want to have Japanese boyfriend.

03 Mar

Meyami Jizo

Juju Kurihara Culture, Japan Tags: 0 Comments

Meyami Jizo (めやみ地蔵) is a Budhisattvas for eyes and people who have problems with their eyes come here to pray. Me-yami means sicken eyes in Japanese and Jizo is one of the Budhisattvas commonly known as a guardian god in Japan.

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