Japan a year after of the disaster – A Story of Japanese people
As we know, 2011 was a very difficult year for Japan and Japanese people. The 11th of March, a little after the lunch time, M8.8 of earthquake attacked the north of Japan. Not only it was the biggest earthquake on the record in Japan, 15 minutes later, Touhoku area was attacked by a series of Tsunami. The damage was beyond our imagination.
This quake also became controversial over nuclear plant issue around the world. The nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture had a radioactivity leak and many residents near the plant had to evacuate. The Japanese government announces that there is no danger, Japanese nation doesn´t seem to be convinced.
What caught my attention in that chaotic moment was the quick reaction of the people. Twitter never stopped in the first few months, every few second appeared new information or a comment asking people to send stuff for the people in Touhoku region. It was groups of housewives who picked up bags of rice balls and ran up to the affected area or perhaps they were groups of students who collected old blanckets to give them to the people in the shelter. Each person took a quick move to support Touhoku. And those small helps at the end has become a big support for the devastated area.
Iromegane started a month before the earthquake in March. I wasn´t so sure if I should keep talking about this catastrophe Japan experienced. It was and it has been always in my mind, I followed all the news coming out from Japan and from other countries. Although we didn´t pick up so much about the disaster in Japan as Iromegane, I wanted to support Japan in some way.
I got to know some Japanese people who had been to the affected area as volunteers by chance. Then I´ve realised how many people went to help Touhoku and they are the ones who cleaned most of the debris, houses, streets and built shelters.
I think this disaster has changed Japanese people. I was really impressed by how many people moved for Tsunami victims, people started caring about others whom they don´t know. Between individuals the bond has grown. Each support may be small but without them, there would be no recovery. They are not heroes, perhaps we can call this a triumph of humanity.
Yet, there are so much to do. In the devastated area, there are little jobs the people can work. Not only people are depressed not being able to work but also this work is essential for Touhoku to recover by their own.
I´m far away from Japan, I didn´t experience the quake. But as a Japanese, I like to support them. I believe that there is always something we can do despite of the distance or the lack of money that you can donate. We made this project, tsunagarimasu where we collected stories of Japanese people, where people talk about their own experience through the disaster. Hope this site can become a tsunagari (connection) between Japanese people and the world and in some way, we can help each other.
Tsunagarimasu.com is a site that the story never ends. This will be made by us by filling our own story. Please add your story if you have any, nothing is small, they are all witness of the history. And I like to thank all the people who
More about 3.11
A year after the story of Japanese people
In memorial to the victims of the March 11, 2011 disaster, we set up a small shrine and placed 19 small rocks in front of it, each one signifying 1,000 people who lost their lives. The stones came from the yatori michi (arrow retrieval path) that we walk many times each practice. Then each member entered the Kyudojo alone and shot a single arrow. As they exited the next person would enter. It was a very moving experience to be alone in the Kyudojo yet with our friends and our memories of Japan. Our fundraising along with our friends in the South Carolina Kyudo Renmei, sent a donation of $1,800. to the relief effort. It is huge amount of money for us, but tiny in comparison to others. Like pebbles in the stream each one contributes to make the character unique. Thank you for creating this connection. We would love to share not only thoughts but also photos if you can arrange that too. Ed
Sorry for my delay. As the theme of “tsunagarimasu” is bond around the world, I think it´d be nice if you could participate your thoughts and some photos from the event you had. You can send us a little explanation and thoughts in Word and some photos via contact email and I´ll put them up. Would you be interested in?