Today is a special day for the Japanese people and for people like me who have adopted Japan as a second home country. I write a lot about Japan on Google+. Here is a selection of some of my postings about the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
Januar 20, 2013: A few personal words about Japan. I am following the series MARCH TO RECOVERY on NHK World about how Japan is dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami disaster in Sendai. Today, we met young high school students working as volunteers doing counseling for survivors. On the photo above, some of them are listening to the story of a Japanese mother who lost her 13 year old son in the tsunami. The boy was a little chubby so he could not run as fast as the other children who made it to the school and survived. The mother is now trying to come to terms with surviving herself and sharing her story and feelings is her way to recovery. The volunteer students are listeners and they cry together with the victims. The tears function as “mental sweat” helping the body and mind to heal. The mantra of the process is “let’s build a more caring society” and the Japanese are impressively using the tragic disaster as a tool to building a better future together. Watching these television shows for the past year have been some of the most inspiring learning and some of the most moving stories I have ever heard. Respect for the volunteer workers. Respect for the Japanese people. Ganbare, Nippon.
January, 21, 2013: In the MARCH TO RECOVERY series on NHK this Japanese woman (left) was telling about her backpack. She lost everything in the tsunami. All she had left was her backback. She kept wearing the backpack and would not let it go. After speaking to some high school volunteers (right) and crying together she could finally let go of her backback and continue to live her life.
June 11, 2012: Just watched an amazing program on NHK where Satish Kumar was spending three hours with Japanese students from the tsunami stricken areas. He really gave hope to these young people and gave them faith in the future. Mindblowing stuff, really.
December 11, 2011: With a few plastic crates, some cardboard, a small table, and the assistance of friends and family, 7-Eleven store owner Takashi Watanabe was able to re-open for business in the heart of hard-hit Miyagi prefecture two months after his establishment was destroyed by the earthquake and washed away by the subsequent tsunami.
November 23, 2011: The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet had the chance to play for 600 children from the tsunami affected area in Sendai.