Tag Archives: Tohoku

Three year anniversary of 3-11-11

11 Mar

Today is 2014 March 14th. It’s already been three years since the huge earthquake and tsunami tragedy that hit Sendai.

I wrote a post on that day (Click here to read it) about four hours after it happened. That earthquake did damage down here in Tokyo…but nothing like what the Tohoku area suffered.

I also wrote a post about a month after the earthquake (Click here to read it) about some of the things the earthquake survivors treasure.

Today, for the tragedy’s third anniversary, the Japan Times newspaper is showing some of the hardest hit areas and the survivors three years after (Click here to see it).

A mother and her daughter attend a candle-lighting event held Sunday to commemorate the third anniversary of the March 11 tsunami and earthquake in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the worst-hit areas. | (photo from: KYODO | caption: Japan Times)

10-year-old letter arrives from daughter lost to tsunami

5 Mar

The three-year anniversary of the tragic 2011 March 11th earthquake and tsunami is in six days.
One couple who lost their daughter on that day recently received a letter she had written to them in 2004.

Arigato in London

12 Jul

To show gratitude to the people of many countries around the world for supporting and helping Japan in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake in Sendai of 2011 March 11, Japan will host a special event in London, England that will be called “Arigato in London“.

This event will feature many aspects of Japanese culture including photos and a movie of the Earthquake affected area that will also include many Japanese children expressing thanks to people around the world, Japanese food, beer and 日本酒 (Japanese sake alcohol), Japanese tradional games and traditional arts and music.

To allow many people from many different countries to attend, this event will be held in London from 2012 July 28 until August 11 to coincide with the Olympics that London will be hosting then.

Click here to visit the “Arigato in London” website.

Kit-Kat helped Tohoku

14 May

In Japan, Kit-Kat offers many unique only-in-Japan flavors.

( I wrote a post about some of the Kit-Kat Japan flavors.)

But one of their recent products was for a special cause…the “Kit-Kat World Variety” went on sale in Japan last March and ¥20 from each package sold went toward the rebuilding of the Sanriku train line (in Tohoku, Japan) which was destroyed in the 2011 March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

"Kit-Kat World Variety"

“Kit-Kat World Variety”

What makes Kit-Kat “World Variety” unique is that the package contains thirteen Kit-Kat chocolates…three are from Japan, five are from Australia and the other five are from England…this is because chocolate is made slightly differently in every country around the world and therefore tastes differently.

In addition to donating to the reconstruction of the train line, Kit-Kat also asked people from around the world to visit their Facebook page and leave messages of hope to the people of Tohoku  who were affected by the disaster…and many of those messages were displayed on the body of the new trains for the Sanriku line.

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Another new only-in-Japan “junkfood” product will be by Pepsi Japan soon.

Last December, Pepsi Japan offered “Pepsi Pink“.  And, next month, they will begin selling “Pepsi Black“.

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This drink will contain 50% less sugar and will have a “lemon flavor”.

One year later…

11 Mar

Today is 2012 March 11.  One year since the Great Sendai Earthquake.

Of course, ceremonies to commemorate the tragedy and remember the victims will be held around Japan today.

I found a video on YouTube made in November 2011, eight months after the earthquake and tsunami.
It shows scenes during the tragedy that give you an idea of how frightening it must have been.
And the video also mentions Taylor Anderson, who was an American English teacher at an elementary school in the Miyagi area. She helped save a number of school children from the tsunami but she herself, unfortunately, died in the disaster.
Some of her former students can be seen talking about her.

The video also mentions the aid workers who came to Japan from around the world and it shows how grateful the people in the Tohoku area are to them.

It’s a very emotional and touching video. I recommend watching it.
Watch it and tell me your reaction / feeling in the comment section of this post.

Here’s the video:

昨日は・・・

12 Feb

Yesterday, February 11th, was the anniversary of a few things…not all of them good.

For one, February 11th is a holiday in Japan. 「建国記念日」 (“National Founding Day”). (Click here for my short FAQ about it.)

It was kind of a waste that February 11 was on a Saturday this year because most people already had the day off and the holiday wasn’t observed on another day. If it was a Sunday, then tomorrow (Monday) would have been a day off.
Oh well.

February 11th also happens to be my father-in-law’s birthday.

Those two are the “happy” anniversaries of February 11th. The following two are more somber ones:

Yesterday, February 11 (2012), was the eleven-month anniversary of the 2011 March 11 earthquake / tsunami in north-eastern Japan.

The other sad event happened exactly twenty-four years ago yesterday. On 1988 February 11. At my high school in Florida.
It was many years until I was finally able to talk about this. Maybe it was post-traumatic shock.
But at lunch time on 1988 February 11, I was a senior-year high school student (in the final year of high school) and when I went into the lunch room I witnessed two students in a struggle with some teachers and then suddenly one of the boys drew a gun and shot the assistant principal Richard Allen fatally in the head!
All of the students in the lunch room began screaming and running but I suppose I was in shock because I just stood there staring. Everyone seemed to be running past me in slow-motion.
The memory no longer wakes me in nightmare but I will never forget that day.

A memorial photo of Richard Allen at my former high school in Florida (Pinellas Park HS).

If you click here, you can read a newspaper article about the tragic shooting at my former high school that was written four years ago on the twentieth anniversary.

Richard Allen, R.I.P.

Anniversary of one tragedy and another around the world

11 Sep

Today is the tenth anniversary of the 2001 September 11th terrorist attacks in America.
No one will ever forget the two jumbo jets that were crashed into the World Trade Center towers and brought them down. It was a shocking and tragic event.
2,753 innocent people were killed in the attack on New York City.

But less often mentioned are the other two planes of the September 11th attacks.
American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked and crashed into The Pentagon in Washington DC, killing 184 innocent people.
And United Airlines Flight 93 was also hijacked and most likely headed for another high-profile crowded target to be crashed into. But this flight was different. The hijackers of United 93 had their cowardly plan foiled by the heroic passengers and crew of that flight!
The passengers and crew of that plane called their loved ones on the ground and told them that they understood what had to be done…and then they overtook the terrorists and forced the plane to crash into an empty field rather than another building.
Tragically, 40 innocent people lost their lives from that flight…but if it wasn’t for their selfless actions, the death toll most likely would have been much higher.

Memorial to the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93

Some of the phone calls weren’t disconnected and a telephone operator heard the voice of one of the passengers named Tom Beamer as he led the revolt against the terrorists with rallying cry to his fellow passengers of “Are you ready? OK, let’s roll!

Shortly after the events of 2001 September 11th, the American heavy metal band “L.A. Guns” recorded a song about the heroes of United Flight 93.

The song is titled “OK, Let’s Roll!”.  Here are the lyrics:

United Airlines Flight 93
Left 8:01 from Gate 17
Victims of a war they never knew existed
Hell looked them in the eyes and still they resisted

Lost brave souls, your courage we remember
Sacrificed your lives that September
We still hear your battle cry
Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll
Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll

So began the massacre at twenty thousand feet
Red devils lead the charge and pulled the captain from his seat
They watched them cut and slash at anyone left standing
We knew deep in our hearts this plane would not be landing

Never once were they ever in control
Lives were lost, but they never took a soul
We still hear your battle cry
Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll
Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll

Skies of Pennsylvania became a battle ground
Two hundred miles away, the towers had come down
One last chance to say goodbye, he called her on his phone
Said he knew what must be done, “I am not coming home.”

Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll

–“OK, Let’s Roll” by L.A. Guns

You can listen to it here:


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Today is also the six-month anniversary of the 2011 March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku area of Japan.

There are still many people there living in evacuation shelters. And, just like the 2001 September 11 attacks, there are many heart-breaking stories of people who lost their loved ones. And there are stories of courage and people helping each other.

Both the events ten years ago in America and six months ago in northern Japan were terrible and shocking.  I hope we never have to see such tragedies ever again.

I want to be a wave

16 Aug

A Japanese singer / songwriter named 「花坂美里」 (Misato Hanasaka), who goes by the stage name “misato“, is from Iwate, Japan…which is an area that was hit by the 2011 March 11 tsunami.

She heard a news report about a four-year-old boy whose mother died in the tsunami. The boy, named 「及川律くん」 (Ritsu Oikawa), knew that his mother was washed away in a wave but he’s too young to really understand. He said 「波になって会いたいな。」 (“I want to become a wave so I can be with (mother)“).

Ritsu Oikawa (4), right, and his younger brother Ei (3). (photo from Mainichi News)

The boys’ father told them that their mother is now the most beautiful star in the sky and they can see her up there. (This is commonly told to children in Japan if they lose a loved one).

When misato heard about the boy’s story it make a strong emotional impact on her so she decided to write a song for the boy.

Her song is titled 「波になりたい」 (“I Want To Become A Wave“).

The song is in Japanese but it says such things as: “Hey Mama, please hold me again and we can look down on the street from up in the sky”, and “I want to see mama again. I want to become a wave and carry you home. I want to become a wave and then see mama again!”

Here’s the song on YouTube:

Buy a KISS car to help Japan

7 Jun

The English car company Mini Cooper has teamed up with the American rock band KISS to help Japan.

...meets...

The car company has painted four of their “Mini Countryman” cars with KISS make-up (one car for each of the original KISS members’ make-up) and they are currently being auctioned for charity via e-bay.

The auction ends at 4:00PM on 2011 June 8 (PST in the U.S.) (which is 8:00AM 2011 June 9 in Japan), so now is your chance to bid if you want one (or more) of these cars.
The current bid (when I wrote this post) is US$30,200 (about ¥2,421,834) for the cheapest one (the “Ace Frehley” design) and US$31,300 (about ¥2,510,047) for the most expensive (the “Gene Simmons” design).

All proceeds from the auction of these cars will be donated to UNICEF to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan, as well as victims of other disasters around the world.

Here’s a picture of the cars (all of them are autographed by the current band members of KISS, incidentally):

I’m a big fan of KISS, but some the merchandise they release is too “over the top” for my taste (ie: the “KISS Casket“).
I can’t imagine myself driving around in one of those cars…but if I had to chose one—I think the “Gene Simmons / Demon” design is the best of the four.

It is very generous of KISS and Mini-Cooper to do this to help people in need.

How about you? What do you think of these cars?

Treasured items after the Sendai Earthquake

22 Apr

The 「毎日新聞」 (“Mainichi News”) Japanese newspaper interviewed some of the survivors of the March 11 earthquake in the 東北地方 (Tohoku Region) who lost loved ones and most of their possessions and asked them to show something that has become a treasure to them in this difficult time.

Some of the replies were very touching. Here are a sample of them (all photos in this post are ©毎日新聞 (Mainichi News)):

This 11-year-old boy, who lost his grandfather and great-grandmother in the earthquake, treasures his school bag that his teacher found in the rubble of his elementary school.

This man treasures the wrist-watch that was found on the body of his son, that was a firefighter who died in the disaster

This 4-year old girl's family lost all of their possessions. She treasures the donated toy that was given to her at the shelter her family's staying at.

This woman lost her husband in the tsunami. She treasures her family photos.

This eldery man's wife has been missing since the tsunami. He put his hand on his heart and said that he will always treasure his memories.