My three-year-old daughter was working very hard to carry her stuffed toys somewhere, and saying, “I’m taking them to a safe place, because an earthquake’s coming.” Later when I went to bed and turned up my blanket, I found all the stuffed toys lying there. It brought a smile to my face and I am glad that she thinks my bed, where we always sleep together, is her safest place.
I started to cry when I heard this story from a friend in the Self-Defense Forces who is working in the disaster area.
Other SDF troops hid ready-to-eat meals, diapers, and milk formulas in their bags, even though protocol calls for them not to. Some were caught by their superiors, but they insisted that “these are for us to use” and although their superiors were seemingly upset, they were still permitted to keep them.
They’re looking for any way they can help, above and beyond their rescue duties—and at the risk of severe punishment.
I recall my late mother’s words.
“We don’t have enough when we fight over things, but we have more than enough when we are willing to share.”
I am deeply proud of the victims of this disaster who are living by those words, and of Japan. Please stay strong.
Someday, I’ll tell my future children and grandchildren:
“When grandma was young, people all over the world came together as one after the Great Tohoku Earthquake.
Everybody was working desperately to support a common cause and it was beautiful to see everyone shine in his/her own way.”
I’ll tell this story over and over until they are tired of hearing it.
That’s why I want as many people as possible back on their feet.
My loved one is in the disaster area as a member of the Self-Defense Forces. He gets only 3 hours of rest everyday. When I emailed him to ask if he was alright, he replied, “We’re trained for things like this. There are people here who make us believe that we’re making a difference, so I’m still hanging in there.”
Please extend to them your deepest, heartfelt gratitude for all they are doing.
What made me smile after the earthquake were adults who live with such poise. You know, smiles are contagious. When I was texting my mom, she wrote “There are things that won’t change no matter how much we think about it, but I don’t want us to regret our lives. Let’s smile and live.”
“Yeah mom, let’s live each day with a smile,” I replied as I broke into tears.
My mom really is the best!
Two old ladies were talking on the train.
“The police say we’re short on electricity and are telling people to turn out the lights.” “Well, we’re used to spending time in the dark for the sake of our country. This time, it’s not as if bombs are falling from the sky– we’re happy to turn the lights off, aren’t we?” For a moment there was complete silence on the train, and I tried to hold back my tears.
I was thinking that “sakura (cherry blossoms)” might be the keyword to help lighten up our country. Just as the sakura zensen (cherry-blossom front) moves from south to north, I’m sure that relief supplies, donations and wishes from the rest of the country will also drive north to cheer the people in the quake-stricken areas.
Sakura zensen is now in preparation! Up north we go!
A young lady in Ishinomaki hollered at the media who had come to report on the devastation. Thinking that she was calling for help, the reporters went over to where she was and found several locals evacuated from their homes handing out hot coffee.
“It must be hard for you as well. Please have some coffee.”
Even though they have more than enough to worry about themselves…
Japanese are such wonderful people.
A third-year junior high school was making rounds on his bike with his dad to check if everyone was alright. Before the earthquake, he was probably a rebellious teenager just like any other boy of his age. He now saw that his father was as strong as a father could be, and has developed a true respect for him. Experiences we’ve gained as adults can be the most reliable thing in times of crisis.
Fathers and mothers in areas affected by this disaster, show your strength and pass the future on to your children.