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Essay from Kousuke's Mother: After the Great East Japan Earthquake

Because Life Must Go On

JAPANESE


Our neighbor rebuilt their house.
Because the ground of the former house became liquefied due to the earthquake. 

Another friend bought a new car.
Because the tsunami carried away his former car when it was parked at the Sendai Airport on his way to visit his parent’s place.

A customer who visits my workplace is from Minamisoma (Editor’s Note: Minamisoma was heavily hit by the tsunami after the Great East Japan Earthquake.)
He worked as a maintenance engineer at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Now he lost his job as well as his place to live after the tsunami. He is still unemployed.

I live in Osaki about an hour drive from the coast. We suffered from a lot of damages by the earthquake, but the tsunami did not reach us. Three years has past since then. It appears as if the life were back to normal. However, if you saw in people’s inner heart, you could see their anxiety about having a stable home and getting a job, and their feelings for families and relatives who are still missing. It is reality that many people have many different kinds of problems here, and they are struggling, but they live from day to day. 

Because life must go on.

        
Immediately after the earthquake, a volunteer center was set up at the Ishinomaki Senshu University. I took my children to visit there several times to help cleaning debris out of the houses. There I also met many people who simply had to keep on living, and these people were all kind and generous. One family gave bottled drinks to all of us volunteers as we finished our work. They said “These drinks survived from the tsunami. It good luck drinks!” The family lived in the second floor [British: the first floor] of the house because the first floor [British: the ground floor] was uninhabitable without tatami mats. 


The volunteers were also kind.

A young man in his twenties came from Hokkaido. When the 1993 Southwest-off Hokkaido Earthquake happened, he received aid at that time. He came alone to Ishinomaki because he wanted to give something back. One middle-aged man drives his car for two hours from the eastern mountain side of Kuriyamam in Miyagi prefecture every week despite the fact that he also got damages by the earthquake. One IT company president from Tokyo came just because he wanted to help. “One person’ power may be small, but a team can become powerful!” said a group of six female co-workers who work for a pharmaceutical company in Saitama.

When I recall those who helped and these who were helped, I am impressed how people could help others from bottom of their heart. I saw long waiting lines at gas stations, supermarkets and convenience stores, but no one disturbed the other. They quietly waited for their turn in an orderly manner. The event was perhaps too big to consume at that time. It was also the beginning our challenge to live. To look on the bright side of the disaster, it proved that people are flexible, gentle and great in any situation.

Now, natural disasters are escalating in a global scale. It is said that the Nankai Trough will shift soon. I want to believe that the lessons we learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake could save us better next time. And I want to believe that if anything happens anywhere, Japan and the world could get together and help us all stand up together.


1 October, 2013
Osaki Miyagi prefecture
Kousuke’s Mother.

日本・スイス国交樹立150 周年記念ロゴイタリア語

※ The "Bring Tohoku Kids to Swiss Camps!" Project received the endorsement as part of the 150 Years anniversary events as well as the general endorsement from the Japanese Embassy of Switzerland.

http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps/asia/vjpn/embjpn/anchjp.html (English)
http://www.ch.emb-japan.go.jp/anniversary2014/index.html(German)

The image is the Logo for the 150 Years Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Switzerland and Japan. (Japanese and Italian text)
 

JUGEMテーマ:関東・東北大地震〜被災者に応援メッセージを送ろう〜

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