It's been quite a long time since my last post and I haven't been keeping this blog up-to-date at all lately. But I am thrilled to announce that my dreams have come true and I re-located to Tokyo, Japan as of February 1st 2013! I welcome all of my readers to visit my new blog:
Two days after buying my new car, I learned that Tomo-chan already has a buyer! Knowing that she won't be lonely makes me feel very happy. Hopefully her new owner will be able to complete the repairs she needs, and take good care of her.
March 11th was very frightening for my wife and I. Until March 12th, we spent the entire time doing everything we could to confirm the safety of my father- and mother-in-law living in Sendai, but due to power outages and an interruption of phone services we were unable to contact them. The next day, our friend living in Tokyo, Emiko Orimo-san decided to drive to Sendai in order to help her family. That day, Orimo-san dropped in to visit my in-laws, confirmed that they were safe and took a photo of them for us. When we received the image via email and saw their teary-eyed, smiling faces I thought it was the most beautiful photo in the world. From the bottom of my heart, I am very thank for Orimo-san's kindness.
Since the occurrence of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake Disaster, I have been searching for a way to offer my support. Because I live in Chicago, going to the site of the disaster and providing support is impossible. Donating money to the American Red Cross was an effective method of helping, but rather than just sending monetary contributions I continue thinking about how I want to offer support to the victims living in the Tōhoku and Kantō regions that connects me to them emotionally.
On March 18th, "Our Man in Abiko" started a project for helping Japan. In order to heighten understanding and share the experiences and sentiments of the Great Earthquake's victims and their supporters, he drew upon the power of bloggers, and by combined their posts about the Great Earthquake and Tsunami, created a book. Immediately, I too sent Orimo-san's photo and my own writings to him. When my submissions were accepted, I was very happy. The book known as "Quakebook" has been quickly growing in fame and notoriety.
Now, Quakebook's the contributors are more than just everyday bloggers, celebrities are participating as well. In order for the book to be readable by people all over the world, the book is now being translated into different languages. Today, Quakebook was finished and became available for purchase. All proceeds from the sale of Quakebook will be donated to the disaster sites via the Japanese Red Cross. This is a very important project. To all readers of my blog, I kindly and humbly request that you please purchase this book.
Buy Quakebook: http://amzn.to/quakebook
For more information: http://www.quakebook.org/
The past few days have been absolutely horrifying and the final outcome of this catastrophe is still unclear. In the midst of all the concern and fear, my wife and I received a bit of very happy news in the form of a photo of my mother- and father-in-law. The photo was taken by my wife's highschool friend who made the long and potentially dangerous drive from Tokyo to their hometown in suburban Sendai. The photo shows our teary-eyed Mom & Dad smiling, happy and safe, and it's easily the most beautiful photo I've ever seen. My personal thanks go to all who kindly offered their words of concern and support.
The image on the left is a photo of Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture-- a place where I was able to spend a wonderful time with my wife and Mother- and Father-in-law. Hopefully the sun will rise once again over this gorgeous landscape and the treasures that surround it.
Photo courtesy of RadioSioz. ＜ どうもありがとございます。
I see so many people's homes and lives washed away by the 10-meter-high tsunami. I see families on TV desperate for help and in dire need of safety and rescue. I often can't fight back the tears that spill from my eyes out of feelings of despair and fear for the lives of all the people in northern Japan, not to mention the helpless feeling of not being able to do anything to help them.
Power and telephone services are down throughout the region which has completely cut us off from any way of communicating with our family. Something so very simple as making a phone call is impossible, which is a powerful fuel for the feelings of worry and anxiety that have overwhelmed our home. To make matters worse, the growing concern about the Fukushima nuclear power plants' condition adds yet another degree of uncertainty and concern.
How will Japan manage to recover from this horrible disaster? Will the people of the country that I love so dearly ever be able to return to their normal lives? An 8.8 magnitude Earthquake is absolutely unimaginable. Unfortunately, the obscure nature of what lies ahead is bound to continue for quite some time.