Reciprocal flow of feelings uncovered by the Great East Japan Earthquake - Perfume Story

Reciprocal flow of feelings uncovered by the Great East Japan Earthquake

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"Reciprocal flow of feelings uncovered by the Great East Japan Earthquake"

The disaster that took many lives but continues to bring the best out of people across the world

Thoughts on participating as a volunteer in the Ishinomaki region

A year and a half has passed since the earthquake. Over my visits to the area in June and October this year, one could sense slight, gradual signs of recovery.
The lessons learned from the Chile tsunami half a century ago had been in vain.
Support (material and human) for the disaster-affected regions as well as, of course, Japan has come from all corners of the globe, and this support has come in various shapes and sizes. A fishing vessel was donated to one port from China. Buoy and rope for oyster farming were transported by air from France. I would like to express my gratitude to countries and people all over the world.

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The Tragedy of the Damaged Towns and Ports of Eastern Japan

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Briefing on support given to the women's section of the Ogatsu district fishing port

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The above flame of hope was lit in March last year at the wasteland of Ishinomaki, a region swallowed by the tsunami. There is no end to the number of people laying flowers there in memory of those who died.


Nobody can guess how long the road to recovery will last.
Sadly even now, disaster-affected regions correspond to the moniker of "ghost town". In what way and at what speed will recovery take place from hereon?It is hard to deny that there are regional disparities in the extent of recovery.

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June 2012 - A fish-processing tank lies beside a national highway

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October - Slight signs of recovery (the same place as the photo above)

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A steam locomotive lies tragically on its side (demonstrating the force of the tsunami)

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The Ishinomaki train station, which is separated from the coast, is no exception. It was greatly damaged by the tsunami.


What is needed now is empathy between people.

Many volunteers can be seen even now at the disaster-affected regions. Volunteer groups all the way from abroad are also playing an active role (albeit comparably reduced compared to one year ago).
While this disaster was unprecedented in terms of the size of the earthquake, tsunami and the resultant radioactive contamination, I believe that the exchange between peoples of all nationalities and human decency will absorb this disaster.


Disaster volunteering - memo (1)

I paid a visit to the Ishinomaki Okawa Elementary School, where 74 of the school's entire 108 students either died or went missing.
A lump came to my throat when I thought of the wasted lives of these students that were swallowed by the tsunami, even though there was 50 minutes to escape before the giant tsunami arrived.
I put my palms together in the direction of the sea and sky to prey for their souls.
On the other hand, not one of the 184 students of the Kamaishi Municipal Elementary School, located in a coastal area, was lost to the tsunami even though they had already left school, and this has become known as the "Miracle of Kamaishi".
Making good use of knowledge acquired through disaster prevention education, the students exercised judgment that would put adults to shame and took speedy action in seeking refuge away from the giant tsunami measuring in excess of 15m. The children saved many lives through action such as taking the hands of their younger siblings, carrying friends with physical disabilities, and telling older people to evacuate.
As demanded by the Tohoku dialect expression, "tsunami-tendenko" (meaning "protect your own life"), taking the smart action of sprinting to high ground for shelter strongly taught us the lesson that we must protect our own lives.

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Okawa Elementary School


Disaster volunteering - memo (2)

Recovery of the Sanriku coastal area fishing ports with its extensive fertile sea is still delayed. However, buoy and rope were sent by air from the French company, Louis Vuitton, to support the speedy recovery of oyster farming in the region.
The president and CEO, Yves Carcelle, said "bonds between France and Japan are deep, so it is only natural that we want to give something back at times like this."
He said this because he had heard that when oysters in the Brittany region were devastated by disease about 50 years ago, seed oysters from Miyagi Prefecture were sent to France and saved its oyster industry. It was,thus, the repayment of a kindness to French oyster farming.
Chanel is piling up the instances of caring for a women's heart through cosmetic volunteering. The president of Chanel Japan, Richard Collasse immediately made his way to Kesennuma himself and he brought sleeping bags for the victims with him.

The fishermen of Kesennuma city say, "there isn't a single person that bears a grudge against the sea despite being devastated by the tsunami. I'm one of those people. The sea is my life and it's the main stay of fishermen".
With the exception of the rebirth of the fisheries industry, the recovery of the Tohoku region is improbable.

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Onagawa district - Recovery support dumpers frequently go back and forth to the area on a daily basis. The earliest possible recovery is hoped for.

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This page contains a single entry by administer published on December 28, 2012 10:02 AM.

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