As time passes by our lives, there is no room for looking back, however, if it is about learning and facing the positives out of the past, it should be our duty to take notice of what has happened and what follows. March 11, 2011 was a date that we all will remember as the day Japan fell to Nature. Was it because of pollution, the revenge of Mother Earth on the most advanced country when it comes to technology and other fields or was it just the time for a new hit on the small Asian country? These hardly matter to me. I think we should care about the advance that the Japanese nation showed even right after the hit and during the tsunami that followed; I care about the strength of the people and the power that they spread across the world, reaching even the most distant places.
What makes this date special is not the fact that someone has stuck this great country and announced war on it, no, what makes it special is that this event was a sign for all of us to beware. We all need to think more about the planet, about the future and about the present too, since if the human population wasn’t that selfish and self-centred, not as individuals, but as a race, it wouldn’t have happened. Yes, as a Kami, I do believe this and I do believe that the human race is responsible for most of the current environmental issues. Denying this will make the situation unbearable, because the worst thing possible is to accept defeat and not being responsible means being unable to make a change.
On March 11, 2012, on the one-year anniversary of the cruel events that happened in the Northern parts of Japan.
First there was an earthquake that shattered millions of streets, houses and commercial building, a magnitude equal to 9 on the Richter scale shock that took the homes of thousands of people. The epicentre of the quake was 70 kilometres (43 miles) east of the Oshika peninsula of the Tohoku
Then, there followed a tsunami that reached immense heights such as the 30 metre (97 feet) at Ryouri Bay, Ofunato, or the 40.5 metres (133 ft) in the Miyaku, found in Tohoku’s Iwate prefecture. The standard height of the waves after the quake was about 10 metres (33 feet) at other parts of the Japanese Pacific shores. This devastation hit the small, but historical, fishing village Minamisanriku in the Miyagi Prefecture as an example of what the power of Nature is. Half of the city’s population was announced missing and probably dead after the monstrous wave and the 164 sq. metre location was entirely submerged in water. Just so you know, San Marino, Vatican, Monaco and the British Gibraltar don’t make up even a half of Minamisanriku’s area.
The failure of multiple sectors of the Fukishima Daini Nuclear Power Plant was the most terrifying follow-up to the natural disasters. A 9-metre high wave hit the plant no.2, while the first plant was struck by a 13-metre tsunami. About 3,000 tons of water entered the buildings of the Fukushima Nuclear plants and was found radioactive, including all the flora and fauna within it. It was not to be released back into the ocean. Hundreds of thousands of people were urged to evacuate because of the radioactivity that was being handled in the plants.
15,854 people were announced dead in March 2012. 3,155 are missing while 26,992 are injured. 129,107 buildings collapsed entirely due to the devastation while 254,139 are the ones who have partially collapsed. These are the facts from a year ago. These are the statistics that will be remembered.
Now, a year later, we are in awe at the inhuman efforts and resolve of the Japanese nation.
Beauty is replacing the black waters’ effects on the nation. A great example is the Tokyo Sky Tree that was entirely in white in tribute to the events from the past year.
Another thing that always makes me feel comfortable is this pair of images by photographers Yomiuri Shimbun and Toru Yamanaka. This young lady is named Yuko Sugimoto and her image, covered in a blanket right after the devastation, travelled all over the world, causing many to tremble from the power this photograph emits. Looking for her lost child, Yuko was waiting, in the middle of what was at that moment a pile of debris, for news about her disappeared boy. Now, at the same place and a year after the first shot was taken, Yuko is standing happy with her little boy Raito, smiling at the camera.
Although the world has never stopped thinking about Japan and what the people of the country have gone through, there is still need for help. Today, there are several charitable events you can take part in and I urge you to do so.
As I have noted, Crunchyroll is donating all proceedings from the Bleach and Naruto Shippuuden episodes watched through their website for the children who have suffered after the quake.
“Pray for Japan” is a documentary about Japan’s fight to stay calm, work to mend what was broken and never stay apathetic. Its screenings are mainly in the United States, but you can still check out the site (by clicking on the logo) and see if you can’t help another one of the Tohoku projects.
A lot of local charity events are being organized near you. They can also be fun and related to anime and manga. Look for bunkasai events, conventions and even cosplay meetings – there is a good chance they will have something related to charity in their schedule. If they don’t have it planned, then you have two possibilities – to organize one yourself and send the money to the Red Cross or to go to the Red Cross and send them again. Except for the Japanese Red Cross (which has a really easy to use interface), you can also seek for a charity that touches your heart, like Crunchyroll and the children. Rebiulding people’s homes, wells and dams are priorities, schools, hospitals and so on also need your help.
Let’s aid Japan as it has aided the world into prosperity and technological (and not only) advance. Let’s help the country that brought us together through anime and manga, too.
Now, let’s not think about how they were shattered, but rather discuss how their beautiful Sakura will soon be covering the ground in Tokyo, Ishinomaki and various other places. The country of Japan has given a lot of sakura trees to other governments as a handshake of peace and understanding. You can always find a sakura tree in your city (or just any piece of nature, if you don’t have them) and think positive around it for both Japan and the world. The chance to share the Hanami season (sakura blossom viewing) will begin late March and might continue until late April depending on your climate.