Thursday, March 11, 2021

Ten Years After the March 11 Tsunami

On this spring day with clear skies throughout most of Japan, we mark the ten year anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. 

Last month's 7.3 magnitude quake of the coast of Tohoku served as a temblor reminder of this ten-year mark, and an urgent message to all of us, everywhere: be disaster prepared. For those of us in coastal areas, the recent quake was also a powerful reminder should a tsunami siren ever sound to follow Tohoku survivor advice and run farther, run higher. 

Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction: An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories was generously published one year after 3/11 in 2012 by Stone Bridge Press as a benefit anthology to raise funds for teens in the 3/11 disaster affected areas. The anthology is still available as an e-Book (AmazonAmazon Japan). Please continue to purchase and share: the anthology includes 36 Japan-related stories, including ten in translation, grouped thematically. Proceeds support programs for teens in the tsunami affected areas of Tohoku as they continue to navigate the challenges of regional recovery and the individual and collective trauma in the region. Since 2020 proceeds were smaller than previous years, those funds are being held over until next year.

If you would like to know more about the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, NHK World has shared a number of videos related to the #311 disaster and recovery efforts throughout Tohoku. 

This is a difficult day for many. This morning, I began with a beach stroll alongside the sea. Later I will visit a quiet temple here in Kamakura and light incense. May you all have a way to find hope on this day that stirs up much pain. 

Here, I offer you the calming notes of survivor Teiichi Sato, author of The Seed of Hope in the Heart, playing Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni in his seed shop in Rikuzentakata in Iwate. 

May those we lost rest in peace. May those who survived find peace and light in the coming days. May we continue to support recovery from the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in its many forms.