pearls around the neck 137
Kumiko@gmail.com to me Tue, 16 April 2011 at 6:06 AM
Dear Cath,
The tragedy for the people north in the Tohoku area is tremendous and it is hard to explain!
Help from abroad is coming which is so greatly appreciated and our national guard soldiers are
also doing a marvelous job in trying to rescue and search for victims. This will be a huge task and
who knows how long this will take, how many years and when… When will these villages and
towns be rebuilt: everything is flat… debris, all is debris! Here in Tokyo, we now begin to feel some
of the quake’s consequences: black outs in the Yokohama area this morning for 3 hours. These
blackouts are proposed by the Tokyo Electric Company in order to provide much needed electric
power to the north. We are all trying to save energy as we have been told that the situation might
last for the months to come.
It is affecting Tokyo’s traffic system and the local water distribution system. Yesterday, I went to
the Peacock supermarket nearby but all the shelves normally filled with toilet paper, tissue and
most of all bottled water were empty.
Stay well and take care of yours.
Kumiko
The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki came at the end of a war and was
carried out as national policy. Last year, the accident at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant
came at the end of a period where promoting nuclear energy was also considered a national policy.
One part of the ethics taught in Buddhism is to learn about the pain and the suffering of others
and accept them as one’s own. In that sense, people should not pursue their own happiness by
having others make sacrifices.
Tetsuen Nakajima, Buddhist priest. Works with the Japanese atomic bomb survivors and is an anti-
nuclear activist. Excerpt from the Asashi Shimbun, 6/15/12.
Mardi 16 avril 2011, 9:55 am
Aine@gmail.com to me Tue, April 16 2011 at 9:55 AM
Dear Cath,
We have decided to leave Tokyo on Sunday evening. We received an email from the French
Embassy advising us to leave: another massive earthquake is forecasted. There is also a remote
possibility of a nuclear disaster. Pierre suggested strongly that we follow the instructions. We have
abandoned our house, this morning, furnished and all, a suitcase in hand. I left a piece of myself
behind.
But more than anything, I left this country that sheltered me and gave me so much love. I’m
leaving at the worst moment and I feel like a coward. Still, can I expose my 4 young children?
But what if I lose one of them or I can’t find one of them the next time around? I don’t have the
strength. What a jumble of feelings: I have been here 6 years now…I can’t watch CNN any more.
The only reality I like to remember is the one I know from Japan, the iron dignity that the people
have facing adversity without hesitation and without winking. I have so much to thank them for
and so much to learn.
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