Category Archives: Tsunami Victims

Reposted from IDRO Japan

http://idrojapan.posterous.com/returning-the-dead-in-tohoku

Returning the Dead in Tohoku

Rather difficult to capture with an I-phone, but here in Ogatsu-cho it
is the final day of obon, the time when the dead return to visit the
living. Here they send the spirits off in floating lanterns, tonight
watched over by the just waning moon. They move so slowly , taken by
the tide, as if the spirits are asking for one more day…

What now?

The more I see of what happened in Japan and what is still happening, the more concerned I become.

It is true.
It’s easy for everyone who was not directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami to think and hear and believe that everything has improved and things are looking up.

But, do we really know what the situation is for all those people who lost homes, loved ones and livelihoods?

The more I read, the more I realise I know little and
the truth is not readily available.

For instance, I didn’t know that once people move from a shelter into the ‘temporary’ housing that is being provided, all aid is cut off – so no more food, clothing or other aid they had been receiving whilst in the evacuation centres.

Effectively, once they move to temporary housing they must
fend for themselves.

That would be fine, if they had a workplace to go to;
if their workplace was still in existence.
It would be fine, if the infrastructure still existed.

Think about all that it takes to ‘live’ in a house – food, electricity, water, transport, furniture, grocery items, heating, cooling, internet and lots of other things that we all ‘can’t live without’.

You need money to obtain these necessities.
You need a job to obtain money.
You need workplaces to obtain a job.

All of these things are gone.
Completely!
Washed away,
Flattened and destroyed.

From Socks for Japan Jason Kelly com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Rough-terrain-in-Ofunato-two.jpeg

They are still trying to clear up the rubble.
Thousands and thousands of missing people are still unaccounted for;
of every age.
Progress is tediously slow.

It is still NOT OK and it won’t be for years.

What would you do?

I try to imagine being faced with the choice.

It reminds me of a game we used to play.

‘Would you rather kiss a (germ ridden) boy or drink a cup of seawater?’
You know.
That game, where you had a choice of one completely revolting thing or
some other equally disgusting thing.
And you had to choose one.
And you just couldn’t make a choice because each option was so unappealing.

Anyway, I don’t know what I would do, if I was faced with the choice of continuing to live on the floor of a gymnasium, surrounded by boxes for my belongings; boxes representing the walls my ‘home’, separating me from my nearest neighbour, no more than a metre away from me.

The benefit of this ‘existence’ being that I had a food supply, that I had access to the bare necessities of life and that I didn’t need to earn money to live (because I couldn’t, because there was nothing left standing within cooee, because I had lost ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, because it was physically, emotionally and practically impossible).

Would I choose that over moving to a ‘temporary’ house where I had no means to earn a living, to put food on the table, pay the bills, wood in the fire?

I am not faced with that choice, but many of the people still living in shelters in the tsunami zone are.
I believe many are choosing to stay.
Do they really have any choice?
Is one option really more appealing than the other?

In my humble opinion, there’s something wrong here.;
very wrong….

In case you can’t tell,
my heart is breaking for these people.


Japan…. with a twist

Our next Japan trip is coming up!

But this is a trip with a bit of a twist.
I will tell you more in the coming months.

In the meantime, I would like to share links to updates on the situation in Japan.

I feel like it is important not to forget.
The links I post will be more for my own records than anything else, as we continue to watch and now, consider where we might be of help.

It is my hope that visitors to our blog might find the websites I mention worthy of attention, if nothing more.
We’re about to embark on a new chapter in our lives, which are inexplicably and inextricably linked to Japan.
And if you get sick of me going on and on about it, I’m sorry.
Feel free to tune out.
I’ll understand.

What is the internet, if it is not a tool?
How can I look and refuse to see?
How can I see and refuse to ‘do’?

Please don’t ever let me be a hypocrite..

Today’s link is to not just a website.
It is a link to courage, faith, inspiration and action. 
Kozmoz International