Yesterday, marking the third anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami was obviously the day to write about this particular event, but since 2011 the Date March 11th is always accompanied with ambiguous feelings.
I clearly remeber the day of the earthquake and the following tsunami. Trying to reach friends in the region, friends in Tokyo and sitting in front of the television and notebook trying to gather every bit of information I could find. Much like on 9/11 when we sat in front of the tv watching in horror when the second airplane flew into the towers, it felt so unreal and like a nightmare.
Our friends thankfully were save and even though the house of the family of a friend of ours was completely destroyed, everyone was save. My husband, who should have been in Tokyo at the time was still in Shanghai so I needn’t worry about him. Still the what ifs and the pictures of the devastation held me awake at night.
Yesterday, when searching “3.11” at the Japanese yahoo website, one was automatically donating 10 Yen, which was a good thing and many other relief operations that continue are still urgently needed.
EDIT: The Japandailypress wrote today (March 14th) that though Yahoo had estimated and set a limit at 5 Million Yen, anticipating about 500.000 unique users searching for “3.11”, the actual number was five times as high with 2.568.325 users searching the term. This would equal a donation of 25.683.250 yen and Yahoo decided to donate the full amount.
Is was particularly impressed with Munemasa Takahashi about whom I read at the Japandailypress website. He restored 750.000 pictures damaged in the disaster and tried to give the people, who lost so much, back something of their past and remind them of happier times. Though over half of the pictures have not yet been claimed I believe that Takahashi did something great. Sometimes we need pictures to hold on to precious moments of the past and gaining something back which is thought to be lost forever can instill even the littlest flame of hope.
So, if I am feeling ambiguous about this day and the earthquake-tsunami (obviously) being the horrible part, what is the good?
March 11th is our wedding anniversary and I am so thankful for my husband, to have found him, to be loved by him and love him in return just as much (I claim even more) as he loves me. Both of us have a strong connection to Japan. We met there, we fell in love in Japan and we plan to live there someday. So March 11th is a day full of love for Japan and full of sadness at the same time, which, especially in the beginning was somewhat overwhelming.
How do you remeber March 11th 2011?