- March 11, 2012 - Remember 2011

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The first year after the earthquake starts !

one year later -
nothing can erase
these memories

. Remember March 11, 2011, 14:46  

. Hokusai : The Great Wave and the Tsunami .

In Retrospect
. - The End of the Year 2011 - .

More events dedicated to the victims of the March 11th quake and tsunami disaster

. 2012 - March 01 to 10 .


Chronology of major events related to the nuclear crisis

March 11, 2011 — The magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami cause a station blackout at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, crippling reactors 1 through 4. The government declares an emergency and orders residents living within 3 km of the plant to evacuate.

March 12 — Prime Minister Naoto Kan inspects the plant. A hydrogen explosion rips through the No. 1 reactor building. The evacuation zone is expanded to a 10-km radius and later to 20 km.

March 14 — The No. 3 reactor building suffers a hydrogen explosion.

March 15 — A hydrogen explosion occurs in the No. 4 reactor building.

March 17 — Ground Self-Defense Force helicopters drop water to cool off spent fuel rods in the No. 3 reactor's storage pool. Fire engines spray water from the ground.

March 20 — Reactors 5 and 6 achieve cold shutdown.

April 2 — Highly radioactive water is confirmed flowing into the sea from reactor 2.

April 12 — The government raises the crisis severity level to 7, the highest on the international scale, bringing it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

April 17 — The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. announce a two-phase road map to bring the crisis under control.

April 22 — The government designates a 20-km radius around the plant as a no-go zone, while setting a ring 20 km to 30 km from the plant as an area that will have to be evacuated if further emergencies develop. In addition, evacuation is advised but not mandatory for an area beginning at the 20-km line and stretching beyond 30 km.

June 7 — The government admits meltdowns occurred in the cores of reactors 1, 2 and 3.

June 27 — Tepco starts cooling the damaged reactors using water decontaminated through a newly installed water treatment system.

July 19 — The government and Tepco say "Step 1" of the road map is largely completed and revise the conditions for completing the second phase and containing the crisis.

Sept. 8 — New Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda visits the crippled plant for the first time.

Sept. 19 — Nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono announces a plan at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency to move the deadline for cold shutdown forward to the yearend instead of mid-January.

Sept. 28 — Temperatures at the bottom of the pressure vessels for reactors 1, 2 and 3 fall below 100 degrees.

Sept. 30 — The evacuation preparation zones are lifted.

Nov. 4 — The government decides to provide Tepco with ¥891 billion to help pay its massive compensation bills.

Dec. 2 — Tepco unveils an interim report on an in-house investigation blaming the accident on a tsunami of unprecedented scope, though other disclosures show it was warned in advance.

Dec. 16 — The government declares the remaining reactors are in cold shutdown, completing the road map's second phase.

Dec. 21 — The government and Tepco announce a plan to scrap reactors 1 through 4 in the next 30 to 40 years.

Dec. 26 — The government decides to reclassify the Fukushima evacuation zones into three categories, depending on radiation levels. The government's accident investigation panel says in an interim report that the government and Tepco responded poorly to the crisis.

Jan. 26 — The government announces a plan to complete decontamination work in some evacuation areas by March 2014.

Feb. 13 — The government decides to offer Tepco an additional ¥689.4 billion for compensation payments.

Feb. 28 — A private-sector panel says Kan's response to the crisis created unnecessary confusion. He made sure Tepco's staff didn't flee.

source : Japan Times


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. From Driftwood to Dragon Wood .

“Ryuboku kara Ryuboku e”


List of Tohoku Initiatives

This is a {preliminary} list of groups, individuals, and institutions active in the disaster hit area of Tohoku in northern Japan, or of projects elsewhere in Japan that can serve as good practice examples for reconstruction.
In its current state,
it represents an unsystematic, broad collection of various projects of differing scopes and scales. In the long-run, however, we aim to provide a systematic database and map of who is doing what, where, how, and with which success in the fields of alternative energy, community building, multi-generation housing, transportation, architecture, master plans, agriculture, economic development, and art & design.
source : tpf2.net/initiatives

Japan earthquakes 2011
Visualization map
source : www.youtube.com


Gabi reports:

March eleven -
I turn the calendar leaf
with a heavy heart  

It is now one year
since the great earthquake, tsunami and reactor crises.

. News from February, 2012 .

A cold morning introducing a coming cold wave for the next 3 days.
Minus 2 centigrade in my valley. Snow again in Tohoku.

Stories of Tohoku were on TV all day yesterday.
Here is just one to represent the many.

The public bathhouse in Ishinomaki 石巻の銭湯

It was covered with debris and mud after the tsunami on March 11 last year.
The elderly couple who owned it were in tears.
Then came the volunteers and cleaned the place. Three months later the rooms and the huge tiled bathtub were sparkling clean and ready to use

- but
the heating facility was damaged beyond repair and the couple had no money to buy a new one.
So they decided to rent a temporary bath facility.
Cardboard walls were covered with plastic sheets to build a small bathtub and the small stove for heating the water was set in place.
The couple was all smiling and looked forward to serve the public again.

- but
Most of their customers had been the sailors who stayed some days in Ishinomaki when unloading their fishing boats.
The harbour however was not fully working and the fishing boats just spent three hours to unload before they left Ishinomaki again.

So there were few customers in the bathhouse and
by December 2011 the couple could not pay the rent for the temporary equipment.
All was taken down and carried away.
The couple was sitting in the entrance hall to their public bath,
which was all clean and ready to use,

- but
there was no financial support to buy a water heater
there were no more customers to serve.

The couple was back in tears after one year and
even more hopeless for a better future.

March Eleven -
still frost in my garden
frost in my heart

. Rice-field art from Japan .
Inakadate, Aomori Prefecture


ganbaro Tohoku がんばろ 東北 

source : ganref.jp/m/yuzupon
from the Jieitai military in Aomori

ganbaro Tohoku -
the warm light
of a huge lantern


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

67th anniversary of US air raids on Tokyo
Tokyo is observing the 67th anniversary of massive US air raids during World War Two.
About 100,000 people living mainly in eastern residential areas of Tokyo are estimated to have been killed in the predawn raids and fire after the attack on March 10, 1945.
A memorial service was held on Saturday at the site in Sumida ward that contains the unidentified ashes of 105,000 people.
More than 350 people, including family members of the dead, mourned the victims. ...

3.11 Anniversary
Sunday, March 11th marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. Public opinion remains varied as the nation looks back upon the unexpected events of the past year.

In Ishinomaki Miyagi Prefecture tsunami waves lifted a large bus onto the rooftop of a building.
The vehicle was finally removed just one day before the March 11th anniversary. Snow and strong winds reminded locals of the weather on the day the tsunami hit.
Some people wanted to leave the bus as a reminder of the natural disaster, but city officials decided to remove it as many people want to forget painful memories of the tsunami.
Almost all public junior high schools held graduation ceremonies in Miyagi.
One student decided on his career path following the historic quake and tsunami.
Takahiro Miura graduated from Togura junior high school in Minami-sanriku town.
He tried his best to rescue people being washed away by the tsunami but was unable to.
So he decided to become a firefighter and learn to help people in future emergencies.
He says he will work hard to realize his dream on behalf of the victims at his school.

Sightseeing bus resting on roof removed
A sightseeing bus that was transported by last year's tsunami to the top of a two-story building in Miyagi Prefecture has been removed.

The 17-ton bus had been sitting on the roof of a community hall in Ishinomaki City, after being carried nearly 500 meters from an ocean-side garage by last March's tsunami.
On Saturday, the bus was shifted by a crane off the roof about 7 meters above the ground.
The removal follows debate on whether to leave the bus atop the building as a reminder of the disaster. Many tsunami survivors wanted it removed, saying their heart aches whenever they see it.
The city decided to remove and dismantle it.
A man who saw the bus being carried by the wave said its resting place had always reminded him of the swirling tsunami.
The president of the bus company said he has been encouraged by the sight of the bus to work for the resumption of his business. He said he is determined to run buses again in the future.

Japan marks 1st anniversary of March 11 disaster
Sunday marks the first anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan.
However, local communities are still working hard to recover from the disaster. Many displaced people are having a hard time finding work and getting back on their feet.
The violent tremors and giant tsunami destroyed or damaged more than 370,000 houses and buildings.
As of Saturday,
15,854 people were officially killed in the disaster and
3,155 others remain missing.

More than 340,000 others are living as evacuees in temporary housing, mainly in the 3 hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima.

An NHK survey reveals that about one third of the families living in temporary housing units say their incomes have dropped to half of what they earned before the disaster. One in every 5 breadwinners is out of work.
The survey also shows that a quarter of the respondents say they seldom go out and many feel isolated.
The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has made recovery even tougher. In Fukushima Prefecture the fear of radiation exposure has displaced about 160,000 residents from their homes.
Decontaminating areas with radioactivity is proving to be very difficult, and the disposal of tsunami debris is also falling behind schedule.

One year after disaster
About 300 relief volunteers gathered at the beach and prayed for victims of the tsunami in Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture, at sunrise just before 6 AM on Sunday.
In Minamisanriku, many people lost their lives and a number of buildings were swept away by the tsunami one year ago.
A 20-year-old college student from Tokyo says he prayed, hoping that the people of Japan will never forget the disaster and remember it as part of their lives.
At a temple in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture, where the ashes of 26 unidentified victims are kept, the bell was rung at 6 AM.
The sound of the bell being rung by a priest at Fumonji temple, Koyo Kumagai, was heard in the city, which was dusted with light snow.
Afterward, Kumagai read a sutra at the main hall and prayed in front of urns containing ashes of the victims.
In Rikuzentakata, 1,555 people died. But identifying the bodies was difficult. At one point, about 360 remains were kept at the temple.

Core details of nuclear accident not known yet
One year after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, core details relating to the accident are still not known, including from where a large amount of radioactive material was released.
Following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, nuclear fuel melted at the No.1, 2, and 3 reactors of the plant. Many people were forced to evacuate because a large amount of radioactive material was released across a wide area. The nuclear accident seriously affected Japan's entire society and economy.
Various measures to cool the reactors and contain the release of radioactive material were taken, and such measures made the situation more stable.
Accident study teams of Tokyo Electric Power Company, the Japanese government, and private groups looked into the reason the severe disaster happened. They have revealed insufficient measures against tsunami and inadequate responses at the time of the accident.
But details remain unclear, including from which part of the plant the large amount of radioactive material was released, and how much material was spread in the air or at sea.
And there's another core item still unconfirmed. The utility firm says the earthquake itself did not affect major safety facilities and equipment. However, the high radioactivity at the site does not permit confirmation of the claim.

Visitors pray in front of miracle lone pine
Many people are visiting the sole pine tree that survived the tsunami in the coastal city of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, on Sunday.
At the end of last year, conservation groups found the tree had died because of rotten roots. The "miracle lone pine" was about 270 years old.
The tsunami swept away all the other pines, numbering around 70,000, in the scenic coastal area.
Amid light snow in the morning, people came to see and pray in front of the tree that has become a symbol of reconstruction. One visitor said the coastal area used to be very beautiful, and that he will keep working for reconstruction.

. Lone Pine - featured in this BLOG .

Memorial ceremonies held near nuclear plant
Memorial ceremonies for tsunami victims have been held in Okuma Town, which hosts the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and remains a no-entry zone.
Fourteen people came by bus to attend the ceremonies on Sunday, which took place at 2 locations near the nuclear power plant.

The participants wearing protective suits offered a silent prayer and flowers to the spirits of the deceased.
In Okuma, 9 people died and one person went missing in the tsunami. About 11,000 residents are all living away from the town.
A woman who lost her husband says one year has passed so quickly, and that she is half giving up returning to Okuma.

Memorial service held in NY for quake victims
A memorial service has been held at a church in New York for the victims of last March's disaster in Japan.
About 800 people gathered at the church in Manhattan on Saturday evening for the service, which was called by Japanese women living in the US city.
After a minute of silent prayer, video footage was shown of kindergartners in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, who cannot play outside due to high levels of radiation.
A doctor living in New York, Kamal Ramani, who visited the hard-hit Tohoku region to treat sufferers immediately after the disaster, read a message in Japanese to encourage the affected people.
Participants sang a Japanese song for those who are still facing tough conditions one year after the disaster.

IAEA to actively support decontamination in Japan

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says his organization will continue to actively support decontamination efforts in Japan.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano made the comment in an interview with NHK in Vienna on Saturday, ahead of the first anniversary of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Amano said the accident served as a wake-up call and countries across the world share the view that they have to improve safety features at nuclear power plants.
He noted that safety has been heightened globally thanks to measures implemented by all countries using nuclear power.
On the question of how well the Japanese government handled the crisis, the IAEA chief stressed the importance of disclosing public safety information. He said this is vital in order to restore confidence in nuclear power generation.
Amano said the main lessons from the Fukushima accident were how to ensure transparency and disclose timely information, whether good or bad.
He expressed the IAEA's intention to send experts and support decontamination efforts, so that displaced people can return home as soon as possible.

Emperor delivers message on disaster anniversary
Emperor Akihito has called on people to have sympathy for the sufferers of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and to continue to work to improve the situation in affected areas.
A ceremony commemorating the victims was held in Tokyo on the first anniversary of the disaster on Sunday. Participants stood in silence at 2:46 PM when the earthquake happened.
Then the Emperor addressed the participants.
After expressing his deep condolences for the many lives lost in the disaster, he touched upon the fact that many rescue and disaster control personnel have fallen victim during operations.
He also thanked the many volunteers who helped the sufferers and those who have been dealing with the nuclear accident, and expressed his gratitude for the support extended by countries around the world.
The Emperor said, although many difficulties lie ahead in the process of reconstruction, he hopes all the people will sympathize with the sufferers and continue to work to improve the situation in the affected areas.
"In order for them to live there again safely, we have to overcome the problem of radioactive contamination, which is a formidable task."
He said it is important to pass on the experience to future generations, to raise awareness of disaster prevention, and to work to build a safe country.

TEPCO chief vows to tackle nuclear accident

The president of Tokyo Electric Power Company has pledged to address the difficult situation created by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Toshio Nishizawa visited the plant on Sunday, the first anniversary of the powerful earthquake and tsunami that triggered the nuclear accident.
Nishizawa and 200 employees observed a minute of silence at 2:46 PM, the exact time the earthquake struck northeastern Japan.
He apologized in a speech for causing serious trouble and worries for local governments and Fukushima residents as well as people across Japan.
He said each one of the utility's employees will keep in mind the feelings and suffering of the affected people.
He added that the employees will unite to tackle the difficult situation.
Nishizawa's speech was relayed via video link to the power company's headquarters in Tokyo. About 150 senior officials had stern expressions on their faces as they listened to the speech.

Prayers offered at memorial ceremony
The government has held a ceremony to remember the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan a year ago.
About 1,200 people, including the Emperor and the Empress, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and families of the victims, attended Sunday's ceremony in Tokyo.
Participants prayed for the victims at 2:46 PM, the exact moment when the earthquake struck.
Noda said many people are still forced to live restricted lives, and the government will do its best to help those who are trying to make their hometowns a safer place to live.
He said he will revive Fukushima and to do his utmost to bring back the beautiful hometowns.
The Emperor said many difficulties lie ahead in the process of reconstruction. He called on the people to think of those who are suffering and to work for recovery and reconstruction.
He said it is important to pass on the experience to future generations, to raise awareness of disaster prevention, and to build a safe country.
The Emperor left hospital just one week ago after heart surgery. Despite the worries of the Imperial Household Agency and the Empress, he took part in the ceremony, but for a shorter time than originally planned.
Three family members of victims from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures spoke at the ceremony.
Eriko Okuda lost her son just one week after he got married. She said her grandson was born last July, and he is giving her a reason to live.
She said she would like to thank the people from around the country and the world who supported the residents of the affected areas, and they will return the favor by living their lives while looking forward.
Overseas participants also offered flowers and prayed for the victims.

Civic groups hold memorial service in Tokyo
About 45,000 people have attended a memorial service for the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan one year ago.
Fifty individuals and groups, including composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and conservationist CW Nicol, jointly organized the service in central Tokyo on Sunday. The service featured music performances and a talk session. At 2:46 PM, the participants observed a minute of silence for the victims of the disaster.

Film director Shunji Iwai has produced a documentary on the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. He said Japan did not have a manual to deal with a worst-case scenario for the disaster.
He wondered if people would be safe if an accident like the one in Fukushima happens again.
He said the Fukushima accident was the result of the globalization of the economy and desire, adding that people's lifestyles are being questioned.
Sakamoto said the disaster highlighted Japan's problems and he will keep in mind its lessons and reflect on the way he and other people have lived.

Human chain surrounds Diet in anti-nuclear rally
Thousands of people have formed a human chain around Japan's Diet to call for scrapping nuclear power plants in the country.
The protesters held the rally in central Tokyo on Sunday, the first anniversary of the powerful earthquake and tsunami that triggered the nuclear accident in Fukushima.
They observed a minute of silence at 2:46 PM, the time the quake struck. The demonstrators then marched to the Diet building and formed the human chain.
A 71-year-old man from Tokyo said he used electricity generated at the Fukushima plant while people from the prefecture shouldered the burden. He said nuclear plants must be shut down and everyone in Japan should think about energy issues.
A woman who brought her child to the rally said it's unthinkable to keep nuclear plants that could cause accidents and force people to leave their homes because of radioactive contamination.
A university student said daily life would become inconvenient if nuclear plants were shut down, but this is the time to switch to other energy sources to ensure safety 30 years from now.

Population falling in disaster-hit areas
Municipalities along the coastlines in northeastern Japan devastated by the disaster last March need more assistance from the central government to stop the outflow of population.
Memorial services were held on Sunday across the country to mark the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in which 18,945 people died or remain missing.
Over 300 communities in 27 municipalities along the coast in the disaster-hit areas are planning to relocate houses and buildings to higher ground or inland areas.
But residents in most communities have yet to agree on the plans. Many people have already moved away as the value of the flooded land has not yet been determined.
The population has fallen since the disaster in 35 municipalities along the coastlines in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures, with the exception of Sendai City and Rifu Town in Miyagi.
The municipalities are concerned that the population outflow could threaten their existence and hamper reconstruction efforts, if it continues.

TEPCO pays nearly 450 bil. yen in compensation
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the company has paid nearly 450 billion yen, or about 5.4 billion dollars, to people affected by the nuclear crisis.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said on Sunday that compensation paid by March 9th reached 445.5 billion yen.
But only about 40 percent of individuals who are entitled to apply for compensation have completed the procedures.
People affected have criticized TEPCO, saying the application process is complicated and lacks of flexibility in deciding payments. They say the company needs to speed up the payments.
TEPCO President Zengo Aizawa said in a news conference that the company has received complaints accusing it of arrogance and a lack of compassion.
Aizawa said that the company is trying to deal with applicants more flexibly by listening to each person's situations and needs.
TEPCO started paying provisional compensation in May to people who were forced to flee their homes near the troubled plant as well as farmers and fishermen affected by the accident.
The utility started full payment to compensate them in October, based on guidelines established by the government.


This script is a message left in a cell-phone found in the debris of Kesennuma after the tsunami.
Written by a 17-year-old daughter addressed to her Father, then working in Saitama on the very day of March 11th.
It reads :

My Dear Father, are you OK in Saitama?
Sister does not move. She must have died.
Thank you, Father, for taking us to the Disney-land!

There are some more words like "battery is running out".
But it's too sad for me to continue any further....

- Shared by Hideo Suzuki
Joys of Japan, March 2012


Voices from around

. Daily Radiation Levels - LIST  

. . . . .

Japan Times:

A year on, Tohoku stuck in limbo
As Tohoku's shattered towns and cities mark the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake there are scant signs of recovery, and locals are dismayed at the government's shockingly slow response to their plight.
- Text Backup -

869 Tohoku tsunami parallels stun
A quake team that predicted the recurrence of the giant tsunami that slammed Tohoku in 869 didn't save any lives, but its work has triggered a seismic change in Japanese research that could eventually save many others.

Three towns near Fukushima No. 1 asked to store radioactive soil, waste

The government asks three towns in Fukushima Prefecture to create temporary storage facilities for contaminated soil and waste, but none of the municipalities agree to the proposal.

Tokyo trains to halt at 2:46 p.m. for quake drill

Madarame wants to exit Nuclear Safety Commission

Reconstruction a golden opportunity for eco-communities

Moving forward with reconstruction

Time has stopped for parents of dead and missing children

The power of bad news

... There on TV she saw Fukushima No. 1 exploding. She thought at first she was watching a computer graphic.
It's an impression many people must have had off and on over the past year. Catastrophe so extreme always seems unreal, even when everyone involved tells the truth as they know it, which rarely happens and certainly didn't in this case ...

Public wary of official optimism
Ambition can sometimes be measured by the amount of deference paid to the established order, so the recently published book "Genpatsu Kiki to Todai Waho," which irreverently analyzes the "parlance of the University of Tokyo" as it was utilized during the early days of the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, delivers even more of a surprise when the reader realizes it was written by a younger professor at that august institution.
Ayumu Yasutomi 安冨 歩 was born in 1963 and specializes in a field he calls "social ecology," but the purpose of his book is to explain to laypersons the special mode of speech developed by professors at the University of Tokyo and which he says has contaminated discourse in the media.

Catastrophe revisited 12 months on

One of the first journalists to report from the Tohoku coast after March 11 revisits the sites of the disasters

Japan's disasters must prompt a radical rethink of citizens' quality of life
... What can we do to limit that kind of damage and destruction from assaulting any region of this country again?
It is clear that a blind national faith in economic growth at virtually any cost is one of the factors that made Tohoku so vulnerable. In addition to GDP (Gross Domestic Product), some have floated the notion of an index of GNH (Gross National Happiness) — suggesting this is the measuring stick we should be using to gauge our successes in life.
Recently I learned of another yardstick, one that is more suited to Japan. It is GNS. This stands for Gross National Safety or, to use the full term coined by it creator, Osamu Kusakabe: Gross National Safety against Natural Disasters.

Young hopes bloom eternal

How will the events of March 11, 2011 — and the subsequent ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant — shape the rising generation? How will they influence their goals and dreams?
What kind of country will they want for their children?

The Japan Times asked school students from around the nation to share their thoughts, hopes and fears one year after the greatest disaster visited on their country since 1945.

Japanese cuisine to be submitted for UNESCO listing

An uphill struggle for food exporters


Nation marks first anniversary of disasters
Japan marks a year since it was beset by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that have produced more death and misery than any time since the war.

Emperor, Noda attend Tokyo memorial service
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Emperor Akihito attend a memorial service in Tokyo for the Great East Japan Earthquake, remembering those who perished and consoling the survivors.
Emperor Akihito :
"I believe that the road to recovery of the disaster area will be filled with difficulties," "I hope that all of the people of Japan will sympathize with the disaster victims and that persistent efforts will be made to improve the situation.
"I believe it is important not to forget the memory of this major disaster and we should pass it down to the coming generations, fostering awareness toward disaster prevention and aiming to become a safe country."

Thousands rally at Hibiya Park
A year after the start of the Fukushima crisis, Tokyo Electric chief Toshio Nishizawa offers another apology and vows to keep the jury-rigged nuclear plant stable and "appropriately" compensate its victims.

Antinuke protests erupt nationwide

'Invisible enemy' stalks Fukushima

Tepco president renews apology

U.K., Aussie leaders offer praise, encouragement

Prefectures to get debris disposal requests: Noda

Snow warning issued for northeast

Human error amplified crisis: Amano

Germans, French slam atomic power
Thousands of people form human chains in Germany and France to protest nuclear power on the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, followed by antinuclear rallies in New York and California.

Interfaith prayer meet for victims held in N.Y.

Hitachi color-codes fallout gauge

Hitachi Ltd. will start selling a color-coded radiation measuring device at the end of this month.
Red for danger:
The device can incorporate results of gamma radiation measuring within 10 meters into a picture taken by a built-in camera.

Chernobyl charity chief encourages residents
Adi Roche, chief executive officer of the Cork, Ireland-based Chernobyl Children International charity group

Volunteers still very much in need


Tokyo: How has Japan changed since the disasters of 3/11?

Fukushima not just about nuke crisis
Prefecture hopes rich history, abundant nature fuel revival


Recent articles from
The Mainichi Daily News
source : dn.mainichi.jp

Recent articles from
The Asahi Shinbun
source : asahi.com

Recent articles from
The Yomiuri Shinbun
source : yomiuri.co.jp


Ein Jahr nach der Havarie
Drucken Bewerten Autor: Anatol Johansen| 16.02.2012
Bislang kein einziger Strahlen-Toter in Fukushima
Die Folgen der Atomkatastrophe von Fukushima sind geringer als befürchtet.

source : www.welt.de/wissenschaft

Up to now,
not one person has died of radiation effects
since the Fukushima accident.

. Further German Reference .


Tohoku Bounces Back
I had an exchange with one of our JapanTourist.jp contributors, Aleisha Riboldi, about the upcoming anniversary of the tsunami. Aleisha used to live in Namie-machi on the coast of Fukushima, very close to the infamous nuclear power plant.

With March 11 approaching, I am certain that we’ll be bombarded by pictures of devastation that will no doubt resurface during this time. Many journalists, photographers, etc flocked to the region after the disaster, and we saw countless images of the wreckage. But very few people visited these towns prior to that, which is a shame. It’s unfortunate that this area was put on the map for the wrong reasons.
source : fukushimabounce.wordpress.com

source : www.japantourist.jp/region/tohoku


March 06 - NHK news

UNESCO tea ceremony marks March 11th disaster

The former master of a Japanese traditional tea family has conducted a tea ceremony at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, to commemorate the first anniversary of Japan's March 11th triple disaster.

The Urasenke tea family's previous Grand Master,
Sen Genshitsu 千玄室,
offered tea to the souls of the victims of last year's quake and tsunami at the UNESCO hall on Monday. UNESCO officials and Japanese nationals living in Paris took part in the event.
Participants offered a silent prayer at the end of the ceremony.
Sen said he hopes people around the world can strengthen mutual ties through the spirit of the tea ceremony.
Ahead of the event, Sen was appointed a UNESCO goodwill ambassador. Sen has visited more than 60 countries in his bid to deepen cultural exchange through the tea ceremony.



Tegami Project

source : www.unicef.or.jp

Fukushima nursery gets Caribbean kids' letters
About 250 letters written by children in the Dominican Republic were delivered Tuesday to a nursery school in the city of Fukushima as part of a UNICEF project to cheer up children in areas hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The letters were delivered to the Torikawa nursery school by Rie Yanagimoto, who worked in the Caribbean country as a nurse through the Japan International Cooperation Agency's overseas volunteer program.

Part of the "Tegami (Letter) Project" launched by the Japan Committee for the U.N. Children's Fund to connect children in Japan's disaster-hit areas with their peers around the world, the letters were written with colorful illustrations and encouraging messages for children in the Tohoku region.

More than 2,000 letters from 30 countries have been delivered to disaster-hit areas, according to the Japan committee.
source : Japan Times, Februaray 2012

Washington photo show
A 12-day exhibition of photos from areas ravaged by the March 11 earthquake will begin Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington to show Japan's gratitude for U.S. disaster-relief efforts under Operation Tomodachi.
The exhibition, which will run through March 10, features 48 photographs, including some showing the same scene before and after the quake and tsunami.
Family photos retrieved from the debris and a snapshot of a tearful reunion of friends are among the images.


Japan Earthquake: Before and After
Photo Tour
source : www.theatlantic.com


I wrote this 「生」(lives) for the victims of disaster 3.11.2011.
I determined not to forget many lives lost by TSUNAMI and people who still suffer huge damage from it, but I think of the power to overcome from psychological, physical and financial losses and believe in the power to live of the People!

Shared by Yoshiko Yoshida
Joys of Japan, February 2012


Daruma from Takasaki 高崎 復興祈願 だるま

Print one out and hang it in your prayer corner!

ganbaro !! Nihon
ガンバロー 日本

がんばろう 日本 Ganbaro Nippon !

. . . . . and even the beckoning cat

東北復興 祈願招き猫だるま
Beckoning good luck for Tohoku !

. Collecting Daruma for Tohoku .


The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
津波 そして 桜 

Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan's recent tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins.

A stunning visual poem about the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan's most beloved flower.

Directed by Academy Award Nominated filmmaker
Lucy Walker (Waste Land), featuring photography
by Aaron Phillips and
music by Moby.
source : thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com


One Japanese Town, One Year Later
As towns in the quake zone go, Matsushima is lucky.

source : www.forbes.com

. 松島 Matsushima - featured in this BLOG .


Helping Japan’s Tohoku Rebuild Through Photos

It’s almost been a year now since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and while we don’t hear as much about the recovery efforts in the news anymore, there are still many people working to help out people in the Tohoku area. A few days ago I stumbled across a great project called Photohoku.org (the name is a portmanteau of Photo and Tohuku), which is an initiative to help families restart photo albums, after the tsunami washed away family photo collections that they had before .
source : www.penn-olson.com

In an impending distaster, with just minutes to evacuate,
what one treasure would you take with you?

People always answer the same: Photos
source : photohoku.org/


genki kibo Tohoku 元気 希望 東北
Hope and Health for Tohoku


Ganbatte 365

source : www.ganbatte365.jp/en


Japan, Tohoku is safe!

source : fks-happy.com/aizu


Yuko Sugimoto and her son Raito
Returning to the scene nearly a year later, where a young mother searched for her son after the tsunami
source : photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news


IDRO Japan
International Disaster Relief Organization Japan

Rob Mangold

Feb. 28, Oshika Peninsula
This morning we loaded up a k-truck with tools and material, and 19 volunteers in three vans and started the snowy journey down to the end of the Oshika peninsula.
source : idrojapan.posterous.com


After 3/11, short-film director has one message:
Don't forget

Isamu Hirabayashi is an incredibly versatile man.
Following the March 11 quake and tsunami and the meltdowns at Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant last year, however, Hirabayashi says he found himself jobless for months, as corporate sponsors pulled their TV ads and stopped commissioning people like him to make new ones.
... In fact, he explains, the eight-minute animation, which features a cicada as the only character, was born out of his own fears and concerns on the effects of radiation that has leaked from the Fukushima plant.

source : Japan Times

Lessons from Fukushima
source : www.greenpeace.org

'Alternative labor' helps Ishinomaki rebuild
Jamie El-Banna
His group, with the rather odd name It's Not Just Mud, grew "organically," its name taken from one of the blogs El-Banna kept in the early days of volunteering in Miyagi. INJM
source : Japan Times

It’s Not Just Mud (INJM)
is a non-profit volunteer organization specializing in disaster relief and grass-root support and rehabilitation of disaster affected individuals and small businesses. We are based in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, Japan and work in the Tohoku region.
source : itsnotjustmud.com


Bunkasai & Aid For Japan
Embassy of Japan in the UK

The Bunkasai event, which will be presented by Akemi Solloway on Sunday 11th of March and organised with the help of volunteers, will provide a unique opportunity for all attendees to experience Japanese Language and Culture in a similar manner to the way these events take place each year in Japanese Schools and University.

source : www.bunka-sai.com/


Deutsch-Japanisches Zentrum Berlin

Event in Memory of the Earthquake and Tsunami Catastrophe
in Japan on March 11, 2011

Sunday, March 11, 2012, from 2 p.m. until 5 pm at the JDZB

One year after earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan - the JDZB remembers the three-fold catastrophe and extends its heartfelt gratitude for all donations. The German-Japanese Society and the Japanese community in Berlin will join the event to express their thanks and all are warmly invited to attend!

source : www.jdzb.de


March 11/Sunday
Great East Japan Earthquake Memorial Service and Prayer for Rebuilding
at Soji-ji, (Soto-zen Daihonzan)



Seisai (西斎) Exhibition at BCCJ
We are delighted that our March 8 Special 51 Night: Road to Recovery will feature the world premiere of a selection of Seisai, 西斎 (Peter MacMillan)'s series of prints: Thirty-Six New Views of Mount Fuji.

The Artist, Seisei (西斎)
Seisai is the Japanese name of the Irish artist, Aiden MacDermot (real name Peter MacMillan) who is also a poet and translator of classical Japanese poetry. He teaches at Kyorin University and Tokyo University and is a Research Fellow of Waseda University. He is a poet and print-maker as well as a translator.

The official opening date for the first exhibition is March 8, 2012.
Proceeds raised from the exhibitions will be donated to the revival of Tohoku.
The Thirty-Six New Views were mostly completed just before the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 and the earthquake itself is not the theme of the series.

source : www.bccjapan.com


negative: nothing

Alles beginnt mit dem ersten Schritt

Für den Schweizer Reisefachmann und Japan-Spezialisten Thomas Köhler bricht nach dem 11. März 2011 eine Welt zusammen.
Nach dem verheerenden Tsunami und der AKW-Katastrophe in Japan verliert er seine gesamte Reisekundschaft – und schliesslich seinen Job. Aufgeben kommt für ihn nicht in Frage. Er will dem Land, das ihm über Jahre hinweg seinen Lebensunterhalt garantierte, etwas zurückgeben.
Er entschliesst sich, 2900 Kilometer zu Fuss von Norden bis Süden durch Japan zu gehen, um der Welt zu zeigen, dass Japan nicht nur Fukushima ist.
Die Reise führt ihn durch ein Land,
das in der tiefsten Krise seiner Nachkriegsgeschichte steckt,
aber zugleich die Hoffnung auf bessere Tage nie verloren hat.

source Video : negativenothing.com


- - March 11 - Poetry for Japan - -


Tsunami-hit school to leave testimonies of pupils’ survival

(Provided by Ichiro Abe)

An elementary school engulfed by the tsunami from the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake is recording the memories of pupils whose lives were narrowly saved by the decision of their principal and others to get them to higher ground.

“They are painful memories, but we want to put together thorough records to hand down the tsunami experiences and lessons for future generations,” said Atsushi Asokawa, principal of Togura Elementary School in Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture.

The tsunami destroyed the four-story school building, about 300 meters from the coast, but Asokawa and others evacuated 91 pupils to higher ground and spent the night at a shrine.

Before March 11, the school had been discussing whether to evacuate students to the rooftop of the school building or higher ground near the school in the event of an earthquake and tsunami.

Only two people--a student who left school earlier and an employee who returned home after the evacuation--perished that day.

The 60-page booklet records how the children evacuated and how they felt over the past year. It will be distributed to elementary schools in Miyagi Prefecture.

source : ajw.asahi.com


There are many Japanese youtube videos available about the efforts of reconstruction.

Here is one to get you started, check the right side of the video page for more.

This is about planting new trees in the tsunami area.

宮脇 昭 Miyawaki Akira
Creating "Forests That Protect Lives"


source : www.youtube.com


Ordinary Life in Fukushima After a Year
Hello everyone. My name is Michiyo Yoshida. I’d like to talk about Fukushima today. I came back from Fukushima the day before yesterday. It was my third visit there.
I am the Chair of a small group called ‘Neighbors’ and our closest neighbors now are the people of Fukushima. The biggest work we have been doing since last April is filming the ordinary people by interviewing them and collecting information from the eyes of the citizens. My husband is a documentary cameraman and I visited Fukushima twice with him last spring and fallLast week I showed the edited version of our 90-minute film to the people whom we had interviewed. They sometimes came to tears when they remembered the hardest times, but most of them agreed that showing the film is important so that we don’t forget about Fukushima.

Video and text is here:
source : www.allvoices.com


小海町 Charity Poster Exhibition
source : www.koumi-town.jp/museum


kizuna 絆 the new bond between people

復興応援ポスター neko masamune
source : rufigusi2.blog

source : www.sakaya1.com/SHOP
Kanpai and Kizuna ! 如空(じょくう)東北の絆
支えよう東北、 ケッパルぞ青森県
Hachinohe 八戸酒類五戸工場

source : kougenhote
with lake Tazawa in the middle of Tohoku 田沢湖
Tazawa Kogen Matsuri Festisval 田沢湖高原雪まつり
February 17, 2012

source : trentzelazny bloggetyblog
source : 玖蘭 美沙


Goods to help Tohoku
source : sooooos.com

Have a cup and help Tohoku.


Art and Artists for Tohoku
Sakamoto Ryuichi
Hirano Tomoyasu
source : kizunaworld.org



- - March 11 - Poetry for Japan - -


. Toys and Talismans from Tohoku . 

. Regional Food from Tohoku .


[ . BACK to TOP of this BLOG. ]


  1. Stories inspired by Japan's March 11 disasters

    Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction
    (Anthology of Japan Teen Stories),
    edited by Holly Thompson.

    Holly Thompson, a Kanagawa-based novelist, worked alongside other volunteers in the months after the March 11, 2011, tragedy, shoveling tsunami sludge, clearing away dead fish and struggling with the grief of traumatized teen survivors.

    Their grief hardened her determination, and what started as a "far-fetched idea in the exhausting and unpredictable spring of 2011" became a superlative collection of young adult fiction. The stories in "Tomo," friend in Japanese resonate beyond the confines of tragedy in the Tohoku region to reflect a generation who will grow up indelibly marked but not defeated by 3/11.

  2. Der Aufsatz „Ein Jahr nach Fukushima: Reaktionen der japanischen Literaturszene auf die Dreifachkatastrophe“ von Lisette Gebhardt (Japanologie Frankfurt) stellt eine erste Bestandsaufnahme der japanischen Literatur im Zeichen von Fukushima dar; der Beitrag versteht sich als "work in progress" und erörtert die Positionen japanischer Autoren und Autorinnen der shinsai bungaku, die diese derzeit zwischen Heilungsanspruch, Traumabewältigung, „neuer Heimatliteratur“ und satirischer Attacke auf die japanische Atomnation beziehen: Erwähnung − als Autoren erster fiktionaler Beiträge sowie als Essayisten − finden Ôe Kenzaburô, Ikezawa Natsuki, Murakami Haruki, Yoshimoto Banana, Wagô Ryôichi, Furukawa Hideo, Gen’yû Sôkyû, Takahashi Gen’ichirô und Henmi Yô.
    Auch die Übersetzungsprojekte, die japanischen Stimmen zur Dreifachkatastrophe im Ausland Gehör verschaffen wollen, werden angesprochen.


  3. The following photographs show the premises of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant as seen in late February -- almost a year after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, triggered Japan's worst nuclear crisis.

    Almost one year on:
    Aerial photos from near Fukushima nuclear plant

  4. Anonymous3/10/2012

    Prayers and thoughts
    with everyone who has been affected.

  5. Anonymous3/10/2012

    We in the US are in mourning and praying with you.


    3/12/2012 - 3/31/2012
    Chicago United States

    Kizuna: The Bonds of Emotion


  7. Anonymous3/10/2012

    "Yes! Overwhelming pain to this day."

  8. Anonymous3/10/2012

    "Japan's children of the tsunami " 3.11

  9. Anonymous3/11/2012

    In three words I can sum up everything
    I've learned about life:
    It goes on.

    Robert Frost


  10. Anonymous3/11/2012

    Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes.
    Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly.
    Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end.

    What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind.
    Every moment is a golden one for those who have the vision to recognize it as such.

    Henry Miller

  11. Anonymous3/11/2012

    google crisis response

    with useful information



  12. Anonymous3/11/2012

    In-Depth Reports | Energy & Sustainability
    The Tsunami and Nuclear Crisis: 1 Year Later

    Japan still struggles with the effects of a powerful earthquake, devastating tsunami and multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant


  13. Anonymous3/11/2012

    The sadness on March 11 2011 has come again.
    I saw your blog pages with memories of the Disaster.
    Thank you Gabi Greve san for your kind service.
    nakamura sakuo

  14. Japan mourns tsunami dead;
    grapples with unfinished business

    OFUNATO, Japan (Reuters) -
    With a minute of silence, tolling bells and prayers, Japan will on Sunday mark the first anniversary of an earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and set off a nuclear crisis that shattered public trust in atomic power and the nation's leaders.

    "On the anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, we remember that today we face a challenge of similar proportions."

    "100 PEOPLE, 100 OPINIONS"

  15. Sneak peek look at TLC's 'Japan Tsunami:
    Tales of Terror',
    in this clip a survivor shares his video and thoughts as the tsunami hits his car.

  16. Anonymous3/11/2012

    "our prayers and best regards for the people of japan..."

  17. Anonymous3/11/2012

    Thanks for sharing this, Gabi!

  18. Anonymous3/11/2012

    With you in your painful memories


  19. Anonymous3/11/2012

    The anniversary of the sad day fills the mind with urge to live more passionately and keep humanity alive.

    Ram Krishna Singh

  20. There are so many obvious troubles in the world. But there are even more troubles that are not obvious that people do not see, and so many people suffering in silence
    Thank you for sharing this couple's story with us.

  21. Celebration of Japan 11-3, in Portugal...
    Prayers and meditations for Japanese souls and all...


  22. March Was Made of Yarn
    Reflections on the Japanese Earthquake,
    Tsunami, and Nuclear Meltdown
    Elmer Luke and David Karashima
    | ISBN: 978-0-307-94886-1


  23. Cyndi Lauper's staying power disaster-tested and still in tune
    Cyndi Lauper is admired in Japan for not running away after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
    The American singer was back to show the Japanese people that she hasn't forgotten them.

  24. "Let's start a profitable business on our own. Otherwise, this fisheries community is destined to vanish!"

    Fisherman Yoshiyuki Kumagai, 52, made this proposal when he met with seven people in the same trade on Feb. 23 in the Okirai fishery district in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture.

    The March 11 disaster destroyed 500 of the district's 572 fishing boats, and its population dropped 10 percent in the aftermath of the calamity. Even before the disaster, the population of the local fishermen had been aging due to the severe lack of young people willing to follow in their footsteps.

    Daily Yomiuri

  25. Amid Invisible Terror:
    The Righteous Anger of A Fukushima Farmer Poet

    Maeda Arata with an introduction by Satoko Oka Norimatsu

    A farmer’s poem, "Amid Invisible Terror, We Were Witnesses", first appeared in the July 18 edition of Shimbun Nomin (Newspaper “Farmer”), a publication of the Japan Family Farmers Movement “Nominren,” and was immediately recited at anti-nuclear rallies across the nation. Maeda Arata, a seventy-five year old farmer, poet and writer, lives in Aizumisato-machi in eastern Fukushima. The poem was written four months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster of March 11, 2011. Now, a year later, the fury and despair that the poem conveys continues to speak for hundreds of thousands of residents who lost their homes, land, family members and livelihood. Nothing is more devastating for farmers than the radioactive contamination and destruction of the food they grow with love and care. On March 29, 2011, a sixty-four year old cabbage farmer in Sukagawa hanged himself, all hope shuttered following the newly announced government restriction on the consumption of cabbage from Fukushima. To Maeda, national policy that deprives farmers of livelihood, and life itself, is reminiscent of the wartime events that sacrificed people’s lives for a purported national interest that prioritized colonial subjugation and exploitation of neighbouring countries. Goto Nobuyo, an economist who teaches at Fukushima Medical University, read this poem at a conference on the Fukushima nuclear crisis at UC Berkeley in October 2011, moving the Berkeley modern Japanese historian Andrew Barshay to translate it into English. Goto observed that most of the artistic and literary expressions responding to the Fukushima crisis revolve around uncritical cheerful messages such as “I love Fukushima” and “Ganbare (Chin up) Fukushima!” They suppress, in effect, the widespread anger at TEPCO and the Japanese state, still more the protest movements such as those of Fukushima women demanding the protection of children from radiation, and the anti-nuclear movements that surged over the last year. William Pesek, a Bloomberg columnist described a recent comment by Prime Minister Noda “jawdropping” – one in which he said, “no individual could be held responsible for the nuclear fallout and that everyone should ‘share the pain,’” in the country where CEOs of big corporations like Olympus, and even a prime minister got jailed for book cooking and bribery.1 Maeda’s literary voice is, therefore, all the more precious, inviting us to reflect on questions of responsibility and appropriate action in the face of Japan’s multiple disasters.


  26. "Pray for Japan"
    USA shows: Pray For Japan will be extended in LA and NYC from 3/16!!


  27. TEPCO under fire for hiring ex-Tokyo gov't bureaucrat to collect energy policy info

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) hired a former Tokyo Metropolitan Government official to collect the capital's energy policy information in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Mainichi has learned.

    Hisao Ohashi, 65, former chief of the Bureau of Environment at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, was employed by TEPCO as an advisor in September last year, half a year after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis at the utility's Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, sources close to the case told the Mainichi. Ohashi, who had left his metropolitan government post in June 2006, was assigned by TEPCO to collect internal information on the capital's energy policy from metropolitan officials and provide the information to the utility.


  28. Anonymous3/28/2012

    Japan Cuts Emperor Akihito's Nuclear Comments from TV

    On the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, March 11, Japan's Emperor Akihito gave a speech at a government-sponsored memorial ceremony in Tokyo.

    While the address was seen in its entirety live and in the morning newspapers, The Atlantic reports that by the evening, major news programs took out his nuclear comments and made no mention of them. The Atlantic points out that social media forum quickly made note of the omission and accused networks of censorship.