Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

In Japanese, kizuna means strong emotional bonds.

This series shares stories about Nikkei individual and/or community reaction and perspectives on the Great Tohoku Kanto earthquake on March 11, 2011 and the resulting tsunami and other impacts—either about supporting relief efforts or how what has happened has affected them and their feeling of connection to Japan.

If you would like to share your reactions, please see the “Submit an Article” page for general submission guidelines. We welcome submissions in English, Japanese, Spanish, and/or Portuguese, and are seeking diverse stories from around the world.

We hope that these stories bring some comfort to those affected in Japan and around the world, and that this will become like a time capsule of responses and perspectives from our global Nima-kai community for the future.

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There are many organizations and relief funds established around the world providing support for Japan. Follow us on Twitter @discovernikkei for info on Nikkei relief efforts, or check the Events section. If you’re posting a Japan relief fundraising event, please add the tag “JPquake2011” to make it appear on the list of earthquake relief events.

community en ja es pt

Remembering: The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 10 Years Later

This past Feb. 13th, there was a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Fukushima. I froze. Cold sweat and a familiar sense of panic came raging back.

Flashback: March 11, 2011. 

I clearly recall waking up for school and getting an odd, frantic phone call from CBC radio asking for a comment about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. What the hell was going on? I wondered, annoyed by the early morning disruption. All morning at school, I was preoccupied by finding moments to check on the news out of Japan, specifically Tohoku and seeing terrifying images of black waves and …

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Tenth Anniversary of Japan’s Tsunami Disaster – A Visual Story of Animal Rescue

We are fast approaching the tenth anniversary of the horrific earthquake and tsunami disaster that was unleased upon Japan on March 11, 2011. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit Japan created a tsunami that flattened a 200-mile stretch (518 km) of coastline, and traveled in some areas as far as six miles inland. The tsunami then caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima. The fury of mother nature that killed over 18,000 people must never be forgotten. Nor should we forget the animals left behind.

My passion for animals led me to fly to …

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community en ja es pt

The Mexican Piñatas and Blankets Sent to Japan in Support of the Victims of the Great Earthquake of 2011

It was early in the morning of March 11, 2011, and Midori Suzuki was having trouble sleeping. That same day, the Japanese Mexican Association was to inaugurate an art exhibit called Flor de Maguey that she had organized with some of her fellow painters. After Midori was finally able to fall asleep, a friend called to tell her there had been a massive earthquake in Japan. Still not totally awake, she answered quickly:

“Don’t worry! It’s probably just one of those earthquakes that always happen in Japan,” she said and hung up.

But her daughter woke Midori up early and …

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In Minamisanriku, Surveying the Aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake

On my last day in Minamisanriku, a small group of us from World in Tohoku signed up for a tour of the town’s downtown coastal area, which was decimated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.

Until then we had been immersed in brainstorming ways to grow the organizations of a group of dedicated and inspiring social entrepreneurs. They were so positive, and so alive that it was hard to viscerally grasp the scope of the natural disaster that had spawned some of their ventures. I wanted to learn more about the effects of the disaster that left …

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Growing Social Impact Ventures in Tohoku, Japan

I’ve just returned from an eye-opening odyssey to the Tohoku region of Japan with the non-profit social entrepreneurship organization World in Tohoku (WIT). Through WIT I was able to meet some of the people behind the dynamic social ventures formed in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster and learn how they are trying to improve social, environmental, and living conditions in the region.

Located in the northeastern part of Japan, Tohoku is a beautiful region filled with awe-inspiring bays and coastal coves, forests, deep-green mountains and fields, amazing seafood, and warm-hearted people. They’ll tell you …

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animal rescue artist earthquake JPquake2011 Kesennuma kizuna mexico Midori Suzuki Minamisanriku Mio Yamamoto Nancy Matsumoto tohoku Tokoku tsunami WIT World in Tohoku