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絆:ニッケイ・ストーリー ~東日本大震災から~

The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

On March 11, 2011 still another catastrophe (not close to home in America but 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean) defined our lives. On a world-wide stage, Japan reacted to the force of nature and the devastation left in its wake. We who are Japanese by ancestry can understand (and be proud) of the courageous spirit of our relatives, friends and counter-parts in Japan. The human emotions of losing loved ones, homes, and businesses have no ethnic differentiation. But the surge of nature not once by the earthquake but by the intended finishing blow of the Tsunami still could not “take out” the Japanese people.

The way Japanese people handle tough times comes from within the Japanese spirit. Instead of analyzing and trying to rationalize what happened, everyone went to work to “fix things.” The people unified and gathered what little they had and went to shelters. They stood politely and patiently in food and supply lines. Those that could lend a hand helped their neighbors. The government and scientists immediately implemented plans to analyze and react to the immediate nuclear threat. These actions were already underway as world assistance was on its way. I am sure the global assistance teams were surprised to find that the Japanese people were already doing what they could to “stop the bleeding” and taking the initiative to stabilize critical needs: locating people under the rubble, providing health care, shelter and eventual settlement for the thousands of people affected. The Japanese people were not interested in doing well before the global audience. They would have done what they did and are continuing to do without NHK or CNN coverage.

What can we learn from what is going on in Japan? As Japanese we have a vested interest in Japan because we are Japanese. But were we as interested in the earthquakes in Haiti and Asia? Myself included, probably not as much. I felt very emotional and thankful when the news indicated that President Obama had directed several U.S. ships to steam toward Japan as soon as the Tsunami hit to provide relief. It was the emotion of the audience in a movie when the U.S. forces appeared on the horizon coming to help in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is brother helping brother and jubilation felt whenever a distressed person or country sees a blanket or food supply being extended by a rescue person with a reassuring smile and big hug: “How are you doing? We’re going to get past this!”

Planet Earth is our home. When neighbors had problems, our forefathers in America helped. As Americans do, we should not forget prayer and pray for Japan. Despite its technology and financial resources, Japan will hopefully begin to build its spiritual fortresses. The future will unfortunately bring more disasters beyond Japan. We must learn from hard lessons that we are not just Japanese, we are Earthlings!

© 2011 Wayne Tada

2011 earthquake Japan JPquake2011 tsunami

このシリーズについて

人と人との固い結びつき、それが、「絆」です。

このシリーズでは、2011年3月11日の東北地方太平洋沖地震とその影響で引き起こされた津波やその他の被害に対する、日系の個人・コミュニティの反応や思いを共有します。支援活動への参加や、震災による影響、日本との結びつきに関するみなさんの声をお届けします。

震災へのあなたの反応を記事にするには、「ジャーナルへの寄稿」 ページのガイドラインをお読みください。英語、日本語、スペイン語、ポルトガル語での投稿が可能です。世界中から、幅広い内容の記事をお待ちしています。

ここに掲載されるストーリーが、被災された日本のみなさんや、震災の影響を受けた世界中のみなさんの励ましとなれば幸いです。また、このシリーズが、ニマ会コミュニティから未来へのメッセージとなり、いつの日かタイムカプセルとなって未来へ届けられることを願っています。

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今、世界中から日本へ向けた、たくさんの支援団体や基金が立ち上げられています。日系による支援活動情報を入手するには、ディスカバーニッケイ のツイッターをフォローするか、イベントセクション をご覧ください。日本への支援イベントについて投稿する際は、「JPquake2011」のタグを付け、震災支援イベントのリスト上に現れるように設定してください。