Two Years : 2年


Today, 14.46 marked the second year anniversary of The Great East Japan Earthquake. Our school flag was half-raised on the mast, and the children returned home early. Whereas the past weekend was brilliantly warm and tomorrow onwards is also promised to be, today, a thin, weak snow drifted down throughout the afternoon. At this school, I work with an evacuee teacher whose family no longer lives in Fukushima. It isn’t possible to understand how she feels on such a day; I am lucky, as a foreign observer, to look at the calendar in surprise that so much time has hurried by since March 2011 – to note what concrete, exterior recoveries have taken place, and not the persistence of internal, personal grief.

At 14.46 Japan time, an ex-Japanese expat blogger currently living in London either awoke very early or stayed up very late to contribute her remembrance by way of a blog post. Months and months ago, Ali Muskett requested that I write an article about my current impressions of living in recovering Tohoku. It took me months and months to really work out exactly what I wanted to say – what I had the right to say – and what impression I wanted to give her readers from the view of an expat. At the exact time of when the 9.03 Richter Scale earthquake hit north-east Japan two years ago, Ali posted the article on her fantastic blog Haikugirl’s Japan. Please do me the honour of reading the article, and, if you will, think of Japan today.

Thank you very much, Ali.

Words From Tohoku on the 2nd Anniversary