Today (March 11) is the third anniversary of one of the saddest days in recent Japanese history: the magnitude 9 earthquake that struck the coast of the Tohoku region of Japan at 2:46 pm on March 11, 2011. It was like nothing I’ve been through before: massive shaking so bad it was hard to stand, which went on for 6 minutes, though even after it “stopped” there were ongoing aftershocks very couple of minutes for the next few days. Japan is nothing if not good at withstanding earthquakes, and if the quake had been centered on land the country would have come through it all with flying colors. Instead, the quake pushed a 40-meter high wall of water inland which caused unthinkable damage and loss of life, ensuring that the names of places like Ishinomaki, Higashi-Matsushima and Kamaishi would be enshrined in sadness for years. I’m currently watching Wake Up Girls!, an anime about idols in Sendai which is designed to focus our attention on the Tohoku region and promote awareness and tourism. The last episode brought the girls to Kesennuma, the hometown of group member Kaya and one of the areas hardest hit three years ago. There we learn that Kaya had a boyfriend who died in the tsunami, and she was using the idol group to give herself a reason to move forward with her life.
Remembering the great sadness of March 11, 2011.