Voice Of Evacuees

I had a chance to talk with evacuees from the Tohoku area the other day.

1 A woman around seventy years old

“I told NHK(Japanese broadcaster) that the whole town disappeared.
The water pipe in my house was broken and gushing water.
This was as much water as I used for a whole year.
I saw the Japanese Self Defense Force working hard everywhere.
I saw the heavy machine braking the rubble at full power.

(About the day that the Fukushima nuclear plants exploded. )
I saw that it was gray with light smog as if it was cloudy.
Then I heard the voice from a fire station “Don’t leave your home. “.
So I stayed at home for ten days but I didn’t know what I should do.
At this time I thought that I wouldn’t be able to live in this house anymore.

I really appreciate that I can sleep in a place which has a roof and I can eat food three times per day.
I thank the many workers who helped me.

People who lived in near nuclear power plants are better off than other evacuated people because they can receive a lot of money from TEPCO.
Others whose houses was swept away by tsunami get nothing.

From now I’ll ride my bike to relax. “

She talked us about her experience for thirty minutes while we were standing.

2 A man around twenty years old

“Tonight, I’ll go to watch a baseball game thanks to a ticket donated by the stadium. I have never been to a domed baseball stadium.
Sometimes I need to go out the evacuation center. I’m looking forward to it.”

3 A man around forty years old

“I got a job in Tokyo at last. I have to work for a living. So I’ll prepare to move. “

There are many job offers for evacuees both in Tohoku area and around Tokyo.

I don’t have any comments to add.
“Go for it Japan!” (Ganbaro nihon がんばろう日本)

Working Healthy Or Old Business Customs

This year some companies will start “cool biz season” earlier than usual.
“Cool biz season” means that salarymen don’t wear a tie and can wear more casual during the summer season.
This is because it is estimated that there will be a large energy shortage this summer in Japan.
If you will not be able to use AC, you can’t bear a hot meeting room without a window or being in a tall building in which you can’t open any windows.

I always think that we don’t need a tie and suit in every season.
Those clothes are just for old Japanese business customs which include many ceremonious meetings, needless greetings and agreements, etc.

We should rethink and omit the old business customs.
Eventually we will not need any our ties and suits at all.
Moreover “cool biz season” isn’t enough to work healthy.

Which do you choose, working healthy or traditional business customs?

If You Can Use A Magic, What Will You Do?

My elder daughter, seven years old, was writing on her self-introduction card.
The card had some questions about herself such as “What food do you like? What color do you like?”

From the questions, there was a question that is
” If you can use a magic, what will you do? ”

My elder daughter answered that she wants to help those people in the affected area by using the magic power.
I asked her “How do you help them?”
She said that ” I”ll send delicious food to Tohoku area. ”

I was surprised that she knows the word “affected area” and her kindness.
I don’t know how much she concerned about the affected area but she can understand that many people have a difficult time.
I appreciate that my elder daughter is growing up mentally sound.

I note this incident down so that she will never forget for the kindness she once conceived even when she grows up.

Asbestos And Nuclear Energy

We need to take care not only to avoid radioactivity but also asbestos in the disaster area.

“”Asbestos, Japan tsunami’s other hidden danger””

Asbestos was a very useful material for architecture because it was light, hard and cheap.
It had been said that it was miracle mineral when it was imported into Japan forty years ago.

However, we found that the material was harmful to lungs.
If you are exposed to its dust, you may suffer from lung cancer thirty years later.
So it is called the “silent bomb”.

Now asbestos is completely prohibited from use.

A lot of asbestos dust is currently floating in the disaster area.
People clearing broken debris must wear a mask.

The history of using asbestos and its repercussion is similar to that of using nuclear energy.

At first, nuclear energy was said to be really clean and cheap.
The workers whose jobs are related to nuclear energy and people living near the nuclear power plants were taught to trust that nuclear power plant were absolutely safe.

However, once the disaster happened, the effected area was vast and the economic loss was great.

Regardless of the disaster, we are depending on nuclear energy even now.
I wonder why there isnt a movement set up to try and stop nuclear energy use in Japan?
Or if there is a demonstration against nuclear power but the movement hasn’t spreaded widely.

It is quite strange.
I don’t know whether this problem is about politics, energy, economiy sentiment.

My thought about discrimination

My thought about the previous post is complex.
I have never seen an obvious discrimination case except in historical texts.
Whether the previous post is true or not, we feel various feelings about the Tohoku area.

At first I just felt sad and angry with people discriminating against Fukushima people.

However, we may be part of assailants because we don’t travel to the Tohoku area now and many people won’t buy Tohoku area food which isn’t contaminated.
We just say “go for it” , pray and send a little money in safety area.
Naturally, we will not take a big risk with our own lives.
It can’t be helped that our fear became bigger than the fact was.

On the other hand those of us living in Japan may be discriminated against by other countries because some countries ban importing Japanese industrial goods and food regardless of the area.
Some other countries people seem to believe that none of Japan is safe even now.

There is always a big difference between the fact and the thought.

I hope that these discriminations is only a small part of people.
I don’t forget that we are one and we will rebuild Japan together.

My thought is disorganized.
What I can do now is only write about our daily lives.
It is up to you to control what you think.

Discrimination

There is some news about discrimination against people living in Fukushima prefecture.

I was particularly surprised at the article which was posted by a famous Japanese blogger.
Her blog gets one million hits per month.
She received an email from a female reader living in Fukushima city.
The email is summarized bellow.

I live in Fukushima city which is about 60 kilometers away from Fukushima nuclear plant.
The government hasn’t called for evacuation in this area.
They say “” This area isn’t ‘immediately’ dangerous.””
The government is afraid of a panic because many people are living in Fukushima city even now.

I may be receiving radiation little by little every day.
Most of them living there can’t leave because they have a job and don’t have anywhere else to go.
I am 27 years old, was born in Fukushima city, and have never lived outside of Fukushima.
Fukushima was a place with delicious fruit and vegetables.

Fukushima people haven’t been able to get a job, get married, or get gasoline since the earthquake happened.
There is a rumor about an advertisement which Fukushima people are prohibited from entering stores.
People are afraid to even get close to Fukushima people.
I think that I must give up having children.

I want you to think about what it would be like to one day find yourself in a group of people who are discriminated against.

I wish that the massive earthquake didn’t happen.

I don’t know if this is true.
I’ll write my thought next post.

Turning point about energy


This light is just put into the ground. No battery and no cord.
This light has solar-electric power generation.
Because of the energy shortage, such lights are popular right now.

As for our family, my wife bought this light soon after the earthquake.
This costs about 980 Japanese yen.
This light is faint, but is enough to shine.

As far people hadn’t used clean energy because of the high cost of the equipment.

For that reason, Tepco had promoted all-electric houses till the earthquake happened.
New houses around my neighborhood are almost completely all-electric.
I use propane gas because I don’t like IH stoves.

Now we can’t see the word “all-electric house”.
We need to increase energy options and think about using clean energy seriously.

Of course, it is important for us to save energy as much as possible.
For example, as you may know, Sony will finally begin a 2-week summer holiday and summer time.

In addition, I think that electricity prices will rise dramatically soon

Both companies and families are beginning to think about saving energy not only for others but also for themselves.

Thing that can’t be bought with money

The green pepper in our house

When I began to grow vegetables in my garden, I thought that the harvest would help with our family expenses a little.But things were not going well.
I failed many times because of injurious insects, cold weather and poor fertilizer.

Nevertheless I keep my home garden up for my pleasure.
When the vegetables were ready for harvest, my family and I were glad to gather them and cook various foods even though it was hard labor.
It’s the same for farmers.
In general, farmers don’t get a lot of business even though they work hard to get vegetables.
On the other hand, the number of people who want to become farmers are increasing recently.
Some organic farmers take more than for ten years to think of ways to cast their seeds and improve soils.

Farmers living near the Fukushima nuclear plant must give up their fields for at least thirty years.
TEPCO and the government will try to solve all problems with money.
They don’t have any other way.

Is there justice?

My fathers thought

The flowers in the cemetery.

My family and I visited my father’s grave last weekend because it was around the Higan and we needed to confirm whether the grave was damaged after the earthquake.

My father died eight years ago.
He always drank and smoked, even though he had asthma and diabetes.
So he didn’t have enough energy to overcome his sickness.

He was a moody person.
He often fought with other people and hit his children.
However, he was easily moved to tears and always helped other people.
I remember he wept buckets at my wedding. (Father of bride usually tears. )
He was completely clear about who his friends were and who his enemies were.
He ran a small construction related company with one other man.
However, he wasn’t a successful businessman because he was too trusting.

If he lived now, he would say
“Die young and leave a good-looking corpse. “

Let’s go to Japan

Kawagoe festival

Today I will write about the present circumstances around the Tokyo.

1 Radiation
・The data of Tokyo by Tokyo Metro Government

・The data of Japan by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

I think that this amount of radiation causes no harm. Right?

2 Food
Cup noodles and rice had been sold out for several days.
However, we can buy almost all kinds of food now. I don’t worry about food.
We can’t buy a few kind of vegetable but this is small problem.

3 Water
Every day each water supply corporation measures the radiation level and the result is put on each city government website.
In recent days radioactive iodine hasn’t been undetected.
Perhaps the maximum amount of radioactive iodine in Tokyo is about 200 Bq only for one or two days.
However, most mineral water are sold out despite the fact that water is safe.
I drink both tap water and mineral water just in case.
I don’t mind even if the mineral water is short.

4 Electric outrage
Every day rolling blackouts are planned by TEPCO.
However, an electric outrage happened only an hour or two hours per week.

5 Train and bus
The frequency of some trains are reduced by about 15 percent, but we can ride most of the train and bus.

6 Shop
Shop hour reduced at most of the departments and stores. However, we don’t have a big trouble.

7 Museum and Zoo
Most of the museums and zoos are opened or will be opened soon. For example famous Ueno zoo and Tokyo Disny Land will be opened since in early April.

8 Gasoline
We have been able to buy gasoline easily at some gasoline stations since a week ago.

9 People’s mind
I read the news that some people living around the Tokyo suffered PTSD because of the tragic news. However, most of the people are living as usual.

Certainly the devastated area were badly affected,but totally we living in Japan can live as usual.
Now we should become cheerful to help other people.

The one of the problems is that many people from other countries didn’t come to Japan. There are many harmful rumors and misinformation.
We need to receive many visitors to liven up Japan.

If you’ll come to Japan, I will guide you around Tokyo and Kawagoe town although I can’t speak English fluently.

PS
I like this post written by David.
“Should I cancel my trip to Japan?”