Saturday, March 12, 2011


I am sure you are all aware of the disaster that struck Japan yesterday. An earthquake of magnitude 8.9 centered in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan's Tohoku region spawned a tsunami, devastating northern Japan. A tsunami warning was issued for most of the Pacific - including the American Pacific Coast - and aftershocks continue to cause damage and fear all over Japan. Safety features at some nuclear power plants in Tohoku have failed and there is a serious danger of radiation poisoning for people nearby.

I lived in Japan for one year and I have a number of close friends there - mainly in Tokyo and Okayama. Luckily, none of them live in Tohoku. The damage in Tokyo was minimal, although the transportation network stopped running and most people had to spend the night at their workplace. I have heard from all but one of my friends in Tokyo that they and their families are okay. Points south, including Okayama, seem to have been mostly unaffected.

I looked through my cards from Japan to see if I had one to post today. I have no cards from the Tohoku region, and I already posted this card, but after considering, I decided to post this one.

I received it last November from Chiaki for the wishlist tag. It shows a scene from the movie Princess Mononoke, an anime from famous director Hayao Miyazaki. This movie is somewhat well-known even in America, having won the Academy Award for best foreign film the year it was released, and is one of my favorite movies.

In the picture, Ashitaka, the hero, is carrying an injured man back to the man's home, guided by the little white forest spirits called kodama. The card is appropriate because it tells the story of a world going haywire when people mess with the natural order of things. At the end of the movie there is something like a nuclear meltdown which covers everything in poisonous black goo. However, amidst the destruction, a few kodama remain uninjured, signalling hope that the world can survive.

Two special old stamps. The one on the left is from 1975, the one on the right from 1994. I don't have the energy to try to look them up now...

I have been dealing with some personal disasters in my own life and this has put them in perspective, but part of me feels like this is the start of a disaster affecting the entire world, inside and outside. Like maybe I better start telling all the people I love that I love them.

Everyone, take care and stay safe. And remember, don't ever take this life for granted.

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