Sunday, March 11, 2012

Random (19)

"我々は大丈夫です! We will be alright"

A year has passed since the terrible earthquake and tsunami which stuck Japan. Many people are still struggling to cope with the lost of their homes, families and friends. For me, I live in a place where there's no earthquake or tsunami, so I couldn't even imagine the horror of such tragic event and the destruction of lives and properties it brought to the Japanese people. All I could do is to help as much as possible through ongoing donations.

One year is obviously not long enough to rebuild everything, and I don't think that's possible anyway. That chain of natural disasters and some of their aftermaths had changed Japan forever. Still, the endurance and resilience of the Japanese people in shouldering all the losses and rebuilding their homes and lives after all this to be both heart-warming and extremely inspirational. This level of destruction would propel pessimists to think that it might take forever to rebuild, but the Japanese have being fighting back right after the event, and their progress is for all to see.

Images are from the Daily Mail.

Of course this is not to say that everything is alright now in Japan. All the rubble and debris are gone, but new residential areas and commercial entities will take time to return to Miyagi prefecture and other places most heavily devastated by the earthquake. More time will be needed for greater recovery, but they are going there.

From the work on my previous blog, I get to know a few Japanese friends who helped to do some translation work for some of the product information I read up, some are just genuine friends interested in model kits and collectibles. The first thing I did right after getting the news of the March-11 earthquake was to contact these friends and hope for their safety. While all of them survived the disaster, they did mentioned that quite a few family relatives and friends of theirs were missing, and are still unaccounted for till this day. From the emails I had with them, I could sense their sadness and anxiety, but never to the level of breaking down. While I continued to offer my condolences and prayers, they were trying to assure me that they would be fine, which sounded kind of weird in a way - the victims seemed to be consoling the outsider. "We will be alright" was one of the lines I remember from the emails - maybe the Japanese equivalence of that is "我々は大丈夫です" when it was written. As short as it is, but to be able to say that in light of the great destruction and despair is a display of strength and endurance I'm not quite sure I could have myself.

Till today, I keep reminding myself of those few emails I got, of how some of the people I know are working hard to survive and recover from disaster that I'm so fortunate not to be part of. Mother Nature can be really destructive sometimes, but human courage and sheer willpower always shine the brightest when the storm has cleared.

"We will be alright" if we believe in hope and soldier on. I'm sure that was what my friends were trying to say to me back then, and I'm grateful to be able to learn that.

Image is from

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