Tsunami Cleanup Memories

Today is the second anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake, and for this occasion I have put many of my memories from tsunami cleanup work into a drawing (click the image to see the high-resolution version). This is not a real landscape, I have combined many things (some of which I’ve blogged about before) intoContinue reading “Tsunami Cleanup Memories”

Tsunami Memorials

On July 25, The Japan Times published an article “Tsunami-hit structures eyed as memorials“, which discussed the different opinions people have on whether to preserve some damaged buildings and other ruins left behind by the tsunami on March 11, 2011. I want to use this opportunity to give my opinion on the matter. From theContinue reading “Tsunami Memorials”

One Year Ago…

…I was crouching on the floor in my laboratory at Tohoku University, feeling the ground shake violently, watching the walls shift, shelves break and things fall down. When the earthquake finally stopped, everyone asked “大丈夫?” (Japanese for “Are you OK?”) while coming out of the places where they had taken cover. Fortunately nobody in theContinue reading “One Year Ago…”

Rebuilding Together!

Since the March 11th earthquake lots of encouragement banners, posters, flags and so on have been popping up all over Tohoku and Japan. When I went to the Aoba ward office on Wednesday, I noticed one I hadn’t seen before: The big text means “Forward together, Sendai!” and the smaller “Regeneration since 3/11”. Calling forContinue reading “Rebuilding Together!”

Japanese Election Campaign

Next Sunday will be election day for Sendai’s local elections. They were originally scheduled for spring but have been pushed back because of the earthquake in March. It’s difficult to hold elections when the basic infrastructure is not working, right? In the photo you can see a board with candidates’ campaign posters. In Japan, suchContinue reading “Japanese Election Campaign”

Exchange Student Goodbye Party

Last Wednesday we had the Closing Ceremony for Tohoku University’s exchange programs and afterwards a goodbye party. While I still have a few weeks in Japan, many exchange students have already left or will leave soon, so indeed a lot of goodbyes had to be said. Naturally, there were many speeches at the ceremony andContinue reading “Exchange Student Goodbye Party”

Tohoku Rokkon Festival

Last weekend the 東北六魂祭 (Tohoku Rokkon Matsuri) was held in Sendai. The name means “Tohoku Six Spirits Festival” and is a reference to the special meaning of this festival, which was created after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. The six most famous festivals in Tohoku, one from each prefecture, joined forces to hold aContinue reading “Tohoku Rokkon Festival”