Sunday, March 27, 2011

"The Day the Earth Moved"

I tried to collect some pictures and facts from the disaster in Japan, talking with people and reading articles about it.

That's a pretty strong Earthquake...

Some days after the earthquake it was a lot of talk about that another strong earthquake would hit Tokyo with 70% probability very soon. My Japanese room neighbour even said that if it strikes during the night he would knock at my door and lead me to the closest protection room he knew.

Right before I got home I got lost in Shinjuku and asked a young Japanese guy for the way home.
He was so calm that I could never suspect he had such big problems.

Me: -"Japan seems dangerous now."

Japanese guy: -"Yeah. It was the fourth strongest earthquake in world history."
-"Is there earthquakes where you're from?"

Me: -"No, it's very cold, but never any natural disasters."
-"Did you have any relatives in the areas where the tsunami hit?"

Japanese guy: -"Yes, I was born there and my whole family lives there. I haven't heard anything from them since then."

Me: -"Really!? You must be so worried!"

Japanese guy: -"There's so many people in the same situation as me. But yes, I'm worried."

According to the article the Japanese people is the most self-restrainted people in the world. 
If a Japanese person starts laughing, "it shows lack of education." I always wondered why Japanese people aren't laughing in the cinema at jokes.

A friend once told me that his Japanese girlfriend thought he should open his can of coke before the cinema started. It would have been bad manners to open it during the movie and make a sound.

Even though the disaster in Japan was one of the worst in history, "the closest thing to chaos was
a man cutting in line." That's just mindblowing.

My friend's neighbour from Thailand that's an architect was just about to leave the country and said:
-"If this earthquake would have happened to Thailand, millions would have died."

Because the houses in Japan are better prepared for earthquakes, the death toll didn't get as extreme as it could have been in many other countries.

Lately the news have been all about the fear of nuclear radiation, and weather it's dangerous or not outside of Fukushima.

I met a Swedish woman the other day in Sydney that had a flight ticket to Tokyo in April and told her that I thought it would be safe by then. She responded:

-"Are you sure? I don't want my future kids to have 10 eyes you know..."

Some Japanese people I know has been a bit upset about "how the western media is
over exaggerating the news" to create more panic and sell more magazines.

On the other hand, many people outside Japan think that the Japanese government might not be telling the people how serious this situation really is.

The Japanese stock market dropped with $700 billion in three days.
Japan makes most of the world's electronics. If the Japanese government had to tell everybody to get out of the world's most populated city Tokyo, would the whole country collapse?

Something on a more personal level is the story about four year old Kaya. In the magazine Marie Claire there's an article about children rooms in different parts of the world. Kaya lives in a small apartment in Tokyo with decorations and dresses made by her mother all over her room.

Most things on walls and in shelves fell down during the earthquake in Tokyo.
I don't know what Kaya's room looks like now, but hopefully not like some of my friends rooms.

Japan, and the world, has a lot of problems to take care of.
There's some interesting old Japanese sayings that has defined the Japanese people in many ways.

A pretty sad one about how a Japanese person should adjust to society is:
“The nail that sticks up will be hammered down.”

But there's some that shows the Japanese people's spirit in this situation:
“We learn little from victory, much from defeat.”

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”  


  1. Wow.... you know, there's something we can all learn. Japanese must be taught such an inner strength to be able to not only go through such a tragedy, but to do so with so much respect.

    That's really something amazing...

  2. some of these pictures are so chilling.

    thanks for this blog entry. it does rouse a lot of questions from both western + japan governments... it's so hard to tell what's truth and what's not. i just wish the best for everybody and hope things will end up alright for everybody.

    and i'm always surprised by japanese culture when it comes to mannerisms~~~

  3. I actually know Kaya and her mother, and it's not exactly true what they have written about her.

    I am kind of shocked to see a real photo of her because normaly her mother does censor all of Kaya and herself's pics.

  4. Exaggeration indeed. Sometimes I wonder which one is actually more sad: the catastophe itself, or its shameless exploitation by the media?
    Anyway, I think the goverment does tell the truth. To many eyes are centered on Japan right now, thus it would be difficult to cover up anything.

  5. Eden:

    I agree! I wonder how they are raised by their parents as children. Probably a bit different than western kids.

  6. みか☆ちゃん:

    Yes they are. :(

    Thanks for reading! Even though I love to blog about fashion and fun events, I'm really happy to have readers that are interested in reading about more serious mathers as well.

    I totally agree with you, hopefully everything turns out well for everyone!

    Yeah Japanese people never cease to surprise me, but I like that! One of my goals in Japan is to understand the Japanese way of thinking, which is so different in many ways. I still have a long way to go before I get it though! ^^

  7. aimichani:

    Wow seriously? How do you know them?

    Oh I'm sad to hear that what they've written isn't true. Is she some kind of child celebrity?

    Sounds really interesting.

  8. A:

    I see what you mean. If I would have just listened to what media said in the beginning I would probably have thought that all of Japan was pretty much gone. On the other hand it was an extreme catastrophe and tragedy for the areas where the tsunami and earthquake struck hardest.

    Yeah it sounds impossible to cover up anything with so many foreign nuclear experts etc there.
    But I don't really know how it works, what they're aloud to see when it comes to the nuclear plants and so on.

  9. ai laah, when are you going to blog again? i miss you soo much now! :' (