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11 March 2014 @ 06:12 pm
Three years ago, I posted a short blog entry just saying that I was okay. Living in Hiroshima, we didn't know know anything had happened for a while--I learned through the Internet, and softlykarou learned from people at her school. We got a lot of messages from family and friends, too, which led to some confusion until everything was sorted out.

I also posted the following two links:

That water one might be disturbing if you pay attention to the details, but it's not as bad as the cell phone video I remember watching. That one was taken by someone who had gotten to high ground and was looking down the hill at the people climbing after him, and then the water hits and half a dozen people are just...gone.

We were completely unaffected by the whole thing, other than being glued to NHK, where I learned the Japanese word for "to be buried alive." Obviously the people in Tōhoku were affected, but even in Tokyo they had hoarding leading to empty store shelves and people having to queue up for toilet paper or bottled water, as well as rolling blackouts and a lot of voluntary power conservation. As an example, here's Shinjuku before and after 3/11:

(picture originally from Danny Choo, found here)

When my parents and sister came to visit two months later, my father wanted to go visit Ginza to see the lights since he had heard that it was a pretty impressive display. And I imagine that usually, it is, but when we went it looked basically like that post 3/11 picture of Shinjuku. When ashiri_chan, her husband, and some friends came to visit before that, a month after the accident, basically everywhere we went in Tokyo was half-deserted. We went Tsukiji market for sushi and while softlykarou and I had to wait for almost two hours the first time we ever went, that time we walked right up to the door and got seated right away.

In the west, though, we didn't get any of that. Due to Meiji-era shennanigans, the east and west parts of the country run on two different power voltages and frequencies, so all of the power shortages and blackouts in the east didn't affect the west at all. Similarly, the various hoardings and panics never took hold in Hiroshima, so about the only connection we had was the people we saw who were collecting money for relief efforts or in watching TV.

Or the aftershocks when we went to Tokyo, but even then, they're hardly worth mentioning. We didn't have to walk kilometers to get home because the trains stopped or stand in line for hours to buy basic necessities.

Putting this here for posterity, since it only ran for the length of the day in Japan (until 9 a.m. Central), but Yahoo Japan donated for every person who searched for 3.11. Tokyodesu has a list of a few ways to help, though it's a bit focused on volunteering, which you obviously won't be able to do if you don't live in Japan. There's also the Japan Society's Earthquake Fund.

Actually, I think I'm going to go donate right now.
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