Many still struggling 6 years after quake, nuclear disaster

TOKYO  — Survivors pledged to reconstruct their hometowns March 11 on the sixth anniversary of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters in northeastern Japan, with many still struggling to rebuild their lives. “I never imagined I would be living in temporary housing for six years,” said Hirotoshi Masukura, a 61-year-old evacuee from an off-limits […]

A journey to say goodbye in Tohoku

When the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye By Marie Mutsuki Mocket (New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 2016, 336 pp., $16.95, paperback) “Perhaps it is possible, then, to see through more than one set of eyes …” Expected to speak and behave as a Japanese once she boarded the plane from America, […]

Half of 2011 quake, tsunami evacuees say local recovery lagging

SENDAI — More than a half of evacuees from the March 2011 quake and tsunami feel local recovery from the disaster has been insufficient, according to results of a Kyodo News survey released Feb. 11. The rate of respondents who said recovery has not been substantial was 54 percent in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures […]

Int’l friendship born out of tsunami tragedy

THE EXTRAORDINARY VOYAGE OF KAMOME: A TSUNAMI BOAT COMES HOME By Lori Dengler and Amya Miller; designed and illustrated by Amy Uyeki (Arcata, Calif.: Humboldt State University Press, 2015, 46 pp., $9.99, paperback) This is a true story about an unlikely little fishing boat that brought high school students from Rikuzentakata, Japan and Crescent City, […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Visiting Japan

Last October, Alice and I visited Japan. We left San Francisco on Oct. 21 via All Nippon Airways. An Australian stewardess who spoke fluent Japanese served us on the airplane. She tried to pour water into a plastic cup. I stopped her and asked if she could change from plastic to paper. I explained to […]

Ishinomaki nonprofit visits San Francisco

The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture. More than 3,500 people are dead or missing in the city of 160,000. Rias No Mori (The Forest of Rias), a nonprofit founded in 2011 that has worked to help Ishinomaki’s people and economy recover, visited San Francisco for this year’s Cherry Blossom […]

Journalists use ‘restorative narrative’ to report on Fukushima

The San Francisco State University’s Dilena Takeyama Center for the Study of Japan and Japanese Culture presented April 4 on the state of Fukushima, Japan at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California. The presentation, featuring the works of San Francisco State University students who visited Fukushima last year, included a series of […]

Japan marks 4 years since quake, tsunami

TOKYO — Japan marked the fourth anniversary March 11 of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country’s northeastern region, left more than 18,000 people dead or missing and triggered the continuing Fukushima nuclear crisis. The anniversary came as reconstruction in the hard-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima has not progressed as planned, […]

Connecting in the aftermath of the tsunami

A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING  By Ruth Ozeki (New York: Penguin Books, 2013, 432 pp., $28.95, hardcover) From a French Maid Café in Akihabara, the electronic district in Tokyo, the fast-clip banter of a 16-year-old girl initiates a spirited candor and yearning as she proposes to share her last rites in her diary. She […]

Indirect deaths from March 2011 disaster exceed direct ones

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) — The number of people dying of indirect causes related to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami has exceeded those who lost their lives directly in the disaster in Fukushima Prefecture, the home of a crippled nuclear complex, the prefectural government said May 27. As of May 26, the number of those […]

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