Echoes from Tohoku, Japan

I marvel at the speed in which the plants around me are growing, climbing to new heights. I give them only water, the mother instinct in me hovering, wanting to ask them, ‘Do you want some food, some, chick pea curry, some rice, something flavorful?’  They look back at me kindly, their leaves a smile, not moved by such sense desires, and with that most ascetic of diets, bare water, and from the tap, they flourish.

Outside, a youngling tree of a few years, a mere skeleton of what he once was,  whom I already mourned thinking he had not survived the winter, suddenly bursts into green feathery, hesitant shows of life becoming an unabashed display of dashing leaves courting new buds.

As a voice from Japan, I apologize for my long absence here during these times of disaster, reaction, relief, and rebuilding in Japan.  It’s been a long silence on this blog, yet one of many words.  Much to be silent, much to say, a constant 合掌, Gasshou, a joining of palms together in love and prayer, yet, there was nothing I could add more to the precious and beautifully spoken words and feelings being shared from Japan around the world.  The best I can give in writing right now is to let some of those messages echo here, without distracting from them with extra words.

From a Japan in which mourning and shock is not separate from strength, faith, hope, resilience, determination for change, and, that necessary recharging of spirit, smiles:


A friend’s words, eyes and heart:

A photo by photo, word by word tale:

–I will update this post soon with more voices, more echoes, from Tohoku.–

5.28 Added:    

A mother’s letter from Fukushima, handed to NY Times reporter Hiroko Tabuchi on her visit to Fukushima:

Same letter, on Fukushima news research website:

A photographer’s witness of volunteering:

Report from IDRO Japan, Kyoto-based volunteer relief organization, on Deep Kyoto website:


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