Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of publishing this magazine is that it’s led to a number of new friendships. Quite a few of these friends live on the other side of the world. I had just recently spent time with a number of my friends from Japan when I heard the news of the natural disaster. While the video footage was heartbreaking, the most poignant reports came directly from friends. The following is an excerpt of an email I received from my friend Yoshi on March 15, 2011:
Several days have passed since the disaster. Fortunately, the damage in the part of Tokyo where I live was not too bad. We only had an earthquake. Northeast Japan was hit with a combination-punch—earthquake and tsunami.
The death toll will likely surpass 10,000. Not only that, but the accident at the nuclear power plant in the area is looking worse every day. Radiation is leaking from the damaged reactors. The prime minister has ordered people living within 30 km of the plant to stay indoors.
The rolling electricity blackouts are the first ever in Japan. The emergency plan, announced late Sunday, threw commuters into a state of confusion. There is no gasoline to be had, and nothing but empty shelves in the market. In addition to the radiation leak, we’re running out of things like toilet paper.
What was once abnormal has become daily life. We are surely in a dire situation, but I’m thankful that my family and friends have been spared the fate that so many victims have suffered. And I’m happy to have received so many words of encouragement from my friends who live abroad.
We are OK.
We will be OK.
Photo by Yoshiro Yamada, www.pedalspeed.com