Tsunami is a hard topic for me to address.
In 2011, my two countries of residence were hit by massive natural disasters. Christchurch was hit by a series of massive earthquakes, 6 massive events over a year and over 10,000 aftershocks. The biggest and most deadly was in February 2011. My family, friends, colleagues and students were affected.
In March 2011, less than 3 weeks later Japan was rocked by a massive seismic event which resulted in a tsunami which devasted a huge area and loss of life. Figures released on 10 March 2015 in a National Police agency report confirmed 15,891 deaths, 6,152 injured, and 2,584 people missing across twenty prefectures, as well as 228,863 people living away from their home in either temporary housing or due to permanent relocation.
I was away and traveling during through the worst of it. I was ready to head home but my family and friends told me in no uncertain terms that there was nothing I could do as such and just to keep the mails and FB posts coming as they were enjoying them.
Both countries suffered building collapses, structural damage to their infrastructures and 4 years on the rebuild is still in progress. It has been long, slow and frustrating for many. Yet one of the amazing things I have witnessed and heard about constantly through hard times is “Kizuna” This Kanji was voted the kanji of the year in 2011. Kizuna means the bond between people and the connections that people make together. I am still amazed at how stoic people have been through this whole ongoing process. Throughout the hard times communities came together in support, neighbours reached out, family ties have been strengthened and friendships have been forged.
I actually have an embroidered seal of this Kanji on my tablet cover which seems appropriate as my tablet and the internet helps me make connections with friends, family and you. I wish you all “Kizuna” in good times and in bad.
In response to the OWPC Tsunami
Yoroshiku Onegai shimasu