It’s almost like, we are in the cross point of parallel universe. You know that you are in your normal life but at the same time, you feel that the world is something completely different now. I’m getting to see the good side of it. I feel that we are more open-hearted than ever. Everyone I encountered these days in Tokyo, they are my new friends, is so interesting, caring and very insightful. Crisis changes people into philosophers? Maybe.
I think you know this feeling too. We are, probably for the first time in human history, in a shared reality. It’s not only in your head, it’s real. We are very aware of the fact that we are no longer a spectator. Yes. No spectator anymore!
Yesterday, my mother phoned me and we got into the conversation about what is happening in this country, and also in other countries. When I told her about the severe situation in up north, the fact that people are still soaking wet in this cold weather and starve to death, I happened to say “ it’s not North Korea, it’s in Japan“. Then she told me that last night, she was thinking about North Korea, she really felt heartbreaking sadness for them too. She admitted that she never cared about people in other countries, used to be almost indifference, all she used to care was about her/my family and her world of 1 kilometer radius. I mean, that’s used to be a technique to get things done in everyday life, all the news and „unfortunate“ people on TV didn’t seem so real- it was so hard to relate to you so you needed to rationalise things to think that they are just images or virtual reality. And even worse, you don’t even appreciate your daily life. But, that was ok. We used to think that’s the only way to cope with the painful reality. I can tell you now, that’s so wrong! Such an underestimation! We are a lot stronger than that. We are not that vulnerable and the world is filled with beauty whatever happens.
As you know, I’m not like a voice of nation or anything and just a normal person who lives in Tokyo, I don’t need to prove myself by telling you this(I do this because I just want to), but I’m just trying hardest to be honest as possible as I can about what I feel and think. That’s the only rule I have. Also my mom, she’s just a normal person and we are just an average family in Japan, as far as I concerned we are not an entirely idealistically functional family (parents used to be my worst housemates from hell!). Then, to realize how much our perception changed since, is quite amazing. Yes, I feel for the people in northern area in this country, also for the people in other countries who’s suffering right in this moment and more than anything and quite importantly, I feel for the people around me in my small world. This is strange new feeling I have, but I can tell you, this feels pretty good. It’s a physical and real sense of not being alone; maybe that’s the reason why I feel fearless now. As I told you in my first letter, I love people in all over the world, I love YOU and that’s not just saying. I say it with my truest honesty.
Have a great day and please try to enjoy every single moment of your action you make today. I’ll do the same. It’s a radical experiment, join me now!
All my love,
I almost missed this article...
I almost missed this article (which I think is one of your best), because you are publishing new ones with such a high frequency. You know that readers of http://www.faz.de can only see your latest post? So the one you published before is more or less wasted. If you just want to make a brief comment, it is better to use the comment function instead of publishing it as a new article. Have a look at the currently most successful blog:
The author has the nickname „Don Alphonso“. As you can see, below his articles are a lot of reader’s comments, but also comments written by himself.
If you don’t understand how the website works (because it’s all in German), just download google chrome. It has a translating function. It translates whole websites from German into Japanese, not perfect of course, but enough.
I don’t want to teach you, just help a little, because I think your blog has big potential. It’s something special. You know, even things you think are boring, can be very interesting for Germans, because it’s different from here. I think, photos are always very good. Even a picture of a normal street or apartment, cafe, or even just dishes of food can be very interesting from a German perspective.
What you write relates to a...
What you write relates to a question I have often asked myself when huge disasters occurred: what about the so-called „human interest“ part of the news coverage? Is it not just sensationalim, a terrible nuisance for the victims, how does it make them feel when confronted with cameras and interview requests in the middle of hunger, fear and grief? And this time, I’ve been wondering even more because I can imagine that Japanese people may simply be too polite to tell nosy journalists to sod off when they don’t want them around. But then again, no matter what the intentions of the press may be, perhaps this attention helps them in a way, makes them feel less alone? And helps us feel that love and concern you write about?
A few days ago they showed a young man from one of the completely destroyed northern cities on TV. He was sitting all alone on a pile of rubble and told the reporters that he had nobody left, no family, no friends, all gone with the tsunami. It was one of the most heartbreaking sights I’ve ever seen, and though the report switched to something else after only a minute or so, I can’t forget it. Although one cannot know, I like to think that if as many people as possible send good thoughts and wishes to him and all the others, maybe it will bring some relief. And anyway, it can’t do no harm, so it’s worth a try, isn’t it?
A big challenge however (which someone in another comment referred to as well), is what will happen in a few weeks and months. Will we forget and just get down to business again, or will we be able to carry on with your experiment, both on a mental and a practical note?
Hi, erichnabokov, Thanks for...
Hi, erichnabokov, Thanks for telling me that. I want to share this article with people, so hopefully more people can read it. I’ll put some pictures for definitely! Love, Akira
So far, everyone I speak to say that life has changed completely. That is because, we decided not to forget. It’s about the determination, a firm determination. Please don’t underestimate our potentials. If I see one of my friends or my family seems to forget what we experienced, I’ll tell them. My friends and family will tell me vise versa. Thing is, we don’t need to hide into our own little world anymore. Of cause, it’s not everyone. I cant pressure someone to think in the same way, because that’s just wrong. However, we can always remind ourselves not to let yourself into the old habit. Maybe it’s similar to quit smoking or something!
You're right. And...
You’re right. And writing helps too, I think!
I read yor blog...
I read yor blog since yesterday (21.03.11). I´m from Germany my English is not pretty good, but I read your reports with great interest cause it´s a source direct from the poeple of japan so i think first. But today I have read the first three of your reports. I think it´s a report from you, from the bottom of your heart. I want to read all of the letters from you before I come to write you, but I want to write you now after I finished the blog above. I want that you know that one more person reads your letters to the world. I don´t know in which case a catastrophe can change the mind of all the poeple. But my expierience with poepel is that this one which are confronted with suffer changed the way to live. I wish you many of power and strongnes and that Japan comes up fast as possible.
With love Thorin