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Tag Archives: Japanese culture

What you should do when an earthquake happened?

I am going to tell you what I had been taught as a child since I was 4 years old.

In Japan, all the kids are trained along this method at schools and that’s why Japanese people could stay so calm when the earthquake happened.

  1. Hide under a desk, table or anything you can protect your body from falling things from above, especially your head.
  2. When the quake stopped, go outside by your leg, means not elevator.
  3. On the way to outside, don’t run, don’t push the person in front of you, don’t shout, even don’t talk.
  4. Once you are outside, stay away from buildings or houses.
  5. If you got a warning for tsunami, then, go to higher place near you. Buildings may be broken by the earthquake, but it is better to be in tsunami wave.

Remember, Japan lost more than 10,000 people already and there are more about 20,000 people are missing. It seems that Japan disaster is not so bad like the one in Indonesia or Haiti, but I think the training is the reason of why the most of the people in the suffered area could survive.

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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Disaster, life in Japan, My life, Uncategorized

 

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Spring, Time for New

Cherry blossom

We love Cherry blossom so much.

It is the sign of Spring, and we have started a new school year or business year in Spring.

Cherry blossom tells us it is time to restart everything with new energy and hope.

There won’t be Sakura, the name for Cherry blossom in Japanese, in the suffered area, but there will be soon. We must start a new year with new energy and hope before it gets bloomed there.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in flowers, greeting, Hiroshima, life in Japan, My life

 

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Short Note from Japan on March 29

I am going to write some of my thoughts. Please don’t think it as what Japanese government announced or Japanese media reported. I am getting those information and my thoughts would be effected by them, but what I am going to write is only what I am thinking and feeling.

  • I think you should be careful about the yellow sands from China rather than the radioactive materials from Fukushima if you are in the west of south part of Japan as there is the Prevailing westerly around the Northern Hemisphere. I think there is very small possibility for the radioactive materials to reach Hiroshima because of the wind, but we couldn’t stop yellow sands to reach here because of the wind. We have been warned sometimes to stay inside when so many yellow sands reached Japan if you have a problem on your bronchus.
  • Well, it is possible for the radioactive materials to reach North America, Europe etc. because of the wind, but I believe it won’t be so dangerous when nuclear authorities say it is not dangerous by my own experience. When Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident happened, I was a girl, maybe 13 years old or so, (don’t guess how old I am now! lol ), and the distance between Hiroshima and Chernobyl is shorter than the distance between North America and here, but we were not warned any way and most of us are healthy adults now. I said “most of us”, not “all of us”, yes, but I believe you have lost some of your friends with any reason if you are older than mid 30.
  • If you are in the Northern Hemisphere and your country has nuclear weapons, especially that if your country has taken a test for a new nuclear weapon inside of your country, I recommend to make sure to live west edge of your country.
  • I have been frustrated about belated announcement by the government or TEPC, etc. I think there might be many things they didn’t say in front of camera among what they already knew, but I feel they didn’t make lies. They know very well that we can get any information on the internet, even in foreign language.
  • I hope you don’t think me supporting Japanese government, nuclear power, TEPC. No. I don’t support them, but I think it is not a time to point a finger and yelled at them, but a time to let them put all their wisdom and power to make our situation better. We can do anything when everything is settled down, including to change our prime minister.
  • I should say that I am bit mentally insecure since the disaster. I have recalled many memories of what I have heard about the bomb, what I experienced in Kyoto as a collage student living alone separated from the rest of my family when a big earthquake attacked Kobe in 1995, and what I saw and felt when I visited the Ground Zero in NYC. Sometimes, I can’t sleep well or can’t stop myself tearing when there is no reason to cry. I hope you don’t have such a mental problem.

Well, it’s time to go. Wish you a nice and pleasant day!

 

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How dangerous is eating those vegetables or drinking tap water in Japan? My Grandma says…..

I think I would write some events happened in Japan, especially about radiation, but before that, I want share some words of my Grandmother who was in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, about 3 km (a little shorter than 2 mile, I guess?) away from the Ground Zero.

She is now 84 years old and there are 2 of her big sister, 86 and 90. All of them were in Hiroshima on the day around the same distance away from the center of the explosion. Today, they are enjoying their old but healthy life.

Today, my Grandma talked her sisters. By what she told me later, 3 of them seemed bit angry about what Japanese government ordered to some vegetables produced in Fukushima, not to eat them because of high level radiation.

She said, “we breathed such a dusty air when the bomb exploded, I think there must be lots of lots of radioactive materials, and ate all vegetables we were bringing up. There were black rain later the explosion, you know, and it left dusts on the surface of vegetables. I am sure it included many radioactive materials, I came to think so in these days, but we had no choice except to die in stave, so we ate all those vegetables. We wash them carefully, of course, and, see, we are gifted to live this old age healthy. We brought up vegetables every year in Hiroshima and ate them, gave birth to our children and raised them by mother’s milk. No harm has happened even though the bomb was exploded but non of the reactors are not yet! I can’t understand why we shouldn’t eat those vegetables. We are proof of that those vegetables will cause no problem on your health if you wash them carefully enough. Right now, many people needs foods in the suffered area and those area need every incomes they can get. WE SHOULD SUPPORT THEM TO BE INDEPENDENT AGAIN IN EVERY WAY! That IS recovery!”

I don’t mean to suggest you to trust my Grandma, but I think there is some suggestion which may help you to find out how to protect yourself from radioactive expose rather than feeling unclear fear.

Be careful and calm. Be aware of what is a simple fact while something else may be what you think, what you guess, or what you want to believe, you want to see. I believe that is the way to be safe in danger.

 

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Short Note about Japan on March 21

  • At No.2 reactor of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, engineers succeeded to get back electricity, but not yet it gives power to the pomp. It will take some time.
  • At No.2 and 3 reactors, there were some smokes around their roofs, but Radiation level was not changed. I think we don’t need to worry about it too much as Radiation level is steady.
  • Spinaches and milk produced in Fukushima or Ibaraki show high radiation level. Government decided to stop all spinaches and milk  not to on sale even in Japan. So, you don’t need to worry about spinaches and milk made in Japan where ever you are.
  • I found an article written by a Japanese medical doctor. In this article, he recommended to go out from Japan by a ship rather than a flight if you decided to get away from Japan because of radioactive level in Tokyo, especially if the flight takes long time. For example, you will exposed to 80 micro Sv of radiation when you fly to Europe from Japan. It is the same level of expose if you stay and exposed 24 hours in Tokyo. But, as you can’t be exposed without radioactive materials, you can’t be exposed if you changed your cloths.
  • Well, I know some Japanese people feel it difficult to trust what Japanese government said, but I think most of Japanese people trust sincerity of the engineers who is fighting at the nuclear power plant, and Japanese technology. We know our county is one of the most developed counties in almost every technology, science, medication, etc. and how deeply Japanese people could be sincere as a professional, especially in a desperate situation. That’s why we can keep ourselves calm. It must be them who could let those reactors in danger cool down enough. I believe so.
  • I think it is impossible for those experts to make the same lies at the same time about the reactors in Japan. We are totally free to access any information on the internet about anything, even those child porn (Oh, shame…!). We could be both positive or negative, but there is a way to be neutral. I hope you see the situation in Japan neutral.
  • I don’t give my support to nuclear power. I feel it dangerous and I think we humans should try to find other way to get enough electricity to keep our life confortable. But I trust our technology and sincerity. Those engineers would have different opinion about nuclear power from me, but I trust that they will do their best for us. I have no doubt they will sacrifice their own lives if it is needed to keep the rest of the country and world in safe.
  • Yesterday or more days ago, 80 years old woman was found in a destroyed house with her grandson. I have heard that he refused to get foods and warms until his grandmother was rescued.

Well, they are pieces of my thoughts today. I hope it will give you an view of what is going on in Japan.

 

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Short Note about Japan on March 19

First, about the nuclear power plant….

  • Those brave people succeeded to put lots of waters into the used nuclear fuel pool in No.3 nuclear reactor by water cannon trucks. I have heard that U.S. army let us use their truck for this mission. Thank you so much. Now, the pool is becoming cooler and cooler in time.
  • At the same time, people keep trying to put seawaters into No.1 – 3 reactors, and those reactors have kept being cool.
  • Today, March 19 in Japan, SDF checked the reactors by air with thermography, those 4 reactors in danger show under 100 degrees centigrade. I think it is a good news to know.
  • At No.5 and 6 reactor, the pools keep enough water but shows bit higher temperature. Engineers now succeeded to back electricity to them and begin to put cool waters into the pools.

I think the plant is still in danger, but I can’t stop to prize those people who is staying there and doing their best for others. The plant has kept in danger, but they keep it away from the worst for a week. A WEEK! And now, seems that the plant finally start to be in the right way to the safe. I hope I am right. Please give your thought to them…..

From Hiroshima, some medical teams have come there and support the suffered people not only in general medication but also about Radioactive expose. I hope the name of Hiroshima give some encouragement to the people at least about Radiation.

Today, WHO officially announced that there is no reason to escape from Japan or hesitate to visit Japan. IAEA officially announced that there is no risk on your health to stay in Tokyo. Please trust them. Even if you feel doubt about what Japanese government said, I strongly hope that you trust those international organizations. The north-east part of Japan is suffered and in danger, it is impossible to visit there, but other part of Japan is in safe, you can stay any part of Japan except the suffered area very comfortably. There is no danger to eat or use Japanese products, especially sold in foreign countries. We have difficulties to give enough food and things to the suffered people, so it means that whatever you have around you which is made in Japan, they couldn’t be developed in the suffered area including Fukushima where the nuclear power plant is, all those products must be produced in the safe area of Japan. Please, Please don’t hesitate to buy those things. Please don’t hesitate to visit the safe area of Japan.

As I said before, there is nothing happened here in Hiroshima and we are living our life in the same way as usual with enough light, fuel, and foods in safe. Nothing is changed. It makes us feeling very sorry for the suffered people, but we know what we should do right now is to keep our life in the way it should be as we can, keep working, making money, using money, keep our strength and spirit high. The recovery is the most difficult and longest part ant it needs very very big money. We know that by the experience of Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. We should keep Japanese economy running, shouldn’t stop. We know we should smile more, laugh more, make jokes, singing, dancing….. We will.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Disaster, Hiroshima, life in Japan, My life

 

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Short Note about Nuclear Power Plant

It is a short note about the nuclear power plant.

  • There are 6 reactors in the plant, and 4 reactors now in a serious danger. The rest 2 seems in safe, but there are some warnings, not so serious but yet a warning, engineers keep an eye one them.
  • Among these 4, 3 were working when the earthquake happened, but 1 was not.
  • Among those working 3, 2 lost their outer cover building, but as inner buildings are OK and keep Radioactive materials inside of inner buildings, there is small risk of serious Radioactive exposure. Now, engineers are trying to let the reactors be cool by seawater and they think they are on the way of success.
  • About the one which was working at the moment and still has its outer building, engineers have difficulty to let seawater in with this one. At least twice, there was no water in the reactor (2 and a half hour, and over 4 hour. it is very bad for a nuclear reactor to keep in safe.) Now, engineers seems succeed to let water in somehow and air pressure becomes low, they think they survived the most dangerous moment.  But they are yet not sure it will go on stably like the other 2. If they can’t let the reactor be cool, there may be an accident like Three Mile Island.
  • Those 3 which was not working, there is not nuclear thing inside of reactors. Nuclear things are in the pool for, ah, “used nuclear fuel (I’m not sure the expression)”, for to let them be cool.
  • There was an explosion or something around a pool. Engineers think it might be an explosion caused by only Oxygen and Hydrologic, but yet not sure and keep trying to find out what it was, etc.
  • The last 2, there were no explosion at least until now. The thermometer of the pools shows a little higher than usual, but not yet become too high in a short time, so engineers thinks these 2 pools became a bit hot, but stable in that state, means not in a serious danger like the rest 4.

Well, there would be mistakes, misunderstandings or mistranslation, but it is what I know or I think I know. The situation will change in a short time, and I will let you know.

Since the disaster, engineers stay in the plant and have been working so hard sincerely, honestly, devotedly, in such a dangerous situation. I respect and admire them.

A Medical Team for Radioactive exposure has been coming there from Hiroshima and caring the escaped people. As you know, Hiroshima has lots of experience about Radioactive exposure and I believe there support is helpful there.

Until now, by the announcement of Government, it was under 9,000 micro Sv in the highest state and it was in a moment. In time, it is becoming lower and lower. Of course 1,000 micro SV is very much higher than usual in nature, but it is not so dangerous, especially when it was a moment expose. You are exposed to about 10,000 micro Sv when you check your body with CT scan.

A Doctor in Hiroshima said, “we know it becomes high among Hibakusya to get a cancer if you are exposed to more than 100,000 micro Sv of Radiation.”  It doesn’t mean there is no risk of cancer if Radiation is less than 100,000 micro Sv. But, I think it is something nice to know. There is a possibility not to have a serious medical problem even if you are exposed like those people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki who could have no protection against Radioactive exposure. And now, we know much about Radiation and Radioactive exposure, we will be able to control the situation for to protect ourselves. The important thing is, be calm, be strong, don’t panic, and do what you should do.

Well, time is over now. See you later.

Thank you, World!

Don’t give up, Japan!

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Disaster, life in Japan

 

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