Earthquake in Japan- Back from Volunteering in Miyagi

Taiko Skin is back from volunteering in Miyagi. The majority of the time was spent in the small town of Ayukawa, Ishinomaki, which is on the very tip of the Oshika Peninsula. Another day was spent in Shichigahama, Miyagi, where Ondekoza played taiko at evacuations shelters there.

It's been over a week since I've been back, but I've been hesitant about typing up a haphazard summary of the situation there. I simply don't think any brief blog post can effectively paint the reality of the situation.

Further, I was there for such a small amount of time. It would take a much longer time of being there to have any fair understanding of how the people of Tohoku are coping with the disaster. So please read this and any future posts with the understanding that these are views based on a limited range of knowledge.

But here are my quick views and observations of the areas hit hardest by the earthquake and tsunamis. Each to be followed up in more detail in future posts: 

-The media isn't doing justice to the reality of the situation

-It feels like there is a discord- a lack of effective communication- between the government, the volunteers, the evacuees and everyone else involved

-And maybe because of all this, it seems there's an overarching feeling of stagnancy and an unhealthy complacency there

-Towns hit by the tsunami are a terrible sight to see- barren expanses of mud and rubble; smells of decay; water, electricity and food are still insufficient or lacking altogether

-And this is all still much better than it was two months ago- the people, the volunteers and the Self-Defense Force have been working continuously to clear out the damage

-Yet despite this, recovery will take a very long time, longer than most of us are led to believe

-Thus more help, more volunteers are needed

-But not all volunteers are coming here with an appropriate mindset

-Because of the lack of informative coverage- and though it's sad to see this- the very visible and growing lack of interest in the Tohoku region, there's a sense that people here are being left behind as the rest of Japan and the world are moving on.

Right now, I think the people there at least deserve to be understood, or at the very least be given some sense of comfort in the knowledge they're not being forgotten. And I think that's something they probably need now, not later.



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