Thursday, March 31, 2011

After March 11

(click for a larger image)

It'll be three weeks by tomorrow since the devastating earthquake and tsunami took away the total of more than 20,000 people's lives. It's not the matter of the total number of people. It seems to me that this natural disaster kept killing innocent people over 20,000 times. That is what this number accounts.
It took me for a while until I finally came back here to post today.
I would like to say thank you for all your concerns about me and my family right after the earthquake that hit Japan on March 11.
Three weeks ago that Friday afternoon, I felt the earthquake in my house. It was the hardest one I had ever had before. Thank god, it slowed down in the end. Nothing in the house fell down onto the floors. I turned on TV to get the report and knew the huge earthquake hit the northern part of Japan. Yet who had ever imagined the first historically gigantic tsunami in 400 years was heading towards the cities, towns and villages along the shores? Soon the terrible broadcast was on the air. The self-defense helicopters shot the groups of tsunami rushing on lands one after another and swept away everything including ships, houses, cars and people on and on. It was shocking to see cars on the roads were all swept away with debris. It was impossible for people to get rid of rushing tsunami. Tides and waves rushed up to the third or fourth floors of the buildings with huge amount of debris. There was no way for people in their two-story high houses to survive. At an elementary school, all the students and teachers were out of the buildings on the school field to evacuate from the earthquake, where the huge tsunami swallowed them all at once just like a cruel wild animal attacked its prey. No one could believe what they saw and heard on TV news.
I was just glued to the TV alone in the living room and got quite depressed before my husband and my son got home late.
For the first week from the day, I was quite depressed with the news and had a hard time to concentrate on my job nor house chores and what was worse, to get to sleep. My husband told me not to watch TV news anymore but it was almost impossible to be away from any news about the tragedy. I was in tears all of a sudden while driving with some flashbacks of the news on TV. Gosh I was safe here and all my family were with me and fine but why it was then I was trapped with the sense of guilty. I didn't have any words to post nor update my blog and my twitter, either.
Fortunately just about the same time, I had a chance to meet the Japanese group of Facebook fans in Nagoya and there I met new people who were nice enough to exchange information with me. That was a big help for me to get out of the negative mode in my daily life. Well I still lots to do halfway. I've got to keep my daily life first and then it will surely find the way what I can do for others in need of help.

Thank you for reading and stay in touch.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just helpless against the nature

Thank you for your asking. All of my family members are safe as of this time. None of my family are not home but me as of now at 11:30pm but I know they are all safe and OK. My husband and my son are heading for home. I would like to reply to each of your kind mails, tweets and comments but I'll come back later. I want to get some warm food ready for my husband and my son. Their delay was not due to the direct damages from the earthquake. I pray for people in the northern cities and towns and in and around Tokyo who faced this tragedy. Every news broadcasts are just scary and sad. Talk to you later. Thank you again for your concern.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

When you feel weary

It was a busy day! I don't like Tuesday next to Monday. For one thing, my brain doesn't switch to a working mode and for another the schedule is often tight at the beginning of the week.

Yesterday I had the two meetings to attend and I feel quite exhausted when I got free from them. Whew, the last one was quite tough. Usually after the meeting, I had a chat with my friends but yesterday I just had too much for the day. I'd rather be alone. I got down to the first floor and went outside to walk across the park to get to the subway entrance. When I hurried across the park, I heard the water murmuring. Such a comfortable sound of water. I looked for the sound, where I found the waterfall in the corner of the pond.

I felt comfortable just listening to the sound of water and gazed for a while at many small streams running down the rocks and pouring into to the pond. That played nice music consisted with several different codes. I felt my heart entwined with stress gradually being released. Natural power!
What was your unforgettable view that rested your weary heart?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Our Affection to the dolls

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Well, Hina Matsuri(Doll's Festival) is coming along tomorrow.
It's my favorite traditional event of all the annual events in our culture.
It's a decorative and colorful display of gorgeous dolls dressed in ancient imperial court wardrobe. Hina Matsuri on March 3 is certainly a sign of an arrival of long awaited spring. In accordance with the ancient calender, I already set up the dolls in the room in advance in February.
Hina Matsuri (Doll's Festival) became so popular among any classes of people in Edo Period (17th to 19th century). Of course it was at first a custom just being limited in the federal families then while the whole nation became stable without any battles, people began to be fulfilled with the same practice that their ruling class had enjoyed for years and years.

Just think. I wonder how come we've been carried away with this custom for centuries. People and dolls------ever since man's civilization, we often connected with some objects which were made to resemble ourselves-----figures, icons, statues, sculptures----and here are what we call "dolls."

Speaking of the Japanese people in olden days, they started the Doll's Festival with the belief that the dolls should take places of their little daughters and bring every evil , disease and bad luck away from their little ones. Parental wish to their children for healthy, wealthy and happy marriage life is universal regardless of time and places.
Dolls are so special and precious for the Japanese in the way that they take our places wearing all the evils and diseases. This is true to any other common practice when we decorate the dolls at home. Not only Doll's Festival for girls but also dolls for boys displayed on Children's Day of May 5th.
Dolls are not simply toys for the Japanese but effigies so to speak. This special sentiment towards dolls explains that people just hesitate throwing them away as a trash when they get too old.  So we bring them to the temples and the shrines where monks and priests bless the abandoned dolls and eventually burn them with prayers of gratitude. This is what people and dolls are all about in Japan. Dolls are so dear to us as if we were seeing ourselves in them. I believe there should be the similar stories somewhere in other countries, for sure.
Human traditions are indeed worth being cherished and admiring.

Thank you for reading a long post ;)

You may go back to my previous posts on Doll's Festival if you want to.