The news from Japan seems to get worse and worse. I read articles on the Internet and can hardly take my eyes off the videos of waves of water washing over fields and entire towns and cars piled on top of each other. It is difficult to watch and impossible to imagine being there.

Peter and I feel so sad about this disaster. We lived in Tokyo for nearly four years. Coming from the east coast of the US, earthquakes were not something we had experienced. Happily the first time one occurred, we were together. It is a sensation that is impossible to describe and it frightened me to death.

I can only relate to what is happening from the perspective of someone who was a resident alien, and the prospect of an earthquake was terrifying. I spoke Japanese a bit, but certainly did not have emergency type vocabulary in my lessons! The Kobe earthquake occurred before we moved to Japan, and in the aftermath of that disaster, Tokyo realized that it had thousands of foreign residents who would not be able to understand emergency directions. They started a radio station that was multi lingual, which was a bit of a comfort. We listened to Armed Forces Radio as well, but we had no delusions that they would come looking for us in an emergency. The best you could do was register with the embassy and hope someone looked for you sometime.

I did not know many Japanese quilters when I lived there, but I did spend one day with a local group and enjoyed their outdoor quilt display. The quilts on this post were made by those ladies. It has been too long to remember their names.

I have read all sorts of blogs about sending quilts, but honestly, that is not what is needed. People have nothing and the last thing they need is a quilt to drag around. That sort of giving is for much later, when the re-building starts. Peter and I just donated to the Red Cross. It’s the best we can do right now….

What might you do?

2 thoughts on “Japan…..

  1. A great post! An earthquake would scare the heck out of me! The quilts are lovely and thanks for your insight about your time there. I agree about making quilts to send. Money is the best option right now because it can help so many more people the fastest but perhaps someone wants to make a quilt to sell and then send the profits or the amount received. Recovering from all of these catastrophic events is not something the Japanese people will do anytime soon (some never will), so we need to be prepared to give long-term help.


  2. You are so right. From what I understand people need clothing and food–the basics. I can’t imagine running to high ground and minutes later seeing your whole town being destroyed by a tsunami. Let’s just hope the nuclear reactor situation does not end badly.


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