when and where to see fall foliage (Japanese version only):

Thursday, April 7, 2011

cherry blossoms

The cherry trees are in full bloom in Tokyo and will be in Tohoku Region in late April. The tsunami damage has induced a mood of self-control among non-afflicted people. So less people go on a cherry viewing picnic.

The MIYAKO ODORI(Cherry-Blossom Dance) is being held from April 1st to 30th in Kyoto. (see MIYAKO ODORI)
Although few foreign tourists are visiting Kyoto now, they have an opportunity to see many geiko and maiko dancing once a year.

A 2-year-old dog named Ban reunited with her master for the first time in three weeks on the 4th. She was found standing on a broken roof drifting in the sea. It seems that she happened to get on the roof a few days ago after wandering around the foreshore.

The animals in shelters for afflicted animals have been waiting for their masters. There is only one pet-friendly shelter. Most shelters are preoccupied with the care of humans. Many pet owners think their pets are family members in Japan. A owner returned home to save his dog and lost his life in the tsunami.

Many pet owners are staying nights in their cars out of consideration for other victims. Doctors are warning the pet owners to take care of themselves. Because some people that took shelter in cars after the 2004 Niigata Prefecture Chuetsu Earthquake developed symptoms of economy-class syndrome.

We are concerned about soil and sea contamination due to radioactive materials, but I will buy fishes and vegetables on the market. Only agricultural and fishery products that meet safety standards are supposed to be currently on the market.

We have to support people in Tohoku Region including Fukushima and northern Kanto Region. Some prefectures, especially in Fukushima have been hit by harmful rumors.

Some people in Fukushimsa say, "Tokyo used electricity that Fukushima nuclear plant produced. Fukushima didn't use it. Many residents were evacuated from their homes, and it has been prohibited to search for 1,200 missing persons in the evacuated areas. Most farmers are hit hard by harmful rumors. How could this happen to us?"

Most workers in the nuclear plant are local people. Each worker ate survival food twice a day until recently and is asleep on the floor or in a chair covering himself with a blanket.

.Two weeks ago, a woman in the afflicted area said, "We are still in mortal danger from the tsunami. And yet people in Tokyo are buying up some kinds of goods. It looks as if they are more interested in future damage due to radiological contamination than in disaster victims."

People in Tohoku Region have a reputation for their industriousness and patience in Japan. Many of them worked hard as factory workers or construction workers during Japan's high-growth period.

Few disaster victims evacuated to other areas or prefectures. Most residents of Tohoku Region do not want to leave their hometowns. The towns have a high risk of tsunami attacks but are blessed with an abundance of seafood.

The residents felt hesitant about leaving their hometowns because they feel that they run away and leave the other victims staying in shelters. Many of them are still searching for missing family members.
They have rooted themselves in their communities, so they're afraid to lose a link to their hometowns and be unable to return there.

Recently they began to evacuate to other areas on an area-by-area basis. Some of the evacuees have started to move to temporary housing. The facts that many victims who were separate from their communities died solitary death in temporary housing emerged as a social issue after the Great Hanshin Earthquake. So it it said that disaster victims should live in temporary housing in a group of local residents.

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