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

Sunday, April 3, 2011

initiation ceremony

Public offices and many companies in Japan held ceremonies to welcome their new employees on April 1st.

In the disaster areas, some companies withdrew job offers. A brand-new teacher took her post at a tsunami-hit school. The lessons are given in a temporary school. A soy sauce maker in business for 200 years welcomed a new employee although its office and factory were swept up by the tsunami.

New public employees joined the public offices in the areas. Most of the offices lost many employees and the surviving employees have worked around the clock to assist the affected people although the employees are also disaster victims. Now public officers from all over the country are supporting them. The brand-new officers are working to support residents and some of them stay nights at the offices as the surviving employees did.

Tohoku High School lost in the first round of the Spring High School Baseball Tournament. The members of its baseball team resumed to help the afflicted people after returning to their homeland.

More than 16,000 are still missing. the Japan Self-Defense Forces and US Armed Forces are searching for missing persons intensively in the devastated coastal areas for three days starting from April 1st.

The cherry blossom season began, but less people are going on a cherry viewing picnic because of saving on electricity and consideration for the afflicted people.

In one of the afflicted areas, a ume tree which escaped tsunami damage has started blooming.

An elderly woman found out the ume tree in her tsunami-hit garden that she planted to mark the 1st anniversary of her grandchild's birthday. Her son's wife insisted on planting a ume tree although she was going to plant a cherry tree. Her son's wife and grandchild are missing.

The ume blossoms in Kairakuen at Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture are now at their peak, but no visitor can see them. Because the earthquake damaged some facilities in Kairakuen. No damage was done to 3,000 ume trees.

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