Time is moving along and more than a month has passed since the earthquake. Step by step more and more villages get their lifeline back and try to make a new start. Somehow life gets back to normal here in Tokyo, but for sure it does not feel normal yet. For sure not for me. Staying in contact with friends and checking in on each other happens more frequently. Talking to others showed me, that they feel the same “grandma instinct”: Please take good care of yourself, because health is most important. Is everything OK with you, do you have what you need? Do you truly eat properly?…
Apart from the updates on Fukushima brighter news are found on TV. These days everyday conversations have shifted from whether everyone is OK or where were you when it happened to “what can we actually do now”? Some show their support to the damaged areas like shown on the picture in front of the Fukushima prefecture store in Tokyo. Other are now privately actively involved in bringing necessary goods up north. Efforts on how to safe energy are a big topic. Everyone seems to react different to this disaster and I get to know a Japan I have not encountered yet. Previously as a foreigner in Tokyo I got the typical questions of where I am from to whether I can eat natto, but now this does not seem to matter anymore. Vague acquaintances suddenly ask shyly whether I really feel OK to be in Tokyo, when other foreigners have left. I might be wrong, but I feel the starring or curious interest from the Japanese side has lessened and I feel less observed from others in daily life.
Reconnecting the dots of the known life we had, figuring out where we want to be heading, all this happens in baby steps. With each stronger aftershock – although we remember March 11 – at the same time a strong desire grows to give our best, focus on what lies ahead of us, while trying to become braver every day. Experiencing an event in the scale of once every 100 or 200 years takes its toll, but other people were able to overcome tough events, so why shouldn’t we!
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)