The awesomeness of Japan

We asked each of the nine DC students to tell us one thing that is surprising/interesting/unexpected/awesome about Japanese culture.

Kamashae: The one thing that definitely caught my eye was the amazing hospitality. No matter your age, or their age. Respect plays a huge part in everyday life here in Japan. From when our group goes to restaurants, the plate setting. To when we go to gift shops, how they wrap and bag the gifts. To in hotels how they leave damp wash towels so customers could have access to a cool rag after a hot summer day in Japan. Japanese culture also even stands outside as guests are leaving their businesses or homes and wave us goodbye until the vehicle has left their view, which I think is very polite.

Jeffrey: The community in Minamisanriku was really surprising to me, because it allows everyone in the community to have a chance to be famous kind of like a small town celebrity, which was really cool to me. And I loved their mascot octopus-kun, who was a great addition to community because he isn’t owned by anyone but the community, so everyone can love him without any higher up being involved. Also I really liked how everyone in town was accepting and willing to help each other in times of needs while putting their own needs before themselves, which to me is what a community is meant to be.

Maxx: Something that really I like about Japan is its connection with nature. The people of Minamisanriku depend on the water and its life in order to survive using its water for drinking, cleaning, and other uses, and the fish to of course eat. The main reason this impresses me is because the waves of the ocean are beautiful and just to breath the air of wild life is extraordinary. But the people of the town have seen nature at its most horrifying and even though being scared, they forgave and loved the sea wholeheartedly and that I feel is amazing.

Yeysi: “Food” was a word that at first scared me because I learned that Japanese people have different food than the ones that I am used to eating. There are some types of food that I still don’t like although I try everything I can. So far my favorite food is Tempura. Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. This dish makes me feel in home.

Tempestt: Japan’s hospitality is the best by far. Getting greeted every time you walk in to a place; they show much respect. It feels good to be welcomed in a place where there aren’t many people of your color or looks. There have been some times where I walk around and I see Japanese people staring at me. I stare back and greet them with a smile. I keep in my mind and remember that Japan isn’t really a diverse country and that’s why many look at me as if I am someone different. It actually makes me feel special because I feel like all eyes are on me.

Chris: My best moments in Japan were going outside experiencing the nature. I’m an addict when it comes to scenery. I love embracing myself into the wilderness or looking at the architecture of the buildings. I feel inspired to bring out my drawing pad and taking a quick drawing.

Elijah: The Japanese style futon was interesting. The Japanese futon is a 3 folded bed!!! It is very comfortable and for the first time in a long time I actually slept like a baby. The bed was the best because I didn’t want to get up. The bed was the best thing so far.

Kiara: What’s so interesting about Japanese culture, mainly in Minamisanriku, is the friendliness and “at home” feeling I have whenever we go anywhere. Seeing so many smiling faces in a place highly affected by the tsunami lifts my spirits up and lets me see the strength that this town has. With every person that I meet, whether they be one of our speakers or passersby taking a picture of people enjoying the summer festival, my heart warms up.

Clinard: The thing that I enjoy the most while being here is the calm and quiet atmosphere that exists here. It’s so much different from what I’m used to. Where I am from, the streets are loud and the places are busy. There is a lot of commotion when people are travelling in groups. But here, it’s considered to be “controlled chaos”. For a place with many people, it seems to be regulated pretty well.

Christefer – August 3

In the morning we had Mr. Baye, a journalist from the Japan Times, come talk to us. We talked about how Japan deals with diversity, generalization, and stereotypes. One example is when Miss Japan was biracial. She was half African American and Japanese. No one talked about her, because mostly everyone wanted a pure Japanese person to represent them, so not many Japanese news stations reported on her. It was mainly American news stations. We talked about how Japan has some troubles of acceptance of other nationalities.

In the evening we traveled to IDEO. We talked to Mr. Greg and Mr. Mike. Mr. Greg talked to us about the purpose of their company. Their mission statement was: To create disproportionate impact through design. From working to comfortable plane seats for long trips to places like Switzerland to creating the original Apple mouse, their work stands out. He talked to us of how the power of design can interact with business making it useful to society. He told us how feasibility, viability, and desirability are powered by innovation. Then Mr. Mike talked to us about the power of storytelling. He told us there’s three main parts of storytelling that makes each one unique: evoke all the senses, invite participation, and be human. He also told us the main ideas of storytelling: stories stick with us, stories bring us together, and stories make us care. He told us that storytelling goes hand in hand with business, because that’s how you make your company stand out from the rest.

My opinion on everything that happened today was that it was interesting. In the morning I had the mindset that Japan was a very accepting country and there wasn’t any discrimination, but after our conversation I looked at Japan a little different. I know that there’s a difference between discrimination and curiosity. In the evening it was entertaining. I have a fondness for businesses and how they work and how they help society. I never heard of Mr. Baye or IDEO, but I hope to hear more things about them.

Christefer Mitchell
Washington Mathematics Science Technology PCS

“I used to think . . . but now I know . . . .”

PROGRAM NOTE: The last day of the DC part of the program came on July 29, and so we asked all student participants to respond to this final prompt: “I used to think . . .  but now I know . . . .” The range of their responses is amazing, and speaks to the variety of  experiences that deeply impacted the students during the program’s first two weeks. So interesting!

R.M.: I used to think the freedom of individuals and the considerations for others are contradictory, but now I know the considerations are something which should be based on the freedom. I knew this when I visited the US Holocaust Museum and thought about the course of the Holocaust.

Chris: I used to think that I wasn’t as smart and deserving as other people to be included in programs like this, but now I know that I’m uniquely special. I saw this when I was picked to such special programs like the TOMODACHI student exchange and Boston engineering program.

H.K.: I used to think your degree and studies by college basically determines what you do as in lifetime job, but now I know what attracts you throughout your experiences regardless of when it is, can connect you to another job. For example, Mrs. Mya Fisher from the U.S. Japan Council went to a science high school but is currently working with helping programs going on between the two countries.

Clinard: I used to think that it was difficult to be a social entrepreneur but now I know that it is fairly easy to do something that establishes change. This is important because it inspires people to go out and do something positive in order to benefit their communities or just to simply benefit someone else’s life.

A.O.: I used to think that every gender had responsibilities but now I know that there is a country where gender does not pertain to what jobs you get. I heard this when I listened to Ms. White – a Japanese woman that lives in DC and works for Mitsubishi Corporation – saying that in her company, no matter what gender you are, every person is equal and all the work is being done from the people who realize it has to be done.

Kan: I used to think history and politics are far from our daily lives. And I wasn’t interested in history so much but now I know that to learn and share the history are necessary to understand others and our own cultures. This is important because we need this knowledge to build friendship with other countries in the future.

Maxx (Michael): I used to think Japan was more of a diverse independent voiced country with a political system like ours but now I know that the Japanese or most of them at least are introverted and focused on respect within a system that doesn’t elect the president. For example most Japanese stay to themselves and apologize often but some like E. can see themselves as more and this is important because it shows courage to move forward and I saw this when H, E, and R step out of their comfort zones and step up.

Hiroto: I used to think that America experienced lots of historic events and doesn’t reflect on the things that happened. But now I think US thinks much of its histories and makes something to remember it. Because we saw a lot of monuments in D.C. and also were lectured about historical things by many people, so I felt a difference with Japan and my mind was changed.

Jeffrey: I used to think I knew all about World War II but now I know I didn’t and that there was a much deeper side to it. For example, I saw this when I went to the Holocaust Museum and learned about the countless people who perished along with forgotten cities and towns.

Yeysi: I used to think that I was in the deep of the iceberg but now I know that I can be over the sea level. This is important for me because everyday is an addition to my future and this program is changing my hold on the world. It is making me feel that I can do something for my community and improve the environment that I live in.

R.H.: I used to think a “restaurant” is a place where you have to buy something to stay, but now I know that there are some places that provide a comfortable space for free. This is important because the founders are thinking about customers’ real needs in first priority, and I thought free space is something that they should have in Japan too.

Kiara: I used to think that entrepreneurship was just about being your own boss and making fast money. But now I know that some local entrepreneurs don’t really do what they do for profit, but to make a change or create a safe space for their communities. I saw this when we had Free Minds come to us and Charles shared his background with us. Free Minds helps prisoners express their true feelings through creative writing and I think it’s wonderful that a woman would stop by a jail almost every day to help them with their different interests in literature.

Tempestt: I used to think that it wasn’t so dangerous in other countries, but now I know that mostly all immigrants move to the U.S. for safety reasons. This is important because I have met students from Cardozo High School that said they moved to the U.S. because it was dangerous to live in their home country.

Rio: I used to think that there is a big wall between white people and black people because I heard the news white police shot black, but now I know many Americans are very friendly even if their skin colors are different. I saw this when I was on the train. People were truly mixed and I thought that was my stereotype.

Ayane: I used to think if you make a mistake before, it will follow you your whole life, but now I know it will not. This is important because the story that we heard at DC Central Kitchen completely changed my mind. I had heard about second chances. I realized you can make your future by yourself. I really liked the words, “It doesn’t matter what happened in the past, what matters is what you are going to make right now.”

E.N.: I used to think that social entrepreneurs have a different goal for their future, but now I know they are all people who thought of a way to make a better society and worked towards it. This is important because I now know that anyone can be a social entrepreneur. If I start questioning my surroundings and think of a solution, I can become one too!

Kamashae: I used to think that justice could never and would never be served concerning the Black Lives Matters issue. Now I know that justice can be served, it’s just how you go about receiving it. This is important because all races/people should be treated fairly under the laws’ eyes. I saw this when our group talked with Ms. Mary Beth and how she kept saying how the voices of the youth are more effective in most cases than voices of adults.

Christefer – Day 7

Anacostia River shadeIn the morning the group and I traveled to the Anacostia River. There we meet with a group of people from the Aquatic Resources Research Center. That’s where we saw different aquatic life they obtained ranging from blue catfish to long-nose garfish and from jumbo shrimps to diamondback turtles. They showed us an educational video that a local took with his son’s RC submarine and hooked a GoPro camera, and then he navigated the submarine through the Anacostia River to show what’s underneath the surface. This showed us how people can be neglectful and allow waste to travel into the river. We then got on a boat to traverse the river. We got a firsthand look on how sewage, chemicals, and bacteria affect the water.

In the evening we went to an elementary school to help teach kids about Japanese culture. We taught from grades kindergarten to 5th grade. We taught them origami, a Japanese song about frogs, Janken (Japanese rock-paper-scissors), and how to read and count in Japanese. Some of the classes we taught knew some things already about Japan like: their fast trains, what the red circle on their flag meant, and some of their fashion. At the end of the day it made all of us feel good to teach kids new things to introduce them to Japan, and also encourage them to study abroad and get them interested in our program.

Amidon TeachingAmidon teachingIn conclusion today was very influential to me. The trip to the Anacostia River has taught me more of how the locals around the area treat the environment. It influences me to help advocate proper recycling and disposal of waste. The evening activity with the kids helped me on a personal level. I love working with children and I never thought I would get a chance like this to work with kids. My working expertise may not be in the educational teaching to children, but I value my time helping kids.

Christefer Mitchell
Washington Mathematics Science Technology PCS

Our Week One Highlights

PROGRAM NOTE: We asked all our TOMODACHI students this morning – “What was the most important or impactful activity from the first week?” Check out the amazing answers.

Ayane: My favorite thing was a story which Ms. Ayako told us at TOYOTA. She told us how she made “Kizuna across Culture.” I’ve joined the program which she made before so the story was really interesting and I was impressed by her life story because she made the company by herself to connect Japan and America.

Yeysi: My favorite thing from last week was when we went to the Washington Post and we met David Nakamura. I liked that part because he said inspirational stories that can get me out of my comfort zone like “Be curious in what you have passion on because it can be the key for your next door.” It made me feel that every time that I am feeling pressure can be another step to the change that I want to make.

R.M.: I liked a quote by Heinrich Heine, “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings,” which I encountered in the US Holocaust Museum, because it made me realize the danger of the actions without enough knowledge.

Jeffrey: My favorite part of last week had to be when we stayed in the dorms with the Japanese students. Because it felt really nice just bonding with them over that two day time span without any electronics – just words and actual communications through little mini games we played and especially when we did the Harlem Shake. I also enjoyed the times me, Ryoto and Clinard had in our dorm with the tea bottle beat we had going on.

Kan: The most impactful thing for me in the last week was DC students’ passion. They spoke freely and actively. I think I also should talk actively like them. And I was helped by them a lot, and also taught a lot by them. I think I was impressed by them.

Christefer: My favorite part of last week was talking about stereotypes. It opened up my eyes to know how many stereotypes and generalizations the whole group and I knew. It helped me as a person to become more accepting of others and not assume how they act. It also helped me realize that I shouldn’t get in the way of learning who a person is.

Elijah: My favorite event from last week was eating soul food and listening to Rock Newman talk. Mr. Rock Newman was really inspirational because he told me “race is a man-made concept” and that made me realize that humans are the only natural race and people love to be separated. Finally, the soul food was wonderful and it filled my stomach.

Kiara: My favorite thing from last week was visiting Mulebone. I enjoyed myself because I love the atmosphere of the restaurant and the fact that it’s a combination of a vintage clothing store made the experience even better. I can imagine myself doing a lot of open mic events there as well as doing most of my shopping there. Since I have a love for vintage clothing. I also love the fact that they allow students to work and study and don’t charge them for sitting for long periods of time. The amount of sunlight that comes in through the windows gives the place a beautiful shine as the hanging lights and racks of beautiful dresses create a pleasing image of simplicity.

Rio: My favorite part in last week was visiting the Mall. I was surprised that there are a lot of trees around there; nevertheless, it is in the capital city of the U.S. I could also feel the warm atmosphere of people who live in D.C. there.

Kamashae: The activity I enjoyed the most was the Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust Museum stood out to me because seeing the circumstances and the pain these humans were put through will never erase from my memory. Knowing that there are people who are experts at this time through history; wanting to ensure that this horrific event never repeats itself in the future, is wonderful and comforting to know, as an African American living in America. I also learned that day that every ethnic race has its own history of troubles and most importantly, endurance.

H.K.: My most favorite part of the last week’s program was Mr. Rock Newman’s speech. His speech was something impacting and catchy which you don’t see as much in Japanese speakers talking towards teens. The thoughts he brings in, the impacting and inspirational words to make you re-think about how you keep confidence in yourself, the amazing experiences and examples he shared with us, his techniques he used to make the speech significant . . . everything was inspiring and meaningful to me.

E.N.: What stood out during last week to me were the rainbow flags, flapping beautifully under the blazing sun. They symbolize gay pride. I really liked these because they show America’s culture of being open and showing what one believes to another in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Also, I think it represents America having diversity and people from different ethnic backgrounds.

Maxx: My favorite part of last week was eating Ethiopian food because the beef, colors and heat of the food was outstanding. Apparently, they don’t eat pork and all the food they have is bathed in different sauces and a big rule to remember is the darker the spicier. I personally think this stood out because I’ve never tried it before and nor did the Japanese, so their faces like mine were surprised. The even crazier point is that the fierce food wasn’t even as hot as it would have been in Ethiopia.

Hiroto: My favorite piece of the program in last week was the program at the Holocaust Museum 21.7. Because as I said to everyone at the time, I think Japan was killing people like Holocaust during World War II in China. So I felt the connection between these and appreciated German history and also Japanese history. I thought it’s important to look back to the history of each other, and know and thinking about each others’ histories will become the first step to develop relations between countries.

Tempestt: My favorite activity from last week was traveling to Cardozo High School to talk to the students who are in the International Academy. I enjoyed talking to those students because I learned where they were from, and how it was to transition to the American culture. We were also able to participate in a kickball game, which was very cool and fun. All of the students were fully engaged as a whole in everything we did.

Clinard: Today is the first day of the second week. As I look back and reflect, I have realized that the trip to the Holocaust Museum had the largest impact on me. I enjoyed learning more about what happened during the Holocaust. The Holocaust only remained continuous because people were unknowledgeable. Meaning that it could have been stopped or even prevented if people knew what was going on. By knowing that, I have been inspired to extend my knowledge in order to educate others so that I may benefit someone else’s life or community.

A.O.: Going to the Washington Post. This is because it was very exciting knowing that a Japanese American was in the press pool – people from the media accompanying Obama – in America, which also made me very proud. I never thought “journalist” as my future dream, but I realized that it looked like a wonderful job for me.

R.H.: A moment that had a big impact for me is when Amanda gave me “snaps” to a question that I asked to Mr. David Nakamura, a White House reporter, at the Washington Post office. It was a 5th day in DC and I was still a little nervous to ask questions or say opinions in front of the class, but a question popped in my head – Why do politicians take the reporters with them even though I sometimes see them keeping quiet to the reporters? I spoke up with courage, so I was very happy when Amanda snapped for my question. This gave me a confidence, and now I’m able to speak up with no hesitation.

Introducing Everyday DC

PROGRAM NOTE: On Monday, July 18, the first full day of the program, our DC and Japanese students participated in a two-part workshop led by Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Workshop leaders Fareed Mostoufi and Evey Wilson provided coaching to help our students develop their photojournalism skills. Then they shared information about their “Everyday Africa” initiative, a project designed to capture the real, everyday side of Africa often ignored or unseen by mainstream media. The TOMODACHI USJYEP students were challenged to create their own “Everyday DC” photo project to document their time in DC. The real DC!! So after an afternoon bus tour that took our group all over the city, here’s what they came up with:

Ena-EDC-TwoRiversE.N.: I took a photo of TOMODACHI students playing in the field in the place where the two rivers meet. I took it at noon. I took this photo to show how the students from Japan and the DC students are coming together.

Tempestt-EDC-WashMonumentTempestt: This landmark is the Washington Monument during mid-day in Washington D.C. This building holds a significant role to D.C. because no other building in the city should be taller than this landmarkl.

Yeysi-EDC-GeorgetownSkyYeysi: I took this picture at Georgetown in front of the Potomac River on Monday, July 18. This picture includes Clinard and Jeffrey taking photos. 

Hiroto-EDC-RunandStayHiroto: Run and Stay.

Kamashae-EDC-WhenMoodSwingsKamashae: In Georgetown of Washington, DC . At 4:17pm, ” when the mood swings ”

Chris-EDC-Three FriendsChristefer: Three friends at Frederick Douglass’s house high fiving in the hot sun all for friendship!!

Kan-EDC-FountainKan: I took this picture of a fountain in Georgetown at 4:30 pm for the TOMODACHI group.

Hayato-EDC-Yeysis HairH.K.: Yeysi is tying her hair to keep it out of her way at Frederick Douglass’s house on a Monday afternoon.

Ayaka-EDC-Damp Sky A.O.: The damp sky just about to swallow the blue light, a man is staring at his phone and searching for a nice place to rest

Kiara-EDC-UnityinNatureKiara: A rare moment shows a sweet yet intriguing moment of bonding between the new students and alumni of the TOMODACHI Program..Unity in Nature.

Michael-EDC-Elijah and RobesonMichael: Taken by me at a martial arts dojo outside around 3 pm on July 18th. The picture is composed of Eli and an African American ball player, Paul Robeson. I took this picture because when Eli was standing in front of the drawing, turning his head just added the piece. Adding a black and white picture and it’s a historical moment.

Ryoto-EDC-GeorgetownSign R.M.: A picture of a tower and a sign in Georgetown on July 18th, 2016 for TOMODACHI.

Jeffrey-EDC-FountainJeff: Picture by a fountain near Georgetown around 4:30 pm with the rest of the TOMODACHI gang!

Ayane-EDC-MuralAyane: This is the mural which is a picture on the side of a building on U Street located in Washington DC in the daytime. I took this photograph because it is rare to see pictures in Japan on sides of buildings. This picture is a representation of what I thought America would be like because it is colorful.

Rio-EDC-SummerEveningRio: TOMODACHI participants enjoy their stay in Georgetown, Washington D.C. But they are concerned about the weather because they think it will storm. Japanese students will soon experience a summer evening in D.C. for the first time.

Clinard-EDC-ExchangeStudentClinard: An image of a foreign exchange student who sits and thinks as he reflects on what he has learned from his new friends and from the unfamiliar city itself.

Rina-EDC-DarkSkiesR.H.: This photo is taken in the late afternoon, July 18. It’s the photo of the fountain and the sky, in which the cloud is coming and starting to cover the bright and sunny sky. I took this photo because I thought it represents the typical weather of D.C.

Facing 3/11

PROGRAM NOTE: Our nine (9) 2016 TOMODACHI USJYEP DC students spent July 11-14 preparing for the start of this summer’s program through a variety of educational activities – a kind of “boot camp.” In one session, we focused on the Great East Japan Earthquake, using video and to help convey the enormous impact of the historic 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. The event and its aftermath are the reason the TOMODACHI program was created – and it’s important for our students to try to understand what happened that day. These are their reactions:


After watching the tsunami and earthquake hit Japan, I was devastated. I was not only devastated because of the damage, also because of the fact that I could’ve been there, and if I was there, how unprepared I would’ve been. People watching their homes, with valuable things inside being swept away with the waves. Boats being swept deep into Japan from the sea. Seeing people in fear for their lives, including small children and animals. Seeing people trying to flee the area to save their lives and the lives of loved ones. Seeing this heart-wrenching event take place is almost unbelievable and unreal. That one tsunami could kill, rip apart, devastate, ruin, and destroy an entire country. I am glad there was footage, this footage in particular, to prevent such unreadiness from happening again, maybe to save more lives and more buildings by taking extra precaution to ensure safety for more citizens. My condolences go out to families that have been lost or broken by these horrific events that occurred on 3/11. I could never imagine the feelings you have toward these events.


Everything has left me speechless and emotional from what I saw. It felt as though I could feel the heartache everyone had experienced. The photos and videos had made me rewind my life back to the day Katrina had struck. The flooding of water and fire seemed almost too similar to the situation I had been in. I’ve always refused to remember the details that had happened, but seeing this has unlocked the door I had wanted to keep closed. I have empathy for the people that went through the earthquake and tsunami.


In Japan 3/11-3/12/11 was a catastrophic time period. There was a total of 226 earthquakes in a matter of two days. Knowing that DC does not have a lot of earthquakes, meaning that the number count is minimal, there are an abundance of mixed emotions going on inside of me. My city is fortunate enough to not experience these things and it makes me depressed and solemn to know that Japanese personnel have no choice but to experience them.


Words can’t describe this. Seeing the video and visual representation made me think about how fast situations change us. 148 earthquakes back to back. It’s heartbreaking to think about the aftermath. All the devastation. All the families missing loved ones or mourning the losses of friends and family. I can’t imagine pain and fear in their hearts from that day. I don’t know how to fully process this. Right after the tsunami was a huge fire. Picking up every piece that was broken, physically and/or emotionally takes time in events such as these. This makes me realize that some of us have a tendency to complain about certain things or possessions. When you look at the big picture, you realize that life is the best thing you can possess, as well as a sense of calm and security. If you don’t have that, everything is in shambles.


I gotta say just wow! Watching the actual video of the tsunami wasn’t that bad because although it showed the destruction of the towns at various times I couldn’t really get a feel of how bad it really was. But after looking at the Japan quake map, it really gave me a full view on how monstrous this event was and the little breathing time the people had in between these attacks. And it really allows you to grasp how lucky some countries are to avoid events such as this, especially on a large scale such as this.


Imagining many earthquakes from one day to the next is devastating. Hearing about one every now and then and deep hurricanes over in America and we think wow, oh my god and so on. But when you compare American disasters to Japan we have it trillions of times easier and that makes us lucky. To think of how scared people were at first and then to lose hope more and more as earthquakes keep happening for two days. It pushes fear to new heights. The man on the video who tried to boat away from the tsunami said he was ready to die at any time. That’s only one person. One brave person at that, and as a man he had to survive but others are petrified or could have been worse. It’s sad.


I saw that on March 11th that Japan suffered unexplainable damage from earthquakes. It seemed to me that after 2:46 pm JST (Japan Standard Time), Japan had suffered what I would call the domino effect from earthquakes. After one major earthquake, a series of earthquakes started to occur. Some were inside one another and I could only imagine if that was D.C. Also, to talk to survivors of the earthquake is very honorable. I would like to know if they remember the earthquake, how did they feel to survive. Did they feel sorrow for those who died, but also felt a sense of relief for surviving? Just that day from my perspective was so horrific.


I have never thought how big was the impact of the earthquake and the tsunami in Japan. It feels like the pain will never have a cure, the terrible magnitude of those disasters can’t be explained in words. The words are less when you watch the stories that people passed through. The days will not be the same however. I think that the communities will have to be together and receive extra support of each other. It’s sad that just a quick action of the earth can destroy years of effort from families to construct their homes and their lives.


I feel very distraught about Japan’s 3/11. I give my condolences to all the families that lost a loved one during that tragic time. I could have never imagined myself in the situation/predicament that Japan went through but it takes a strong society with a phenomenal backbone to be where you all are today. Just by seeing the quake map and seeing how the earthquakes hit drives my passion to study more about why Japan gets earthquakes more often.