Save your life by yourself

Today, we headed to Tohoku where I’d been wanting to go. Before that, we gathered at the Share House and we learned about what we are going to do in Tohoku and about the Great East Japan Earthquake, and also watched tsunami videos. It has been a long time since I watched those videos last time, so it reminded me of what happened that day and I was filled with great sadness and fear again. At the same time, I was curious how people in Tohoku have gotten over so many heartbreaks.

We left the Share House around 10am and got on the train and shinkansen (bullet train). For DC students, this was the first time to get on the shinkansen, so they were surprised at startling speed. On the train, I ate one of the most famous bentos in Japan, Makunouchi Bento. Everything inside it was my favorite food such as Japanese omelet, salmon and fried prawn, so I wanted to eat one or two more.

After we arrived in Kesennuma, we headed to Uminoichi and met Masae-san, a storyteller of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Masae-san explained about her own experience and how Kesennuma has changed. She claimed that the most important thing when a disaster occurs is “Tendenko,” which means running away alone. The earthquake took the lives of people who tried to help others, so we need to keep in mind that it is the highest priority to save your life by yourself.

After that, we walked around Kesennuma. It was a beautiful place, but there were still lots of places under the construction showing the deep scars of the tsunami.

During the walk, we met some residents in Kesennuma. They were friendly, kind and full of smiles. I respect the people in Kesennuma for their strong mind never to give up even though they lost family, friends, houses or motivation because of the tsunami. I fell in love with this beautiful and powerful city in just one day.

Minori Kon
Keio Shonan Fujisawa Senior High School

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