Friday, 25 March 2011

Article: A Message To Japan.

A Message To Japan 

Words and Images: Sebastian Gahan.

 It's now been nearly two weeks since the devastating twin natural disasters that hit Japan. For the first few days we watched the news in shock, awe at the scale of nature's unstoppable wrath. We've seen it before in many other countries via the same venue of the television but when the events directly affect you it's a dramatically different feeling altogether.

Messages from a local school make me smile.

My connection is that I lived in Japan, in Tokyo for a while and my partner is Japanese, as is my son. My in laws and some friends are in Tokyo and surrounding areas and you never ever think that something on the scale of what we've seen via truly fantastic - in both positive and negative connotations - will ever happen to anyone although it does. 

Reading the many blogs, tweets, Face Book posts, Mixi messages and newspapers and media of The UK and Japan you got a picture of the world ending. The scenes of houses washed away were like a Hollywood disaster movie and although a movie is usually fiction that can be stopped with a flick of the remote control the scenes on our television sets were hard and harsh reality. And, in the face of hard and harsh reality there is no choice but to react. 

Our first reaction was to check our friends and family were OK, and thankfully most of them were. Then came the constant checking of media in both the UK and Japan to see what was happening. Some were saying that there were differences in what was being reported, but for those not seeking conspiracies concerning lack of information concerning the Nuclear Reactors - The search of which I don't disapprove of, by the way... - it all amounted a simple human tragedy that no one, not even the beleaguered Japanese government could ever have imagined they would have to face. 

As a human being first and a journalist second, I consider that the human aspect is the most important and we should all do something to help those who make the world a better place. We all have a connection to Japan, be it friends, family, cars or even the microchip in our music player and although that seems a trite comparison, it all matters in days such as these. There is a lot that Japan has done for the world and a lot that we can do for Japan right now. You can say a prayer, send a gift to a friend in Japan, donate some money to help the rescue and rebuild mission, make a friendly phone call to a loved one who lives there and ask how they are. The list goes on, and it's down to the individual.

In the case of my partner and I we've been collecting messages of hope and encouragement for the people of Japan and have set up a blog where these messages can be read by the whole world. There are many people in Japan from many different places in the world and they all have been affected in various ways such as loss, displacement, grief and much more than that. If you have any messages for the people of Japan please send them to the address at the end of this article. 

In the meantime life goes on for everyone and in the way that they do Japan is getting through the crisis admirably. They have been here before but never on this scale and I am sure that the future is bright for Japan.

Many thanks for reading this, 

Sebastian Gahan.

Please send all messages to

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