13 March 2011

Praying for Japan

Image from Pray For Japan

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Ever since I woke up on Friday morning to the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan I've been glued to the internet, especially my Twitter account where the phrase #PrayForJapan has become ubiquitous. I can't stop thinking about the situation there and my heart breaks to see the images of the devastation in Tohoku, the northern part of Japan.

Lynn and I visited Tohoku in 2004, and I thought it would be fitting to share some photographs of beautiful rural northern Japan with you. Enjoy, and please take a moment with me to send your good will to the people of Japan. I've posted some links above if you'd like to send some financial aid as well.

Dear Japan, ganbatte kudasai. I love you. xo Annie

Shiogama Jinja
Shiogama Jinja, a Shinto shrine for fishermen on a coastal cliff about 8 miles north of Sendai.

Lynn & Basho
Lynn and a papier mache effigy of the great haiku poet Basho in the harbor at Matsushima Bay, about 18 miles from Sendai.

Boats in Taro, a fishing village which is part of the devastated town of Miyako. Taro had previously suffered tsunami in 1611, 1896, and 1933. When we were there we saw huge seawalls that had been built to protect the area. I doubt that Taro's seawalls were able to hold back this tsunami. You can see a YouTube video of the tsunami climbing the sea walls and overtaking Miyako here.

The beautiful rugged coast of the Taro Village area.


Renee A. Ugrin said...

Thank you Annie for posting these photos. I too am praying for Japan.

Ellen Shipley said...

Thank you for these. I'm worried about a friend who lives in Shiogama. All I know is that it is right next to Sendai on the coast. Have you heard any news about the area?

Praying for them all.

Annie B said...

Shiogama was definitely hard hit by the tsunami. I believe that one of the oil refinery fires is there, too. Unfortunately the area is without power, so it may be a while before your friend will be able to contact you. I'll pray with you.

Unknown said...

It was really touching to see you post pictures of the beautiful countryside before the devastation. Japan is very important to me as a woodblock printmaker and is where I see all my art influence originating from there.
I have started a small bookmark sized lino print about the tsunami that I plan on selling and donating proceeds to the red cross...

The Schultz Family said...

Hi Annie, I'm Cathy and I lived in Taro in the 1980s as an English teacher. I've been trying to find out anything about how the people in Taro fared. I know Miyako got hit badly and I've seen that horrifying video of the tsunami crashing over Miyako's seawall. You say that Taro's seawall didn't hold back the tsunami-- do you know that for sure? Or are you guessing that since Miyako's seawall didn't hold back the sea? Any info you could give on Taro would be very appreciated!

Annie B said...

Hi Cathy. No, I do not know for sure that the sea wall in Taro failed to hold back the water. As you say, I was guessing based on the video of Miyako. I'll clarify that in the blog post. Good luck finding out what has happened in Taro. Have you seen the Google satellite maps that just became available? I think they're pretty high resolution. You may be able to tell from those. Scroll down to the bottom of this page.

The Schultz Family said...

Thanks, Annie. When I lived there, the town had frequent tsunami drills, with everyone running to any high ground nearby. I'm hoping that everyone's training kicked in and they all followed procedures when the warnings sounded. I'll keep goggling Taro and Miyako for details on how my little town fared and will post here if I find anything out. I'll keep hoping and praying.

The Schultz Family said...

Thanks for the Google Earth links, Annie. Unfortunately they have no recent images of anything around Miyako or north to Taro yet, but I'll keep checking. thanks again.

Beth Cullom said...

Just as when a person dies, we mourners spend time with photos of our loved one, remembering their beautiful self, and celebrating their beautiful life. I have never been to Tohoku, but your photos help me to know its beauty, pray for a particular place and its people, and grieve its loss.

Linda said...

Thank you Annie for showing us these pictures. I have not yet experienced Japan firsthand but it is in my heart. My art was born there. The art that gives me peace and fills my soul with gratitude for the beauty of the earth. I grieve for the Japanese people and all the loss. I still look forward to going in June but it is with a more sober heart.

Ellen said...

Thanks for these beautiful photos, Annie. I've been wondering about your trip to Japan later this year. Will the recent events affect your plans? It's so hard to express what we're feeling these days, isn't it? Your post encourages me to try.