March 2012

March 11th, A Year

12-03-11_14-07_resize.jpgIt's been a year now since last year's earthquake and tsunami and there have been many memorial services all around Japan today.

The main one in Kamakura was at a Buddhism temple called Kencho-ji with all the different religions coming together again. There were Shintoh,Buddhism,and Christian priests and nuns and vicars whom all offered their prayers one after another. 12-03-11_14-11_resize.jpgThey were expecting nearly 10 thousand people to come to this one alone. I'm not sure how many actually turned out but the place was packed.

The procession of the religious leaders went round the grounds of the temple while praying and then arrived in the main building. At 2:46 PM,the time when the earthquake had hit,the temple's huge bell was struck and a minute of silence was held in prayer. It was extremely moving in that in an instant,although there were so many people,there was absolute silnce. I've never experienced such a sad silence before. The temple is surrounded by mountains but I don't think even the birds were singing in this one minute. It really felt as if the whole of Japan was as one at that moment.

Nearly a year

It's nearly a year now since the huge earthquake and tsunami. Everyday life goes on,but this whole year has felt like a year of mourning. As the 1st anniversary approaches the media here in Japan has been taken over by the event,reminding us about the shock we felt then and following up on how people are having to cope after their lives have been taken away. It's very difficult to face all the problems that we have and very upsetting but I think that it's good that we are reminded that there are still so many people struggling with their lives and still in pain. Sadly,it is so easy for us to forget...