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Japan's Earthquake

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    Chris

    Hello, everyone. This is Chris. I haven’t posted here for a very long time, but I was suddenly compelled to.

    I might have mentioned this, but I live in Tokyo. As I’m sure everyone has heard, Japan had a massive earthquake this Friday afternoon. Luckily, my wife and I are okay, but, man, that was probably the most horrific moment of my life when it first hit. Then we have been having non-stop aftershocks about five to ten minutes apart for five hours since it first hit. They seem to be calming down now, thankfully.

    I couldn’t help but remember Kurosawa’s description of the Kanto earthquake of 1923 in his autobiography. I now have a unique insight into what he experienced although I’d happily prefer not to have that insight!

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    Ugetsu

    Hey Chris, hope everything is ok with you there – the reports I’ve seen here look pretty terrifying. I did indeed think of Kurosawa’s description of the aftermath of the Kanto earthquake when I saw what was happening, thankfully it seems the death toll will be nowhere near as bad.

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    Vili Maunula

    I hope that you and yours are ok, Chris!

    I haven’t really been able to follow the situation, as I am sort of stuck on an extended work trip during which I don’t have very good access to the internet, or news of any kind. But I heard that among other things there are some problems with two nuclear reactors, so I can imagine that you are living quite interesting times in Japan at the moment! I hope that everything works out fine in the end.

    Because of my trip (which was supposed to end on Saturday morning but will now run until Friday evening next week), I probably won’t be able to react to emails and forum posts as fast as I would like to, which is a pity considering that lawless has posted some really interesting material here on One Wonderful Sunday! I’ll definitely be joining the discussion as soon as I can!

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    Chris

    Thank you, Ugestsu and Vili. While I am fine now, it is becoming increasingly worrisome as news about the nuclear power plants comes in. The problem is compounded by the fact that sensationalism dominates most English-language news broadcasts, and it’s really hard to get some real facts about the possible dangers instead of hyper-active doomsday speculations.

    These last few days have been very taxing. We’ve had constant, non-stop aftershocks since the first massive earthquake hit. For the first four or five hours after that, there were significant aftershocks almost every ten minutes, each one like a major earthquake in itself. After that they lessened to about every twenty minutes. Today (Sunday) it seems like they are hitting every couple hours or so, but they haven’t been quite as strong today. In any event, it’s hard to relax right now. I’m a bit of a nervous wreck with the aftershocks, the nuclear situation, and all the horrific images and reports coming in from the north of Tokyo. This is a nightmare.

    (I should watch Ikiru to gain a bit of hope and perspective.)

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    Ugetsu

    I guess sensationalist news reporting doesn’t help – but from what I can understand, the nuclear issue is contained, if not actually under control. It all seems so appalling there – I just got a mail from a friend here who was raised in one of those towns that was almost wiped out – she’s in contact with her family there and she says people seem to be in despair at the sheer scale of destruction. Its just staggering.

    Chris, watching Ikiru is a great idea, just don’t put I live in Fear in the dvd by mistake 🙄

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    Chris

    Yeah, Ugetsu, I Live in Fear is pretty much the title of everyone’s life here in Japan right now! 😕

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    lawless

    Best of everything to you, Chris. From what I understand, after transportation coming to a standstill in Tokyo (I forget if the power was out too), things have calmed down there other than the recurring aftershocks. (I have an online friend from England who lives in Tokyo and teaches English.) I hope they’re able to get the nuclear power plant situation resolved and rescue and get aid to the people in the north who need it.

    Vil – I look forward to your response to my posts when you return from your trip. I’m pleased you found them interesting! Coco’s will be back from out of town soon as well; I look forward to her contributions. Sometimes lately I feel like it’s just the four of us talking to each other. 😆

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    cocoskyavitch

    My friend Hiro works for NNN news in Tokyo. He’s been feeding me inside news, but recently has been quiet. The people working on the site have been kept anonymous, silent heroes.

    The impact of this is very far-ranging and terribly disturbing. Far-ranging- my little University is withdrawing all our students at Japanese exchanges.

    Disturbing: The men working on the nuclear plant are risking their lives-it’s a virtual suicide mission. I hear one man wrote his wife. “I accept my fate. Please continue to live a good life”. How chilling, and how reminiscient of a Kurosawa hero!

    I can’t help but think of I Live in Fear and shudder. How radioactivity has haunted the Japanese Psyche from Gojira to Rhapsody in August! And with good reason!

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    Vili Maunula

    Chris, I really hope that things in Tokyo have started to return to normality, or at least something vaguely resembling it. How are you guys holding up?

    One curious (and, on the scale of things, rather irrelevant) thing about the disaster is that Kurosawa’s Dreams has started to pop up here and there in the Japanese media, thanks to the film’s two nuclear disaster episodes. For instance, pretty soon after the earthquake, it was reported that the film had become one of the most checked out in a Chinese film portal. Much has also been made of Kurosawa’s “predictions” in the film, most recently in Cinema Today, where they suggest that Kurosawa warned us about this happening, not only in his film, but also in interviews.

    I’m not sure what to think of all this, but at least it is nice to see that Kurosawa is still made relevant by the press.

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