for us to think of....

by chekna on Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Japanese people have been very open on Twitter about their experiences following the quake, tsunami and potential nuclear meltdown. These snippets of what moved them and touched them during these very trying times were originally posted (and translated from Japanese) on Jun Shiomitsu’s Facebook.
Please continue to pray for the people in Japan.
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At a congested downtown intersection …
Cars were moving at the rate of maybe one every green light, but everyone was letting each other go first with a warm look and a smile.  At a complicated intersection, the traffic was at a complete standstill for 5 minutes, but I listened for 10 minutes and didn’t hear a single beep or honk except for an occasional one thanking someone for giving way.  It was a terrifying day, but scenes like this warmed me and made me love my country even more.
During the earthquake
We’ve all been trained to immediately open the doors and establish an escape route when there is an earthquake.  In the middle of the quake while the building was shaking crazily and things falling everywhere, a man made his way to the entrance and held it open.  Honestly, the chandelier could have crashed down any minute … that was a brave man!
Bus stop mini episode:
It was freezing and bus was taking ages to arrive.  “@saiso” left the queue to run to a nearby pharmacy.  He bought heating pads and gave one to everyone in the queue!
Thank you Tokyo Disney Sea
My daughter who was staying at DisneySea just made it back home!  Many, many thanks to the staff who worked very hard in the cold with ready smiles that made her to feel safe and secure during the entire night.  They brought her food, drinks, snacks, heating pads, and anything necessary to ensure she was comfortable and secure throughout her stay.  I was touched by the Disney staff’s warmth and hospitality.  Thank you so much!
Reminded of the goodness of the Japanese people
This earthquake has reminded me of that Japanese goodness that had recently become harder and harder to see.  Today I see no crime or looting: I am reminded once again of the good Japanese spirit of helping one another, of propriety, and of gentleness.  I had recently begun to regard my modern countrymen as cold people … but this earthquake has revived and given back to all of us the spirit of “kizuna” (bond, trust, sharing, the human connection).  I am very touched.  I am brought to tears.
Card board boxes, Thank you!
It was cold and I was getting very weary waiting forever for the train to come.  Some homeless people saw me, gave me some of their own cardboard boxes and saying “you’ll be warmer if you sit on these!”  I have always walked by homeless people pretending I didn’t see them, and yet here they were offering me warmth.  Such warm people.
What foreigners are saying about Japanese people
At a supermarket where everything was scattered everywhere over the floors, shoppers were helping pick them up and putting them back neatly on the shelves before quietly moving into line to wait to pay for them.  On the totally jam-packed first train after the quake, an elderly man gave up his seat for a pregnant woman.  Foreigners have told me they are amazed witnessing sights like these.  I do believe they actually saw what they said they saw.  Japan is truly amazing.
A little story about Papa
We live in an area that was not directly hit.  When my father came downstairs and heard the news saying that our area had begun allocating electricity to the hard-hit areas, he quietly led by example, turning off the power around the house and pulling the plugs out of their sockets.  I was touched.  He usually NEVER turns off the lights or the AC or the TV or anything!
Japanese people don’t shove
I’m looking at Yurakucho station from above.  I see people standing in line, not pushing or shoving to get onto the Yamanote Line (probably the busiest line in central Tokyo), even at a time like this!
The bakery lady
There was a small bread shop on the street I take to go to school.  It has long been out of business.  But last night, I saw the old lady of the shop giving people her handmade bread for free.  It was a heart-warming sight.  She, like everyone else, was doing what she could to help people in a time of need.  Tokyo isn’t that bad afterall!
Japan is a wonderful nation!
Both the government and the people, everyone is helping one another today.  There are truck drivers helping evacuees move.  I even heard that the “yakuza” (gangsters, organized crime groups) are helping to direct traffic in the Tohoku region!  There have been many recent developments that have made me lose my sense of pride in my country, but not anymore.  Japan is an amazing place!  I’m just simply touched.  Go Japan!
At the supermarket
I just came back safely from the supermarket!  Man, I was so touched at how everyone there was mindful of others, buying only as much as they needed and leaving the rest for the people behind them.
Gotenba traffic
Japan is really something!  Yesterday, not a single traffic light was functioning in Gotenba City.  But drivers knew to take turns at intersections and give way to others when needed.  Local people were using flags to direct traffic at intersections.  I drove for 9 hours but never saw a single car trying to get in front of another.  Every single driver on the road contributed to the traffic situation and as a result there was no confusion at all.
“All of us”
I spoke with an old taxi driver and some elderly staff at the train stations.  All of them had been working non-stop and had not been able to go home for a long time.  They were visibly very tired, but never once did they show any sign of impatience; they were gentle and very caring.  They told me “… because all of us are in this together.”  I was touched at what the notion of “all of us” meant to these elderly people.  It is a value I will treasure and carry on to my generation.
A strong Japan
Suntory Beverages has set up free vending machines.  Softbank Telephone services is offering free Wifi spots.  Everyone in Japan is putting everything they can into helping one another.  Japan is also now receiving aid from abroad.  Compared to the Kobe earthquake, when Japan took too long to contemplate accepting foreign aid or dispatching the self-defense force to join the rescue effort, Japan has definitely grown into a far stronger nation.  Be strong, everyone!
Morning Ceremony
At the shopping center I work at, every morning we have a ritual (common in Japan) where we stand and recite, “No matter what the situation, I will never show anxiety before my customer; in all customer-facing situations I will treat my customers with respect and do everything I can to make them feel comfortable and at ease”.  Today, these words were all actually kind of touching.  Well, so the day begins!  Here we go people, open shop!
A strong voice
Yesterday, I was impressed and touched by the actions of my neighbor’s 13-year-old-boy.  He was home alone when the earthquake hit.  But instead of hiding, as soon as the earthquake quieted down, he jumped on his bicycle and road around the block repeatedly shouting at the top of his voice, “Is everyone alright?  Is everyone okay?”  At the time, there were only women and children and the elderly in the homes.  I cannot describe how comforting it was just to hear a strong voice asking if I was okay.  Thank you!
The beauty of helping one another
I went out last night to help some friends who were volunteering as security personnel between Machida City and Sagami Ohno City.  I saw total strangers, both young and old, helping each other along everywhere I turned and was heartened with an overwhelming feeling of encouragement.  I was so touched I hid behind the toilets and cried.
I just have a bike
I’m so touched!  My colleague at my part time job, wanting to help even just one extra person, wrote a sign saying “I just have a bike, but if you don’t mind hop on!”, rode out on his motorbike, picked up a stranded construction worker and took him all the way to Tokorozawa!  Respect!  I have never felt so strongly that I want to do something helpful for others.
Rest here!
Last night, I decided, rather than stay at the office, I should try walking home.  So I slowly made my way west on Koshu freeway on foot.  It was around 9PM when I saw an office building that had a sign that said “Please use our office’s bathrooms! Please rest here!”  The employees of the office were loudly shouting out the same to all the people trying to walk home.  I was so touch I felt like crying.  Well, I guess I was too tense yesterday to cry, but now the tension is wearing off and am very much in tears.
At the convenience store
While most of the convenience stores near the station were closed because of the quake, there was just one Seven Eleven that was open.  The employees had lit lots of candles and put them on the stores shelves.  The cash register was not working and they could not take inventory, so the employees worked in threes, one reading up the item description and price, another punching the numbers into a calculator, and the last one using a flashlight to help them work.  The store managed to operate both “cash registers” efficiently this way.  Impressed!
On the way to the emergency evacuation area
My oldest daughter was making her way to Yokohama’s emergency evacuation area.  Total strangers were helping each other out and showing each other the way to the emergency evacuation area.  She told me she was moved at how strangers, who can seem so cold at times, showed her kindness and care.  I was reminded at the Japanese peoples’ inherent ability to immediately unite in the face of adversity.  Today, I have discovered a newfound faith in my nation and my people.
A big, kind voice
I’ve been walking for many hours now.  I’m touched at how everywhere I turn, there are shops open with people shouting “Please use our bathroom!” or “Please rest here!” There were also office buildings where people with access to information were voluntarily shouting out helpful tips, like “**** line is now operational!”  Seeing things like this after walking for hours and hours made me feel like weeping with gratitude.  Seriously, there is still hope for this country!
On the platform
The Oedo Subway Line for Hikarigaoka is very congested.  On the platform and at the gate there are just crowds and crowds of people waiting for the train.  But in all the confusion, every last person is neatly lined up waiting his or her turn while managing to keep a passage of space open for staff and people going the other way.  Everyone is listening to the instructions from the staff and everyone acts accordingly.  And amazingly … there isn’t even a rope or anything in sight to keep people in queue or open space for staff to pass, they just do!  I am so impressed at this almost unnatural orderliness!  I have nothing but praise for these people!
Station staff
I said to a Tokyometro station staff who was on all-night duty, “I’m sure it has been a tough night for you.  Thank you.”  He responded with a smile, “On a night like this, gladly!”  I was touched.
Coffee
My husband finally got home very late last night after walking for 4 hours.  He told me he felt like giving up at around Akabane, when an elderly man who was going around handing out free coffee saw him, gave him a steaming cup and said, “You must be tired and cold.  Here, have some coffee!”  My husband told me that it was because of this elderly man that he found the will and strength to continue walking.  I’ve already heard this story from him five times tonight, so no doubt he was really, really touched!  Thank you to my husband’s anonymous helper!
Blood donations
Japan is strong!  At Osaka I saw a LONG line of people waiting to give blood at the blood donation center.  This is the first time I have seen such a queue of selfless people waiting patiently in line just to give.  It was a moving sight!  To everyone in the hard-hit areas, we your countrymen accept your suffering as our own and we share in your grief.  Do not give up!  Stay strong!
Saving electricity for the North
I went to my neighborhood supermarket and was initially surprised that their neon signs were off.  They usually are open till 1AM.  I then found out that they were open, but were saving electricity so that more power could be channeled to the hard-hit coastal areas.  Wow!
Not enough money!
At the store where I work, a huge group of young men suddenly came in to buy booze.  One of them suddenly said, “Oops, I only have enough money to buy booze, I can’t donate!  Forget the booze, maybe next time!” and instead put ALL his money into the disaster relief donation box.  One by one, every single one of the army of youths threw all their money into the box after him.  What a heart-warming sight that was!
They looked absolutely delicious!
I too saw the guy handing out free rice balls and miso soup on the way back from Akihabara.  I was on my bicycle so I told him, “I’m okay, please give it to other people!”  On hindsight, I should have taken one … they looked absolutely delicious!!
Another Disney episode
Amazing!  My brother just managed to get home from Disneyland right now.  He’s got bags and bags of free sweets.  Furthermore, Disneyland paid for every customer’s travel fare back.  All night long, the staff responded immediately and fully to every request he made.  Disneyland is truly a world class brand!
Same boat!
Last night, Aobadai station was jammed with stranded people unable to get home.  But there were private cars with drivers shouting “If you’re going in the direction of ****, please hop on!”  I was able to hitch a ride on one of them.  When I thanked the driver, he replied “No worries! We’re all on the same boat. We have to stick together!”
Need to charge your phone?
At the emergency evacuation area, a young first-year intern at my company who had brought her phone’s charger got permission from the facility to use their power socket and went around shouting “Anyone need to charge their phone?  Please use my charger!”  Just a little thing, but I was touched.

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2 blaze of sunshine:

kakyong said...

org jepun ni sgt berhemah kan... cuba tgk depa amik turn beratur elok2.. xde nye rebut2... tabik sungguh dgn sikap mereka ni..

kita kat sini, baru 1 hari xde air. , berebut2 nak letak baldi masing2 dulu.. riso sgt tak dpt bahagian kita.. walhal kita ni org Islam, tp minda & attitude tak mcm org Islam..

how I wish semua org di Jepun tu memeluk Islam...

chekna @ mama ziyad said...

betul tu kak yong.. walopun diorg ni bukan islam, tapi sikap diorg byk yg lagi islam dari org islam sendiri... xpentingkan diri sendiri..

kat malaysia ni, tengok je la kes lori beras terbalik aritu, org sakit dibiar terbaring kat situ, diorg bleh sibuk dok kutip beras bwk balik bg anak bini makan...