We were able to send a total of $10,000 to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Thank you so much for your donations and support!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A voice from near the epicenter

A fellow Tufts student Alexander Michaelson has a girlfriend who is from Japan. Her sister, Riyo N, lives in Sendai, the major city devastated by the tsunami that swept coastal areas in no time after the record-breaking earthquake. This is a voice from the inside, from Ms. Riyo N. Please read!

"At this time, many people are unable to use electricity or network service; I'm the only one that can.
I feel that this is a mission conferred by God, that I might use email and the Internet to convey some of the voices of the victims of this disaster.

Truth be told, there is no refuge;  it's pitch dark and cold.
My eyes snap open over and over from the cold, and with every aftershock.
We're packed so tightly that I'm bumping up against the person next to me.
Even this shelter itself has severe cracks, and it could not be called safe.  The health situation in the whole area is beginning to worsen.
In no way is it possible to get any real rest.

Finally, people from the coast are gradually being brought in.
While the number of disaster refugees is growing, supplies are not reaching us at all.
Even though it is cold, the fact that we only get a single cup of hot water cannot be helped.

As for food supplies and consumables, refugees are making use of whatever they can. Housewives are preparing emergency rice rations.  Nurses and hygienists are making rounds among the victims.  Their fatigue is worrying.

Considering the transportation situation, aid materials are not getting through at all, and it is difficult for medical personnel to reach the scene.
However, if everyone throughout Japan conserves electricity, power may be restored sooner.
By any means, we're in need of this conservation.

Gasoline and oil are nearing empty, but fuel costs have been apparently been paid in advance by the neighborhood council chairmen.  However, as for those who will provide this advance, whether they will actually come back is unknown.
Moreover, the grief of those who have lost homes and families is immeasurable.
Therefore, we are truly grateful for any donations.

Sending aid materials is difficult for an individual, so donations and power conservation are the quickest ways an individual can help.

If this alone could reach the people out there, we would be grateful.
It's ok to forward this message."

Riyo N. 
To her sister in Kyoto
Miyagi Prefecture, Sendai City, Wakabayashi Ward Office
Sunday, March 13, 2011


  1. Many of you know that Japan is very dear to my heart for many reasons. I spent nearly a year of my life living in Kanazawa, enjoying some of the most formative and wonderful experiences I have ever had. I have dozens of friends and acquaintances there, and I plan to return to Japan this summer for another extended stay. Japanese is my major subject, and studying Japanese culture has come to influence how I view the world in many ways.

    Right now, Japan is in the midst of what Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called the worse catastrophe in the nation since the war: death toll far exceeding 10,000, explosions and partial meltdowns at nuclear power plants, hundreds of thousands displaced, rolling blackouts, shortages of energy and food and water, massive cutbacks on transportation services and communications services, and untold grief and anguish. More than half of the entire nation's Self-Defence Force mobilized in the relief effort, and there has been an unprecedented show of international support, including swift responses from neighbors with whom recent diplomacy has been quite testy, namely China and Russia and South Korea. This was the most powerful earthquake the country has seen in at least 140 years of recording such information, and it triggered a 1000-year tsunami that wiped out massive swaths of coastal area in eastern Honshu, as well as causing damage in the entire Pacific Rim.

    All of my friends in Japan that I have so far heard from, are ok, but huge numbers of people are suffering and need help.

    Because we are not in Japan, the best ways we can help are to send donations and spread good information.

    For Americans, Donations specific to relief from this disaster can be made to the American Red Cross:
    << http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=f9efd2a1ac6ae210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD >> ( http://rdcrss.org/ekK3rr )
    or to the Salvation Army:
    << https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/site/c.tvI3IeNUJsE/b.5760419/k.2CB3/Donate_Now/apps/ka/sd/donor.asp?c=tvI3IeNUJsE&b=5760419&en=5oIzGIMjG4LIKSOmH3KFKPMxEoKRLXOxEdKFLRNAIkLRK1NIG >> ( http://bit.ly/fBXzvT )

    You can watch live TV news coverage from Japan in English on NHK World here (free online):
    << http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-world-tv >>

    And read English news straight from Japan on the following sites:
    Japan Times: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/
    Nikkei English: http://e.nikkei.com/e/
    NHK World: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/
    Mainichi Daily News: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/

    Thank you for your support. Love to everyone.

    Sincerely yours,


  2. Original Japanese