Since today is the 11th, let me reminisce a bit, then lambast everybody.
I have been trained as an applied linguist, up to a point; my teachers did their best, but I didn’t do my best because I was also doing a job at the same time, then a big earthquake came and shook me out of my world on March 11, 2011:
It was pretty intense in Tokyo, but not as intense and as severe as in Tohoku (East-North [of Tokyo] 東北).
So if you hear about the 3.11 earthquake in Japan, or if you hear about the disaster in Fukushima (Wealth-Island 福島), your ears should convert this to Tohoku (East-North):
Tohoku is a region, and the whole region has been devastated. It is not just Fukushima (Wealth-Island, a misnomer now, whose irony bites) which is just a city (and a prefecture), just one place.
We are talking the whole coast, the East-North coast of Japan, almost from the tip of the main island (Honshu), there are 4 prefectures on that side, a huge shoreline (400-500 km long) with fishing communities.
So the big disaster didn’t happen in Tokyo, where I was.
I had the easy part; it was intense, but I had the easy part.
Now, at this time I had a job, I was an interpreter in a factory: I’m working near these machines, when the earthquake happens and I’m in a really old building and so on, and so on.
However, I survived very easily, unscratched, like nearly everybody else in Tokyo.
Now I’m talking to everybody in Tokyo:
You selfish bastards… I’m talking from Tohoku (East-North): Do you hear me Tokyo?
You selfish bastards… still becoming more selfish, forgetting about Tohoku (East-North).
I’m sorry I’m saying this in English, but it’s the only way I can say it (but just in case you need a Japanese translation, think
I count myself among the selfish bastards, up to a point, but I am conscious that I have been a selfish bastard and I’m trying to improve the dialogue by lending an ear to those guys In Tohoku (East-North).
It was a Tohoku (East-North) earthquake, not just Fukushima. So, to everybody who is worried about the radiation, just shut your mouth. It’s not you, and it’s not only the people in Fukushima, and it’s not the Tokyo people:
It’s the people in Tohoku (East-North), where the earthquake and the tsunami (Harbour-Wave 津波) hit; and then Fukushima hit; and then the pure disregard hit, the disregard shown by Tokyo people after the crisis seemed to have passed (for us, in Tokyo).
When we (in Tokyo) said: “Okay, it’s not going to reach Tokyo, it should be fine; we got lucky”.
You selfish bastards, just sighing with relief (“Glad it wasn’t me”). That was the reaction and I think, no, I know that the Tohoku (East-North) people thought to themselves:
“Look at these idiots, they have it coming soon, but they forgot about us in Tohoku (East-North).
They still want to have nuclear power-plants running.
They still want to keep doing things the same way they’ve been done until now”.
No, my friend. Tohoku (East-North) has been the lesson for Japan, a kaizen (Change-into-Good 改善) lesson; from now on, Japan and Tokyo have to wake up to the reality of where we are.
What’s the reality? The reality is that we have to go and help our brothers in Tohoku (East-North), first of all. Then we have to make sure that we don’t create other regions in Japan as Tohoku (East-North) is right now.
So I’m trying to improve myself as a Tokyo person. It took me ages. The earthquake was felt in Tokyo as well, but it was nothing compared to what it was (and still is) in Tohoku (East-North).
This is another dialogue.
A dialogue to improve the mentality (the mind-direction) not only for people in Tokyo, but for everybody who feels as self-entitled as the Tokyo (East-Capital 東京) residents (e.g., those who feel that they’re victims of radiation in America).
Come on, be serious! You are self-deluded if you think that the radiation from Fukushima is the problem for you now as an American, when you have a movement called “Open Carry” and your political leadership has set the country on the path to become the next Saudi Arabia.
Don’t you think that the apocalyptic scenarios of radiation-induced health problems would have been proven by now at Ground Zero? Short answer:
“No discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members of the public or their descendants. The most important health effect is on mental and social well-being, related to the enormous impact of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, and the fear and stigma related to the perceived risk of exposure to ionizing radiation.”
In Fukushima, people were near the nuclear plant and some of them were probably outside when it exploded, when a hydrogen explosion occurred and blew a cloud of dust full of radioactive particles in the air. Imagine all the nearby places where people were dealing with
“Oh my God, this was the biggest earthquake-slash-tsunami we (and everybody for a thousand years) have ever seen”
This is the moment when this thing blew.
Why did it blow? It blew (of course) because of many and complex factors; Japan is safe in many ways, but it is not safe enough for nuclear power.
How do we know this? We know this from before Fukushima. If you don’t know about the huge safety problems (regarding maintenance procedures) that had been discovered prior to Fukushima, if you don’t know about the health problems of nuclear plant workers in Japan (those who cleaned the reactors when they were operating “normally”), then you have no right to protest against or to argue for nuclear power (both sides in this debate are currently ignorant about the pre-Fukushima period).
First, you have to know what this drive for nuclear energy in Japan has done. It put some people in a position where everybody else agreed that
“These people are not so important, we don’t need to have a dialogue with them”
That’s where we are right now: Nobody wants to speak with the people who are living near these areas, because most of these people have been hit too hard. Not just by the nuclear disaster; but also by the tsunami and the earthquake.
I say that we need to become aware of what our actions mean and what our choices involve in terms of others:
You selfish bastards, wherever you are…