Monday, April 11, 2011


from Asahi Newspaper on April 11, 2011

My very good friend in Yokohama came from Saitama prefecture. Michiko was born there. After she married, she’s been living in Yokohama. But her brother still lives in Saitama and takes care of his pear orchards and rice fields. She said, a while after she married, one day she heard from her brother that a new high school had sprung up near their birthplace. The name was Kisai. That’s an unusual name. Ki means horse riders and sai means west. During 70s and 80s, new schools were created all over Japan. Then many years went by, the bubble economy burst, and the population dwindled, and she heard Kisai High School closed down. So, that was the last time she heard about the school.

But once again, she heard the name during the tsunami news two or three weeks ago. 1200 people of Futaba town in Fukushima prefecture were evacuating to former Kisai High School. Michiko said her birthplace is among rice fields, and nothing much is there. I’m fascinated with country scenes. She said she never wanted to go back to live there. I kept asking her why. She added, “But, the town has water and everything. A train passes through the town.”

According to Asahi newspaper of April 11, the chart shows the numbers of evacuees in each prefecture. The total number of evacuees from 9.1 earthquake and tsunami are 163,781. The rightmost top tile is Hokkaido, and it accepted 702 people. Going downward, Iwate is 48,736, Miyagi, 54,764, Fukushima, 25,669, Tochigi, 1669, Ibaragi, 879, Chiba, 863. The second rightmost tiles, from top to bottom, Aomori,975, Akita, 1881, Yamagata, 1913, Gunma, 2861, Saitama, 3514, Tokyo, 1367, Kanagawa, 945, and so on. Saga and Yamagata prefectures had offered to accept 30,000 people, but ended up with fewer people.

1 comment:

keiko amano said...

About 5:30 today, I felt magnitude 4 or so earthquake. I was in a train, and the train stopped at the Minamioota station. The door opened. The train started to rock like a boat. It went on for quite a while, more than a minute. Some passengers got out. I heard an announcement saying to get back into the train, and it's dangerous to go onto the platform. I didn't know that. So, I told those passengers to get back in. We were there for three minutes waiting for the earth to calm down. Then the train resumed. Another day went by in the earthquake country.