|Delivering Supplies with Operation Tomodachi, March 2011, Chris’ helo|
|Devastated Tohoku, March 2011, Chris’ helo|
Weeks later Chris returned to our home and a budding Hikichigawa, where he took all these pictures. The sunshine, the cherry blossoms and the Japanese were out in full force. The sakura is a symbol of mortality and the brevity of life. And year after year, they come back.
“Our predecessors who brought prosperity to Japan have repeatedly risen up from crises, every time becoming stronger,” said Yoshihiko Noda, Japan’s Prime Minister, on the one year anniversary of the disaster. He continued that he hoped the Japanese people would overcome this difficulty so Japan could be reborn a better place. People all over Japan observed a moment of silence at 2:46pm, as more than 300,000 are still homeless and many seaside cities have yet to be rebuilt.
Last year our church, Life Chapel, collected survival essentials—bottled water, vegetables, noodles—and drove a van north past split roads and through the rising threat of radiation to deliver supplies. Then they did it again. A Japanese friend of mine told me she couldn’t not go to the survivors. She hugged a devastated woman who’d lived through the unthinkable: the tsunami ripped her daughter from her arms and left her alone.