Sunday, March 20, 2011


QUAKE UPDATES Day 9

Found out this morning amidst the chaotic onflow that the Wednesday night before Kasumi and family were to head south, Tatsuya got word from his company to get back to work on Friday, at his office even nearer the nuclear epicenter - no doubt they sorely need his architectural skills - so on Thursday morning he took the family to Tokyo and said goodbye, went to work the next day, is still living in the apartment...! So there will be no family photo, I’m afraid... Will post what photos I can, update later on any details I learn...

Not a good move, in my opinion, but Japanese loyalty to their companies etc. has always been beyond me... must talk to K about all this, but she is still ill over there, we are picking up the trio only today... facts are shifting everywhere... let me check my passport again, be sure I’ve got the right name... and could you tell me what planet this is?

This morning I heard the story told by the grandfather in charge of his village’s tsunami sea gate who, when he received the earliest warning of the huge wave coming, was torn between running at once to his family and urging them to safety or doing his duty and rushing toward the sea to close the big gate, possibly losing his own life but at least saving many others-- he stood torn on that edge for an instant... then ran for the gate and got it closed in time, slowing the destruction for a few moments and so saving many who now had time to escape; he managed to survive somehow, and when he got back to his home, it was gone. They later found only the upper floor, torn loose and far away, with his wife, daughter and grandchildren inside, all drowned. In the midst of all the destruction he stood pointing to where he thought his house had stood, weeping in his official village uniform and helmet as he told the story, how he could have helped his family and did not...

The heartbreaks of this event will live on long beyond... how can they be eased?


9 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Why couldn't K. still come to your place? or am I over stepping? Sorry, was so hoping to see that family photo.

Mary Lou said...

The Work ethic in that country is Phenomenal! I can not imagine in my worst nightmares what I would do in his position!

Looking forward to K, MandM pics!

DJ said...

So sorry to hear that you won't have that family photo just yet. Still keeping all your family in my prayers. So heartbreaking to hear about the man who closed the gate but lost his family. I'm sure there are many heartbreaking stories yet to come...so sad.

Phyllis said...

I have so much respect for that country now. There are many heroes that risk their own lives and their families lives to save many more. They will get their rewards in the hereafter.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

What a heartbreaking story, the man and the gate. How horrific. His heart must be broken.

I lived in SF in '89, and it was nothing, nothing compared to what Japan is going through now. And yet, it seemed just as bad to those who were crushed in the rubble, and to their families. Some of the specific stories stay with me still. The heartbreaks are indeed never healed.

Maggie said...

I'm so sorry she is still ill. You can take a picture of the four of them as soon as you get them home.We think of you often through out our days.

I have found no other source for the personal stories of this disaster. Thank you.

Kay Dennison said...

Am keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers in this terrible time.

Chancy said...

60 Minutes tonight had a segment on the disaster in Japan.

Heartbreaking but tastefully done.

Which is more than I can say about some of the other "news" shows which seem to dwell too much in almost a "rubber necking" way, on the tragedy.

My thoughts are with you.

tracyd said...

So sorry for the grandfather...heart-wrenching. So difficult to understand. My heart is sore to hear such things.
God Bless you Robert, and your precious family...