Friday, June 03, 2005

Dissaster is my middle Name

Where as danger is the common middle name of many a brave men and women before me, mine happens to be David. However, what you may not know is the Japan is also a country of many natural dissasters.

During my time here I have experiences a typhoon, several earthquakes, the rainy season and too hot and way too humid days. For the many beautiful seasons the go through their full cycles here in Japan, the most lovely is the early spring blossoming of the cherry blossoms. They often come out in mid to late March, and the conjested cities momentarily gain a flowery fresh scent instead of the often oily people condensed odor that is common to urban areas.

Last night, the 2nd of July, we were all rudely awaken by a 5 point rictor scale shake. Two days ago my lovely Sayaka and I were sitting on the bed together as we got ready to go out downtown and the house started to sway. It was a lot like the motion of sitting on a boat which sways with the waves, the only difference... well, other than the obvious one being we are land locked, was that we were experiencing a 4.3 quake. These often are harmless, however, occur quite frequently on an island country like Japan. Thankfully, the only injury inflicted from last nights thumper was an elderly man fell out of bed and broke his collar bone. This is the lightest of traumas, as often times seen in the past history of Japan, the devestation can be much worse.

To me Japan is the perfect country for any wide array of dissasters. With so many natural dissasters which can occur at a moments nottice, it`s hard to tell what will happen next, especially here on this island nation of volcaneos, fault lines, and tropical typhoon seasons. Today marks the 14 year aneversary of the Mountain Unzen volcanic explosion which killed 43 people. However, dissasters like this are rarely noticed by those outside Japan. For foreigners who live in Japan we often times experience a level of anxiety or fear from the constant turmoil of mother nature which reminds us of our mortal lives... and how suddenly as the gust of a typhoon, or the bubling fart of a volcano, or a costal tsunami, or a big shocker of an earthquake, we could all be gone with the blink of an eye. It wouldn`t be so perplexing if it wasn`t for the fact that every single day in Japan there is an estimated 3 natural dissasters which occur. Toto, were not in Kansas anymore. Lucky Dorothy -she only had to worry about tornados and wicked witches.

Yet on a country of this small size with such a large population the density of life ensures that all those living it must constantly be watching out for one another. This close knitted community feel runs through every aspect of Japanese social life. It is what makes the Japanese people so charming. They have a genuine care for the environment and their fellow mankind. Anyone who comes to Japan is in for a treat of hospitality and uber friendliness.

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