Traveling to Minamisanriku I had not realized how great the destruction was from the earthquake until I got there. Although we had read and discussed the earthquake so many times in class it was not until I had seen it first hand that I truly understood what a tsunami could do to a place. There was literally nothing left at the inundation zone except rubble. A beach that once flourished with life sunk below the ocean and only accumulates garbage. On our bus tour of the surrounding area I listened to our guide describe how bravely the people at the Disaster Preparedness Center inspire of the incoming tsunami continued their duties and broadcasted the disaster to the last minute and lost their lives. I also listened to him describe there is a sense of rebuilding and revitalization and a stronger sense of community among the Minamisanriku people. I listened to the lady at the community center when I went to visit the small central town they had built from temporary houses describe her experience of the earthquake and how she lost both her brother and only son to the disaster. She told me her neighbors and community members helped become healthy again and pass through this difficult time. She had made it her duty to tell people who come here about the disaster so that they may learn what happened. I have talked to others who chose to stay I here so that revitalization would occur instead of moving away. I have seen volunteers from other parts of Japan work here for free to help the economy grow. Time and time again I have witnessed this communal behavior in the Japanese that I have not seen elsewhere. Everyone is busy and needs to get to work but no one cuts in line, everyone is suffering but no one only complains about themselves, people sacrifice their own benefit for the sake of everyone else. I believe not just Japan but the world can take a lesson from minamisanriku.
Gambare nihon! Gambare tohoku!