RSY vol.22 Two years to the day, looking back on days passed from then till now (Part 2)
by Voices from the Field Admin - Saturday, 1 February 2014, 09:27 AM


Part 2


[Words of Mrs. A’s husband]


The moment the earthquake hit us, I felt for sure that a tsunami was coming. It was not usual shaking. The first thing in my mind was: “Oh my. I won’t be able to do my job. It will be impossible to pay my mortgage.”

It was really mentally and physically exhausting to dispose of ruined stuff and clean up my house. The tsunami was unbelievably strong. I had no idea what to do first.

Thinking back, I threw out stuff which I should have kept. I managed to carry and throw out heavy things such as the refrigerator, because it was an emergency situation. I think I lost it. As there were no volunteers right after the earthquake, from March to April, we had to do everything by ourselves. It was really hard work. If there had been volunteers, I would have asked for their help. I lost 5kg in 2 months.

The temporary housing is so small that my whole body hurts. I have to be conscious of the neighbors because the walls are so thin. We have no privacy.



[ Mr. & Mrs. A’s current situation ]


- Those who have a house and those who don’t cannot get along well. The people are moving apart further and further. We don’t know what to do because our reality gap is becoming too large.

- We would have left this area if we had no housing loan. We do not consider this area as our hometown anymore.

- It is uncertain that our house will be livable by the end of April, because the tateguya [1](specialists for Japanese sliding doors) are not readily available.

- We might become overly sensitive to earthquakes and sirens because our house will be near the ocean. We still have nightmares of the tsunami.

- We used to help each other willingly right after the earthquake, but we went back to how we were before the earthquake – in a negative way.

- We are exchanging letters with the volunteers. They did what we couldn’t do. We appreciate their coming to see us.

[Advice from Mr. and Mrs. A as a tsunami survivor]


- Keep in mind that once an earthquake occurs, a tsunami will come.

- If a tsunami comes, never go back to your house.

- Decide where your family members are to meet. Never go to save your family members. You must save yourself first.

- Better to keep some useful things in your car, such as some cash, water, gasoline, batteries, rubber gloves, plastic bags, towels, newspapers, and radio.

- Deposit your big cash in a bank. It is not a good idea to keep such big cash in your house.

- Please remember that water is essential.

-  Make sure you get along with your neighbors and community on a daily basis. A good relationship with your neighbors and community will make a big difference in case of a disaster.




We hear the following comments:

“We are really grateful to the volunteers.” “We see few volunteers lately. We really miss them” “The recovery process appears to differ for each person.”


As time goes by, we face new challenges in the disaster area.

“It’s too late for volunteering…..”

- It is never ‘too late’ to do something.

“Volunteers who came to the disaster areas earlier are more appreciated than those who came later.”

- That’s not true.

It is OK to do what you can do now for those in the disaster area, according to the current situation.

We, Rescue Stock Yard, continue to station our staff at Shichigahama to provide support into the following year.

In order to do so, we ask for your kind help in the days to come. We thank you in advance for your continued support.

[1] Tategu means, in a word, ‘removal wall or divider’, such as shoji (papered screen), fusuma (sliding door), yoshido (bamboo blind).