ROAD vol.8 Evacuees' Short Comments
by Voices from the Field Admin - Monday, 23 July 2012, 07:39 AM



Read the prologue to the evacuees' comments listed below

My house escaped from being washed away but the ground floor was flooded.  We have moved the undamaged stuff upstairs.  -We, however, cannot bring it here as our car has broken down.  The car is in the garage for repair at the moment. There is nothing we can do without a car.   We need it even to go to the supermarket or to the town hall.  I will be back here again for another foot bath.

( Woman in her 20s, Yamamoto, temporary housing, Aug 16th, 2011)


I was very frightened by the earthquake because I was alone at the time. I had been hospitalized due to a risk of premature birth, and the earthquake struck immediately after I was discharged from the hospital. As I was not so mobile due to my pregnant belly, I was watching Korean soap operas. Then things started to shake violently and my phone kept ringing. I called my husband and asked him to come home as soon as possible. Now, I am scared of the radiation. It is ok for me but not ok for my baby. My parents’ home was washed away, along with the baby stuff I kept there, so I had to buy them all over again. At the supermarket, everybody was desperate to buy things for themselves. We were only able to buy up to 3 cans of milk per person. It was really good that the electricity had just come back when I gave birth. I was really impressed by the doctors, too. (Woman in her 20s, Yamamoto temporary housing, May 22th, 2011)



We have been receiving t-shirts from clothing stores. They are pretty and nice. They come in adults’ and children’s sizes, so everyone is wearing them. The temporary housing units are very close to each other, so the children are often playing together. (Woman in her 30s, Iwanuma temporary housing, August 23rd, 2011)

I cannot understand the mind of the volunteers coming here. You must have taken days off of work to come here, right? Since this area is close to Fukushima prefecture, the radiation level was high at one point. Don’t you mind? (Man in his 30s,Yamamoto temporary construction, August 15th, 2011)

My husband is a gardener. He has had less work after the tsunami because most of the houses along the coast were lost.
 After the earthquake, the youth associations of landscape architects in Tokyo and Kyoto kindly sent us heavy equipment, which helped us a lot. Though my house was washed away by the tsunami, fortunately my family was safe. When the tsunami came, our family couldn’t run away quickly enough, so I pushed my child up on a chestnut tree, and climbed up there myself. That is how we survived. I felt the earthquake but did not take it seriously enough. (Woman in her 30s,Yamamoto temporary construction, August 16th, 2011)



I won’t go home because nobody is there now. My grandpa is out shopping, so I’ll stay here and receive an ashiyu.

Elementary school boy, Yamamoto, August 16, 2011


Do you know that old man? He used to run a dry cleaning shop. I heard his shop was washed away by the tsunami. I know it because it was near the house of a friend. That house was also washed away. 

( A toddler girl, Yamamoto, August 16, 2011)


We were actually carried away by the tsunami.  It was super scary.

( Elementary school boy, Yamamoto, August 17, 2011)


The girl I like is gone now, because she was washed away. So I don’t have a new girl I like yet.

 ( Elementary school boy, Yamamoto, August 17, 2011)


When the Great East Japan Earthquake hit us, I’d just recovered from the loss of my husband, who passed away about 4 years ago. All that my husband and I had built up together was swept away. I managed to take my husband’s memorial tablet with me when I ran, but I haven’t been able to find any of his photos. I feel relieved to know that all my family members have escaped the disaster. I don’t need anything but my life since you don’t know when you might lose all the other things you own.

  (A woman in her 60’s lives in a temporary housing,Yamamoto, August 8,)



I feel pain in my joints because I suffer from high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia, though I am trying to make some efforts, like taking a walk in the morning. It is difficult that there is no job for me now.

  (A woman in her 60’s lives in a temporary housing. September 5, Rikuzentakada,)


I cannot sleep well at night, thinking about the tsunami. And I sometimes get a strong cramp in my leg while sleeping. It’s painful and keeps me awake. My doctor gave me some sedatives of which about only a quarter now remains. He says that I have no problem.

  (A woman in her 70’s lives in a temporary housing September 5, Rikuzentanaka,.)


Ever since the tsunami, I have not been well.

  (A woman in her 70’s lives in a temporary housing September 7, Rikuzentanaka,.)

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Re: ROAD vol.8 Evacuees' Short Comments
by Sharon Corologos - Wednesday, 1 August 2012, 10:32 AM
I'm so very touched by the young children's comments. Hopefully, they'll have the resilience to go on to a happy life.

And the remarks by people in their retirement years are also moving. I'm a retired teacher; how would I cope if my home and all my possessions were washed away? I would be devastated! How could I start again? And yet, I would HAVE to start over. With the support of other people, family or friends, maybe I could go on. I hope so.

I realize much of what I have, material things, are not necessary for happiness. Memories, love, and hope are the real treasures in life. I hope these evacuees have those treasures to help them get through this hard time.
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Re: ROAD vol.8 Evacuees' Short Comments
by vff admin - Friday, 10 August 2012, 12:06 PM
I have read article 99. The woman astonished me by her self-control - the woman who saved herself and child on the tree. Very often people panic in such a situation. It is painfully to read about child who lost frend.

by proxy 7/23