Gaijin Housewife in Japan

Bringing you every day life in Japan to your part of the world.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

1 year on

Well I thought I had better get around to writing something and why not on the eve of the first anniversary of the Tohoku triple disaster. 

So one year ago, I was 6-7 months pregnant when the giant quake hit Miyagi, which we felt here in Fukushima as a 6 on the Japanese scale. Just recalling that day gives me heart palpitations, even now. My house was not affected by the tsunami nor was there any damage from that earthquake which is still completely unbelievable to me. We lost the water supply for a month to our house but the power was always connected, lucky for us in our all electric house! All I can say is that we were so lucky to have built a home that did withstand it. Even more lucky for us was the fact that the wind was blowing the radiation from the Fukushima power plant away from us in the days after the explosions happened. That means that we are able to still live here, when other cities such as Fukushima City and Koriyama are dealing with much higher levels of radiation and other towns are now uninhabitable. 

It took a long time for things to get back to some kind of normality for us - if you could call it that. We have been back in Fukushima for over 6 months now. Geiger counters are a part of daily life. So is checking where the food in the supermarket comes from. However, I expect there are people all over Kanto and Tohoku doing this, not just in Fukushima. I have a constant supply of rice, fresh vegetables and fruit from DH's family in Tottori which is so helpful as I never have to worry about that. 

All around our neighbourhood there are mini communities of people from the evacuation zone. Our neighbourhood still had a lot of undeveloped land which was quickly utilised by the city as a place for prefabricated houses for the people who fled the power plant. Our city is so popular at the moment there is somewhat of a boom going on here. Houses are being built around us, empty land is being snapped up, all the apartments in town are full, help wanted signs everywhere, hospitals overcrowded and I can't get an appointment at the dentist till May... people are on waiting lists to move here from other parts of Fukushima. It is a very bizzarre situation for us here indeed as it certainly was not such a popular place to come to before the disaster that's for sure!

As the anniversary of the disaster approaches the Japanese media has been working itself into a frenzy of rehashing the whole thing. Being here in Tohoku and seeing the devastation on a daily basis, seeing the people living in the prefab housing every day, I think we kind of need a break from it. I would be nice to turn it all off for a few days - not possible I know, but boy do we all need a holiday from it! 

A couple of reporters from Canada here in Fukushima at the moment. I was asking them if they were sent here by their employer or if they came at their own expense. They said they were here off their own bat, as their agency was reluctant to send reporters to Fukushima because the Canadian government doesn't recommend people come here...All I can say is thank you for coming and seeing what it's like here and letting people know what's going on as the situation is certainly not all fixed and many people are still seriously affected by what happened at the Fukushima Dai Ichi Nuclear Power Plant. 

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Blogger Medea said...

Thanks for writing about this. You were in my thoughts and those of most of the foreign wives I know in Japan during those first few days. I was relieved when I heard you were okay. We still worry though!

I too am glad that the reporters are here and keeping those who had a hard time in the media.

10 March 2012 at 15:26  
Blogger Mrs. N said...

It seems that anything I have to deal with pales in comparison to what happened to so many people one year ago...I continually remind myself how fortunate we were and are. I'm glad you guys were safe. I remember reading about what a nightmare it was for you ...

11 March 2012 at 21:11  
Blogger shufuinjapan said...

Hi Medea and Mrs N. Thanks for your kind words and thoughts for us here in Tohoku.

11 March 2012 at 21:41  
Blogger Jane said...

I agree with you that the media needs to take a break- at least up in your area. I went to Sendai last month and was surprised to see so much about it on the news compared to what we see on TV in Okayama. Maybe it's the news I watch, but we don't see much. It seems strange that the people who are ゛living through it゛would see so much coverage and that the people who might forget it don't see as much...

14 March 2012 at 21:56  
Anonymous Wendy Hollands said...

A year has gone so quickly. We hear very little about it here in France, so it's interesting to hear it from your perspective, as someone who is far closer and more aware of what's happening - thanks.

8 April 2012 at 17:42  
Blogger shufuinjapan said...

Hi Wendy, thanks for your message! :) Yes, I'm sure the rest of their world has their own troubles so Japan's are not centre stage anymore. Not even in all areas of Japan as Jane said above.

8 April 2012 at 22:09  
Anonymous riyo said...

I'm Japanese housewife in Fukushima. Well...I'm glad to come across your posting and be able to know your life in Fukushima prefecture. It must be daring for you to stay this place, although I don't know if you are still in Japan or not.
I hope you still visit this blog and notice my posting.

1 October 2012 at 14:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking of you, would love to hear how you are doing.

28 February 2013 at 11:40  
Blogger shufuinjapan said...

Hi Anonymous. Thanks for your message. We are fine! I'm thinking about doing a come-back post soon! Watch this space!

28 February 2013 at 13:01  
Blogger Sharon said...

Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog...very honest and down to earth... I hope your family is well and hope you find the right time to blog again.

6 May 2013 at 12:00  

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