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No.188 (5/27/11)

Memoir of Minamisanriku Town

By Keiko H. Johnson
Staff Writer

As I turned the TV on one morning, I saw a performance conducted by a renowned tenor singer Mr. Placido Domingo who came to Japan on April 17, despite the recent disaster in Japan. At the end of his concert, a classic Japanese song called Furusato was sang by one of the kings of tenor and made my eyes, as well as that of 36,000 audiences, well up. Domingo kept up with his concert schedule and sent a compassionate message in order to encourage Japanese people through his divine voice. The beautiful landscapes and the chronicles of people in the Tohoku Region symbolized the tradition of Japanese culture.

Before the tsunami arrived on March 11, there was a town called Minamisanriku-Cho with a population of 176,000. The combination of the oceanic and the mountain atmosphere of the coastal town, located on the north side of Miyagi Prefecture, was one of those tsunami devastated towns in the Tohoku Region. As the remnants of the song Furusato depicts, the beautiful landscapes of the mountains enclosed the town by its three sides. The creeks taking the melted snow down through the mountain eventually reached the inlet connected to the Pacific Ocean.

The town used to be blessed with wildlife and untouched natural beauty that had completed the backdrop of the famed historical preservation of ancient vestiges. The historical temples relating to famed warriors and the traditional Zen style houses established as lodgings on the prehistoric traveling path revealed the recollection of former monarchy of Edo Shogunate Era. In passing through the town toward the mountains, coming into the view was the Minamisanriku Kinkazan National Park. The stipulation of the town was that it was suitable for recreational activities making this park a popular destination and invited many visitors during the summers.

On the east side of the town, the mouth to the Pacific Ocean opens widely. The Kuroshio; Japan current coming from the north meets with the Oya current coming from the south at the shore of the inlet near the Minamisanriku Town. The Sanriku means three-lands, the area with the coast shaped like a sawblade, has been the famed traveling route for the fish and other oceanic living things. The fishing businesses established in the region have taken a greater part in supporting the nation’s seafood supplies for decades, in view of the fact that those two assembled currents contributed to create an appropriate environment for the fish to nestle and to raise other oceanic products.

While the entire country of Japan has been in deep sorrow, many people from all over the world have come together and have done many heart-warming activities for Japan. It has been over two months since the inevitable aftermath the power of nature has brought to Japan. A magnitude 9.0 earthquake followed by a deadly tsunami devastated towns in the Tohoku Region, and it brutally took many souls. The enormous power of God’s science has still been affecting our lives and forcing us to live under the fear of uncertainty which follows the situation at the troubled Fukushima Nuclear Plant. Many foreigners living in Japan, who fell in love with Japan’s culture and its beauty, have left concerning the worst human technology could possibly cause.

As Mr. Donald Keen, the prominent scholar of Japanese Literature and a former professor of Colombia University who has translated numerous Japanese classic literatures emphasized that the strength is its culture and the people of Japan that the country will withstand the hardships they are facing, during the interview conducted by NHK. The deadly earthquake followed by the tsunami hit the country and has modified the fame of the country to a nightmare on earth. However, it may take many years to reestablish what Japan used to have, with Japan having many lending hands from other countries in the world, the sun will shine again on the country of the Rising Sun.

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