Great East Japan Earthquake Essay

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I am writing this article with no more optimism, but with the mainstream media falling apart, I believe the only way to get the word out is for individuals to keep repeatedly speaking up about the issues.When I showed some students the situation along National Route 45, where the air churns with an unimaginable amount of dust and dirt, they unanimously cried out at how obvious it was now that the place hadn’t recovered at all.In the Hamadori region along the Fukushima coast, we have a long way to go before the fundamental issues have been resolved—despite the fact that the government has been aggressively pushing through policies to return people to their communities.The “Accelerate Reconstruction” slogan issued by the Japanese government rings hollow across Tohoku, simply bringing into sharp focus the emptiness and superficiality of Japan’s long-cherished commonality and civic-mindedness.Some three years after the disaster, there was an increasing number of opportunities to be asked whether the Japanese society had really ended up changing as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake.But when it comes to the incoming first-year university students—those who were in junior high school when the March 11 disaster hit—their memories of the Great East Japan Earthquake are nothing more than some vague recollection of a passing event.This is a direct result of the fact that the Tokyo-based media no longer says anything about it.Kesennuma Knitting (which sells hand-knitted luxury sweaters), GANBAARE (which offers canvas products), Tohoku Taberu Tsushin (a platform for promoting community-supported agriculture), and Kesennuma Regional Energy Development (an effort to make use of woody biomass derived from forest thinning) are just a few examples of the non-profit and for-profit organizations that have enjoyed national attention in the wake of the disaster.And though it is not, strictly speaking, a new business, longstanding Kesennuma seafood processor Abecho Shoten has developed new anchovy and other products under its recently established Mermaid brand, and is actively working to expand its sales channels.It was almost a rhetorical question at that point—a way of underlining the fact that nothing had changed at all.Of course, there is no way that Japanese society would change on a national level, given that true civic-mindedness had already begun eroding before March 11. This situation is what allowed the decisions of people and groups seizing political hegemony rather than the greatest good to alter systems by applying a tremendous amount of leverage unheard of during the Showa years. Meanwhile, the victims of Tohoku fade into deeper obscurity amidst the confusion.

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