Samurai Spirit

“A few years back I fainted from overwork at my job here in Japan. So I told myself I can’t keep putting other people and work first. I need to give myself priority, too, and push back whenever possible. Right now I have a really good job that I love. I’m back on my feet. That’s why I like Fukushima, because we’re both recovering. We both have the samurai spirit. Seven years ago, there was a huge disaster there. They suffered a nuclear disaster, on top of a big earthquake and tsunami. The sad part is, people seem to have forgotten towns like Namie, Futaba, and Okuma, which have become ghost towns. I wanna help them, so recently, I went on a volunteer group tour to see the situation with my own eyes. Most people don’t want to go back because the radiation levels are so high. There are places where people can’t live and some kids who relocated from Fukushima get bullied in Tokyo. I won’t even pretend to understand how much they’ve been through. Good thing the government has been trying really hard to bring some areas back to normal. Still, there are no convenience stores or supermarkets and you see a lot of establishments, like restaurants and hair salons with the `We’re open’ sign on the door but are not actually in business. The whole place is like frozen in time. A glass of water’s been there for 7 years. I even saw a teddy bear waiting for its child owner to come back. You just feel a sense of loss, which makes you want to help. I probably can’t take part in the decontamination process because I’m not allowed to. But like a samurai, we just need to keep on trying. Sometimes life can get hard. You just have to be strong.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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