Sunday, March 13, 2011

Beth Kinsella Sakanishi: More Thoughts From Japan

Earlier today Beth wrote:

I can see how even as protected and safe as we are, able to live in our house and eat and drink and have heat and food -- even we are getting very tired, just from the total wrenching of emotions, again and again and again. I cannot begin to imagine though, even with the small taste I have, what is like for those (300, 000 at last estimate) who are in evacuation centers.

I was thinking of Pakistan just now -- remember how it was weeks before they got to some villages and how angry everyone was? Well, now I understand it more clearly. Japan is one of the most sophisticated countries in the world (in ways), is as prepared as any for as much of this as you could be, had the Kobe earthquake 15 years ago and made a lot of mistakes then, so had learned from that.
Even so -- there are villages like the one where only 7000 of the 17,000 have been contacted. 2/3 of the village was just swept away. It must have been one of the first places hit. There are towns like that and small towns (this is a whole area of small towns) in very isolated areas that no one can get to. With all that Japan can muster. With no electricity, with no radio or cell phone, even with helicopters, you can't get everywhere. I understand that now in ways I wish I did not.

Then, just now Beth emails again:

Hi All,

Just a quick note, this time. I am actually going to venture out today, for the first time, after I send this. Takeshi has been doing the shopping (and all the stores have very little in them, NOT that I am complaining. Just 'reporting' the way it is even here, far from the real dangers/tragedies).

But people have wondered how they can help and I think until we know more (and even after that, of course), people can help best by keeping us all in your thoughts and prayers. People do that instinctively, but may wonder if it helps. It does.

Otherwise, there is not much yet even we can do. The one thing we have started today is a 'rolling blackout' system, where different parts of the Kanto area (Tokyo and environs; not Hokkaido, which has had power plants out, too, and not all of eastern Japan which is on a different power 'frequency' -- 50 vs 60 Hz) will have their power turned off, so it can be given to Tohoku, which is still very cold at night, among all their other problems.
Our 'shift' today is 3 to 7 pm, so I will go out and do things before then. {And it DOES feel good to be able to help, in this way, anyway. Something concrete we can do for them. We really all do have a huge instinct to help don't we, and when it can't, it is part of the pain.}

It IS hard to watch this and not be able to help. No one can much, even the rescue teams, when 500 (at least) bridges are out and roads are flooded, but they will get there as fast as they can. More teams are coming all the time. Besides the NZ, Aus. and American teams I mentioned, some from Singapore and Korea have come.

I think you are getting pretty good reportage of all of this on your end, so I won't write as much, but we are still getting all day coverage and it helps, sometimes, to write about it. Will write as I think of things.

In the meantime -- thank you each and every one of you: for your emails, your thoughts, your love. We feel it.




Anonymous said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers every strp of the way !!! - Brandy Kapp & Joshua Hart-Wood

Mom/CB said...

Whwn Beth says she is going out to store, you must remember that their refrigerators are very samll, [ no room] and elactricity is scarce now! She normally shops for most every meal! Her birthday is the end os this month, so I had sent one pkg wwith gifts, and one with some dry food [ Dry fruits, cous cous, pkg of cornmeal, etc.] I had previously told her to open this one anytime!! So after the quake thay had something different and was so glad!!

Pat said...


She told me about your 'Birthday Cornbread' in great detail--she ate it as we did as little girls--mushed up in milk--and she said that particularly at this stressful time, it was GREAT comfort food. Terrific idea and what a perfect time for it to arrive.

Kirsty said...

Hi Beth,
I'm a friend of Pat's and I just wanted to say that i read your letters, and you do a beautiful job of speaking of the crisis, and its effects on the people in Japan.

I will continue to light candles for all of Japan, and for the continued safety of you and your husband.

thank you for this 'inside look' at your world; your clarity is astonishing, frankly during such trauma.

in peace and caring,

Kirsty Erikson

Pat said...


Beth says thank you so much--she DOES feel it makes a difference if people send good thoughts her way.

Laurie, Rick, and Sara Lochner said...

Hi Beth and Takeshi,

What an experience you are having now!! We are so glad that you are ok and doing the best that you can at this time. We have read your updates and are amazed at all that has happened. We have been thinking of you both, and your family there. Please know that we are with you in mind and especially in our hearts.
Our Love to you both !!!!

Diana said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective. I too find it hard to watch but compelling.

Please let us know if there is anything we can send or do and meanwhile we will keep you in our hearts, thoughts and prayers

Pam said...

Hi Beth,

I lost touch with you so many years ago, but you've always remained in my thoughts. Dave and I are both relieved to hear that you and Takeshi are safe, and we continue to keep you in our prayers. Please send me an email:
I would love to hear from you and catch up on life!
With love,

Pat said...

Hello Pam!

Thanks for visiting our cousins blog to leave a message for Beth. She tells me you have been friends forever since SMM, and will be emailing you soon.

Take Care,