I've (Sal) never met so many Japanese until I attended UMM at 1995 my freshmen year. I've grown to love the Japanese people after I meet a new one pretty much every year since 1995. Many of them have been exchange students from Kansai Gaidai University (Suita, Takatsuki, Osaka city), which UMM has sent students in the past and still does today!
Yoko ( Toyokawa-shi, Aichi) and Noriko (Osaka) with my former floormate (Tyra Pruitt of Louisiana) my freshmen year (picture taken at Spooner Hall 96'-97)
Before as a Filipino-American, whose great-grandfather was killed my a Japanese during WWII, my heart was different. It was changed after I grew in my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (see personal story) during my freshmen year and meeting a Japanese international student that was studying at UMM and living next door in my floor at Clayton A. Gay Hall II-I.
Postcard sent from, Ritsuko (Moriguchi, Osaka) the first Japanse int'l student I met at UMM from 95'-96'
This morning (3/22/04), I was riding my bike to the RFC to workout. Then I saw Yuko walking, which we talked about her leaving UMM by the end of the semester. I asked her what her experience has been like so far. She told me she can't wait to go home and her perspective of America is a lot different compared to her expectation before arriving here. I asked her to give me an example, which she mentioned the education system. She feels it's good here as they make you "think" compared to being "fed with information" back in Japan.
I love the friendliness and smiles of the Japanese students that has come through UMM. Below are some resources I've found so far:
Samurai and Kamikaze
I just read a book on the history of WWII during the Pacific War when Japanese w/Samurai beliefs did suicide missions with their planes (khamikazees). This is very similar to the current war in the Middle East or Muslim world where "terrorist" or "suicide bombers" are willing to kill themselves for the "faith". I decided to do some research on this subject and this is what I found.
Church for the Harvest in Alexandria and Destiny Church of Ashby joined together for a mission trip to Japan in January. The trip was led by Pastor Steve Quernemoen and his wife, Trish, of Church for the Harvest, and Pastor Mike Bartolomeo and his wife, Rhonda, of Church for the Harvest. "Church for the Harvest in Alexandria and Destiny Church of Ashby joined together for a mission trip to Japan in January.
The trip was led by Pastor Steve Quernemoen and his wife, Trish, of Church for the Harvest, and Pastor Mike Bartolomeo and his wife, Rhonda, of Church for the Harvest.
According to Bartolomeo, there are more than 127 million people living in Japan. The two major religions there are Shinto and Buddhism.
Religion does not play a major role in the life of the average Japanese, but people usually have religious ceremonies at births, weddings and funerals. On New Year’s Day visiting a temple or shrine is also a common custom.
About 1 percent of the population follows Christianity, which was heavily persecuted in Japan prior to the Meiji Restoration in 1873.
Those on the mission trip spoke with pastors in the Osaka region and met with some Korean and Chinese Campus Crusade for Christ missionaries.
The local mission group also hosted an outreach rally to the community, shared the gospel, ministered to youth groups and college students and encouraged the believers in their faith. Because of these meetings, a total of 35 people received Jesus Christ through this trip.
“Japan is a very safe nation and we believe now is the time for the Gospel to be declared in that nation,” Bartolomeo noted. “As the Lord continues to lead us, we will be taking other trips to reach the Japanese people with the Gospel.”"
My brother, who works for Saphire Inc. in Minneapolis asked me if I know of anyone that knows Japanese and is good at computers. I searched the internet and came up with some links in this page. I finally found one and this one might be a good start->
On the wings of paper cranes, UN staffers aim to spread message of peace, un.org "..6 August 2010 – In 1955, 12-year-old Sadako Sasaki began folding a thousand paper cranes to try to heal her leukaemia, in accordance with a Japanese tradition. Despite surviving the bombing of Hiroshima a decade earlier, she had developed the “atom bomb disease.” Over half a century later, United Nations staff members hope to harness that same spirit to remind the world of the horrors wrought by nuclear weapons.
Sadako died on 25 October 1955, having completed 644 origami cranes. Her friends completed the remaining cranes and she was buried with them in Hiroshima, where the Children’s Peace Monument now stands in her honour and children from all over the world send more than 10 million cranes each year...
...The paper cranes presented by the UN are highly significant, Mr. Oku said. “We believe that paper cranes could help forge the momentum for world peace and strengthen public opinion seeking a world without nuclear weapons, through conveying this episode to the world."...
Paper cranes from UN to Hiroshima on 65th anniversary of atomic bombing - NHK 100716
"..The local movement — 1,000 Peace Cranes - A Project of Remembrance, Vision and Action — began in August 2009. The committee’s goal was to create awareness of nuclear weaponry and encourage action to reduce the risk of nuclear attack. Throughout the year, the group hosted workshops to learn about the issue. Local businesses became display sites for 1,000 origami peace cranes made by various community groups, including students and service clubs.
Making origami cranes — an international symbol of world peace — and learning the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who contracted leukemia as a result of radiation from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945, helped the group get the project’s message to the community, Swan said. ..
"..Shortly thereafter, her best friend, Chizuko, came to visit her. Chizuko brought some origami (folding paper). She told Sadako of a legend. She explained that the crane, a sacred bird in Japan, lives for a hundred years, and if a sick person folds 1,000 paper cranes, then that person would soon get well. After hearing the legend, Sadako decided to fold 1,000 cranes in the hope that she would get well again....
Sadako kept folding cranes even though she was in great pain. Even during these times of great pain she tried to be cheerful and hopeful. Not long afterwards, with her family standing by her bed, Sadako went to sleep peacefully, never to wake up again. She had folded a total of 644 paper cranes.
Every one was very sad. Thirty-nine of Sadako's classmates felt saddened by the loss of their close friend and decided to form a paper crane club to honor her. Word spread quickly. Students from 3,100 schools and from 9 foreign countries gave money to the cause. On May 5, 1958, almost 3 years after Sadako died, enough money was collected to build a monument in her honor. It is now known as the Children's Peace Monument, and is located in the center of Hiroshima Peace Park, close to the spot where the atomic bomb was dropped...
Sadako Sasaki by Rachel Cohn
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- We were highly impressed recently in discovering the lifestyle of Toyohiko Kagawa, the Japanese businessman entrepreneur who influenced many, including Australia’s Fletcher Jones. You see, Toyohiko Kagawa avidly followed the teachings of Christ.
Toyohiko Kagawa (photo, c1920)
In Bible college, troubled by seminarians’ concern for the technicalities of religious doctrine, he would point to the parable of the Good Samaritan. Once he boldly said to his nation’s “godlike” ruler, “Emperor Hirohito, ‘Whosoever will be great among you...shall be the servant of all.’ A ruler's sovereignty, Your Majesty, is in the hearts of the people. Only by service to others can a man, or nation, be godlike.”
And that was Toyohiko Kagawa’s own lifestyle. Concerned with people’s misery in life, he went around seeking how he could bless so many and give them hope for a better future. Something else this social reformer, peace activist, evangelist and author is reported to have said, really stuck us: “I read in a book that a man called Christ went about doing good. It is very disconcerting to me that I am so easily satisfied with just going about.”
Wow! That should really hit it on the head as far as a lot of Christians, especially ministers, are concerned! So many of us are indeed content with the status quo and miss out on God’s greater picture for our lives, skills and abilities.
Personally, we keep coming across Christians who are so negative regarding their own future; who act and talk as if God doesn’t have a great plan for their lives. And that’s so sad! It doesn’t matter what age we are, what situation we’re in at present, we need to deal with every negative. Why? Because according to Jeremiah 29:11, God has a wonderful future organized for all who will seek his face, hear his assurances, listen to his directions and go for it.
Like Kagawa, we too are never satisfied with just “going about!” Our ministry of encouragement and inspiration is deliberately called Life Focus. Regularly – in mentoring, casual conversation, preaching or seminars - we tell people, even non-Christians: “Life is a gift...focus on it and live it to the max! Don’t waste one day!”
Our own first-up daily prayer? “Let this day be effective for you, Lord through Holy Spirit anointing and direction.” Then we live the day as normal, not under any pressure, but being available for the Lord and, importantly, sensitive to his Holy Spirit.
And this doesn’t mean running around being super-spiritual before everyone and Bible-bashing them into a false salvation or forcing them to go to church. Rather we just take every opportunity the Holy Spirit organizes for us to meet people and simply bless them. Blessing others – to us this means speaking a God-word, a kind word into people’s lives and encouraging them through being sensitive to the Spirit who can tell us where they’re at and what they need to hear.
Here’s a simple but very practical example. The other day we went for a rather late lunch to a favorite, inexpensive restaurant. At that hour we would normally have the place to ourselves but then a young couple, obviously very much in love, also came in for a meal and sat nearby. Then an Asian lady also came in but just ordered a coffee. A few moments later she came over to us, said it was her first time there and enquired if it was “a good place for full meals.”
It was one of those God-given opportunities to do what Jesus would do...make a good connection without being super-spiritual. We didn’t run out to grab a Bible, didn’t start preaching, didn’t immediately tell her about our great church where we base ourselves. Instead I simply said, “Yes, it definitely is” and we then pulled up a chair, inviting her to sit with us. Can’t tell you the full story but she suddenly opened up and shared so much of her heartache with us. Then we did the spiritual thing... even though it was a restaurant we reached out, laid hands on her head, prayed against pain, torments, threats and other problems and claimed peace and release for her in Jesus’ name. And she received it!
Then, believe it or not, we noticed the young couple nodding, agreeing with us in a quiet “Amen!” We then went to them and, on discovering that they were desperately seeking a good church, we blessed them also in prayer. Meaningful newly made connections had been achieved as these three were blessed in a simple way as we took advantage of being sensitive to the Holy Spirit during an everyday occurrence. Will they all be going to the church we recommended? We believe so, especially as we’ll be following them up. "
"manga messiah, un manga de la biblia.. tema de fondo banda Caballeros-"El Dios de Mis Sustento" "
The Manga Messiah
By Peter Wooding
Special to ASSIST News Service Wednesday, January 7, 2009 "JAPAN (ANS) -- Operation Mobilization workers in Japan have a new dynamic comic-book resource they believe will enable them overcome the daunting challenge of unlocking the Gospel message to the country’s 127 million population.
Cover of The Manga Messiah
Published by New Life League, The Manga Messiah is a 300-page comic book that depicts Jesus’ life from birth to resurrection.
Manga reaches all ages
Unlike their Western counterparts, young and old Japanese alike love comics, and it’s not unusual to observe a train full of commuters in the Tokyo rush-hour with their heads buried in the latest manga. “For reaching Japanese, this book is far more effective than showing the Jesus film,” stated one long-term missionary based in the country.
Half a millennia has passed since the first missionaries arrived in the country, yet today less than 1% of Japanese consider themselves Christian. The greatest obstacles to sharing God’s love – the language and cultural barriers – are well documented. However, OM workers based in the country are thrilled to have this new resource that might make all the difference.
Manga Messiah distributed by Elves and Santas
Once details of a website for readers to request more information was stamped inside, OM Japan partnered with The Evangelical Alliance Mission to distribute the Manga Messiah far and wide. Over 80 short-term volunteers from a dozen countries spent two weeks in festive costumes handing out the comic to shoppers in the town of Karuizawa.
The idea of dressing up as an elf or Santa Claus might seem a strange way to communicate the real meaning of Christmas, but Joel Kaufman (USA) immediately saw the benefit. “When a child receives a copy of Manga Messiah from Santa, that is something they are going to cherish and keep,” he noted.
With adaptations of the books of Genesis and Acts now published, the comics are certain to travel further than Japan’s shores. English-language translations are also available, and interest in these international versions is expected to be huge. For now though, the Manga Messiah is one Christmas present that every Japanese person who received it is unlikely to forget. "
"TOKYO – A ferocious tsunami unleashed by Japan's biggest recorded earthquake slammed into its eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it carried away ships, cars and homes, and triggered widespread fires that burned out of control.
Hours later, the waves washed ashore on Hawaii and the U.S. West coast, where evacuations were ordered from California to Washington but little damage was reported. The entire Pacific had been put on alert — including coastal areas of South America, Canada and Alaska — but waves were not as bad as expected.
In northeastern Japan, the area around a nuclear power plant was evacuated after the reactor's cooling system failed and pressure began building inside.
Police said 200 to 300 bodies were found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai, the city in Miyagi prefecture, or state, closest to the epicenter. But authorities said they weren't able to reach the area because of damage to the roads.
A police official, who declined to be named because of department policy, said it may be a while before rescuers could reach the area to get more precise body count. So far, they have confirmed 178 were killed, with 584 missing. Police also said 947 people were injured.
The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake triggered a 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami and was followed for hours by more than 50 aftershocks, many of them more than magnitude 6.0. In the early hours of Saturday, a magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck the central, mountainous part of the country — far from the original quake's epicenter. It was not immediately clear if this latest quake was related to the others.
Friday's massive quake shook dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of coast, including Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter. A large section of Kesennuma, a town of 70,000 people in Miyagi, burned furiously into the night with no apparent hope of being extinguished, public broadcaster NHK said.
Koto Fujikawa, 28, was riding a monorail when the quake hit and had to pick her way along narrow, elevated tracks to the nearest station.
"I thought I was going to die," Fujikawa, who works for a marketing company, said. "It felt like the whole structure was collapsing."
Scientists said the quake ranked as the fifth-largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and was nearly 8,000 times stronger than one that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month.
"The energy radiated by this quake is nearly equal to one month's worth of energy consumption" in the United States, U.S. Geological Survey Scientist Brian Atwater told The Associated Press.
President Barack Obama pledged U.S. assistance following what he called a potentially "catastrophic" disaster. He said one U.S. aircraft carrier is already in Japan, and a second is on its way. A U.S. ship was also heading to the Marianas Islands to assist as needed, he added.
An American man working at one of the nuclear plants near the coast when the quake hit said the whole building shook and debris fell from the ceiling. Danny Eudy, 52, a technician employed by Pasedena, Texas-based Atlantic Plant Maintenance, and his colleagues escaped the building just as the tsunami hit, his wife told The Associated Press.
"He walked through so much glass that his feet were cut. It slowed him down," said Pineville, Louisiana, resident Janie Eudy, who spoke to her husband by phone after the quake.
The group watched homes and vehicles be carried away in the wave and found their hotel mostly swept away when they finally reached it.
The government later ordered about 3,000 residents near that plant — in the city of Onahama — to move back at least two miles (three kilometers) from the plant. The reactor was not leaking radiation but its core remained hot even after a shutdown. The plant is 170 miles (270 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.
Japan's nuclear safety agency said pressure inside the reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant has risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal, and slightly radioactive vapor may be released to reduce the pressure.
The Defense Ministry said it had sent dozens of troops trained to deal with chemical disasters to the plant in case of a radiation leak.
Trouble was reported at two other nuclear plants, but there was no radiation leak at either of them.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan planned to hold an emergency Cabinet meeting early Saturday morning and them take a helicopter to the quake-hit area and the troubled nuclear power plants.
Japan's coast guard said it was searching for 80 dock workers on a ship that was swept away from a shipyard in Miyagi.
Even for a country used to earthquakes, this one was of horrific proportions because of the tsunami that crashed ashore, swallowing everything in its path as it surged several miles (kilometers) inland before retreating. The apocalyptic images on Japanese TV of powerful, debris-filled waves, uncontrolled fires and a ship caught in a massive whirlpool resembled scenes from a Hollywood disaster movie.
Large fishing boats and other vessels rode high waves ashore, slamming against overpasses or scraping under them and snapping power lines along the way. Upturned and partially submerged cars bobbed in the water. Ships anchored in ports crashed against each other.
At least two trains were swept off their tracks along the coast, but no one was hurt, though five passengers from one train scrambled to the roof of a nearby house.
The tsunami roared over embankments, washing anything in its path inland before reversing directions and carrying the cars, homes and other debris out to sea. Flames shot from some of the homes, probably because of burst gas pipes.
Waves of muddy waters flowed over farmland near Sendai, carrying buildings, some of them ablaze. Drivers attempted to flee. Sendai airport was inundated with thick, muddy debris that included cars, trucks, buses and even light planes.
Highways to the worst-hit coastal areas buckled. Telephone lines snapped. Train service in northeastern Japan and in Tokyo, which normally serve 10 million people a day, were suspended, leaving untold numbers stranded in stations or roaming the streets. Tokyo's Narita airport was closed indefinitely.
In one town alone on the northeastern coast, Minami-soma, some 1,800 houses were destroyed or badly ravaged, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said.
As night fell and temperatures hovered just above freezing, tens of thousands of people remained stranded in Tokyo, where the rail network was still down. The streets were jammed with cars, buses and trucks trying to get out of the city.
The city set up 33 shelters in city hall, on university campuses and in government offices, but many planned to spend the night at 24-hour cafes, hotels and offices.
Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda halted production at some assembly plants in areas hit by the quake. One worker was killed and more than 30 injured after being crushed by a collapsing wall at a Honda Motor Co. research facility in northeastern Tochigi prefecture, the company said.
Jesse Johnson, a native of the U.S. state of Nevada who lives in Chiba, north of Tokyo, was eating at a sushi restaurant with his wife when the quake hit.
"At first it didn't feel unusual, but then it went on and on. So I got myself and my wife under the table," he told The Associated Press. "I've lived in Japan for 10 years, and I've never felt anything like this before. The aftershocks keep coming. It's gotten to the point where I don't know whether it's me shaking or an earthquake."
NHK said more than 4 million buildings were without power in Tokyo and its suburbs.
A large fire erupted at the Cosmo oil refinery in the city of Ichihara and burned out of control with 100-foot (30-meter) flames whipping into the sky.
"Our initial assessment indicates that there has already been enormous damage," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. "We will make maximum relief effort based on that assessment."
He said the Defense Ministry was sending troops to the hardest-hit region. A utility aircraft and several helicopters were on the way.
Also in Miyagi prefecture, a fire broke out in a turbine building of a nuclear power plant, but it was later extinguished, said Tohoku Electric Power Co.
A reactor area of a nearby plant was leaking water, the company said. But it was unclear if the leak was caused by the tsunami or something else. There were no reports of radioactive leaks at any of Japan's nuclear plants.
Jefferies International Ltd., a global investment banking group, estimated overall losses of about $10 billion.
Hiroshi Sato, a disaster management official in northern Iwate prefecture, said officials were having trouble getting an overall picture of the destruction.
"We don't even know the extent of damage. Roads were badly damaged and cut off as tsunami washed away debris, cars and many other things," he said.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the 2:46 p.m. quake was magnitude 8.9, the biggest to hit Japan since record-keeping began in the late 1800s and one of the biggest ever recorded in the world.
The quake struck at a depth of six miles (10 kilometers), about 80 miles (125 kilometers) off the eastern coast, the agency said. The area is 240 miles (380 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. Several quakes hit the same region in recent days, including one measured at magnitude 7.3 on Wednesday that caused no damage.
A tsunami warning was extended to a number of areas in the Pacific, Southeast Asia and Latin America, including Japan, Russia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Chile. In the Philippines, authorities ordered an evacuation of coastal communities, but no unusual waves were reported.
Thousands fled homes in Indonesia after officials warned of a tsunami up to 6 feet (2 meters) high, but waves of only 4 inches (10 centimeters) were measured. No big waves came to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, either.
The first waves hit Hawaii about 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT). A tsunami about 7 feet (2.1 meters) high was recorded on Maui and a wave at least 3 feet (a meter) high was recorded on Oahu and Kauai. Officials warned that the waves would continue and could get larger.
Japan's worst previous quake was a magnitude 8.3 temblor in 1923 in Kanto that killed 143,000 people, according to USGS. A 7.2-magnitude quake in Kobe in 1995 killed 6,400 people.
Japan lies on the "Ring of Fire" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching around the Pacific where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur, including the one that triggered the Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated 230,000 people in 12 nations. A magnitude-8.8 temblor that shook central Chile in February 2010 also generated a tsunami and killed 524 people.
Associated Press writers Jay Alabaster, Mari Yamaguchi, Tomoko A. Hosaka and Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo; Jaymes Song in Honolulu and Mark Niesse in Ewa Beach, Hawaii; Seth Borenstein and Julie Pace in Washington, and Michael Kunzelman in New Orleans contributed to this report. "
Japan's Earthquake: The Timeline
"Added On March 11, 2011
Japan struggles to grasp the full magnitude of a devastating quake. CNN's Kate Bolduan reports."
Japan Earthquake Buildings Swaying - Education Videos
Live Broadcast of first moments of Earthquake
"Added On March 14, 2011
Japanese broadcaster NHK was reporting live as the magnitude 8.9 earthquake first struck Japan."
Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Days Shortened, The Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24 and The Book of Revelation - Education Videos
"The earthquake in Japan moved the earth's axis by four inches and sped up the Earth's rotation rate by 1.6 microseconds, shortening the length of our day. In Matthew 24, Christ said in the Olivet Discourse that unless those days were shortened no flesh
would be saved. When looking at the Book of Revelation, how short might our days get during the tribulation? Tags: earthquake japan chile tsunami "book of revelation" "matthew 24" prophecy "end times" tribulation "last days" rapture bible Christ apocalypse
gospel spirit holy seven four horsemen lord truth old storm salvation word religion church worship sins forgiveness."
Tsunami demolishes Japan's north coast
"Added On March 11, 2011
After an 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan, tsunami waves swept across northern Japan's coast."
Massive Whirlpool after quake
"Added On March 11, 2011
After an 8.9 magnitude quake hit off the coast of Japan, it generated a massive spinning whirlpool in the water."
Quake and Tsunami in Japan
"A helicopter news crew captures the devastating power of tsunami hitting land and laying waste to an entire town. Many are feared dead after the largest earthquake in Japan's recorded history slammed the eastern coast Friday, March 11, 2011."
Meanwhile, a huge fire engulfed an oil refinery in Iichihara near Tokyo, where four million homes were said to be without electricity. Plumes of smoke rose from at least 10 locations in the city.
Military airplanes were flying over the worst-affected areas to assess the need for rescue efforts and 30 international search and rescue teams were prepared to go to Japan to provide assistance following the quake, the United Nations said.
Tokyo's metro and suburban trains were halted and airports were closed for parts of the day.
The quake that struck at 2:46pm was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, including a 7.4-magnitude one about 30 minutes later.
Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan, reporting from Beijing, said tremors were felt as far away as the Chinese capital.
Several earthquakes have hit the region in recent days, including a 7.2-magnitude quake on Wednesday. Friday's quake struck at a depth of 24km, about 125km off the eastern coast, the country's meteorological agency said.
The earthquake's magnitude surpasses the 7.9 Great Kanto quake of 1923, which killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area....
"CBN NewsWatch: March 11, 2011s
On Friday's CBN Newswatch with Lee Webb and Wendy Griffith: Radiation levels surge after Japan’s deadly quake, Wisconsin’s budget bill is signed into law, reaction to yesterday’s radical Islam hearings, and more. "
Entire Towns Engulfed by Tsunami
"Added On March 11, 2011
A massive tsunami reached up to six miles inland, engulfing entire towns in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan's east coast."
Tsunami Swallows Roadway
"Added On March 18, 2011
The driver of a car films while a tsunami wave consumes a roadway and the car he's in."
"The powerful 8.9 magnitute earthquake that struck Japan early Friday caused radiation levels to surge at two nuclear power plants, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate in the already chaotic conditions.
Five reactors at the plants lost cooling ability in the quake's aftermath, sending radiation levels 1,000 times higher than normal inside the Fukushima Daiichi plant and eight times higher than normal outside.
Officials planned to release slightly radioactive vapor from one unit to lower the pressure in an effort to prevent a possible meltdown, but continuing power supply problem has delayed the process.
Meanwhile, hundreds are dead after the massive tsunami caused by the earthquake and up to 80,000 others are missing. The violent water wiped out entire neighborhoods and tossed around cars, boats and airplanes like toys."
"..."The big problem is if it can't cool and the (reactors') core starts to melt -- then you have the possibility of a greater release of radioactivity into the environment," Acton said. If that happens, "there's a possibility of cancer in the long term -- that's the main hazard here."...
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Science: Chemistry, etc...
Ground Shifts, Water Seeps During Earthquake
"Added On March 11, 2011
CNN iReporter Brent Kooi catches the earth moving and cracking beneath his feet as the quake strikes Japan."
"..Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9-magnitude quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters)...
The quake was the most powerful to hit the island nation in recorded history and the tsunami it unleashed traveled across the Pacific Ocean, triggering tsunami warnings and alerts for 50 countries and territories as far away as the western coasts of Canada, the U.S. and Chile. The quake triggered more than 160 aftershocks in the first 24 hours -- 141 measuring 5.0-magnitude or more.
"Minami Sanriku, Japan (CNN) -- A 60-year-old Japanese man was rescued Sunday more than nine miles out at sea after clinging to the swept-away remnants of his home for more than two days.
"I thought today was the last day of my life," Hiromitsu Shinkawa told his rescuers, according to Kyodo News Agency.
Amazing stories of survival began to emerge in Japan, even amid the horrific destruction of the massive quake and subsequent tsunami that has killed nearly 1,600, destroyed tens of thousands of homes and stoked fears of a potential nuclear power plant meltdown.
Three elderly people were found alive in a smashed car that had been tossed by the tsunami. Another woman clung to branches in a tree and took her chances by grabbing onto a floor mat that drifted nearby. The rushing currents pushed her around and around, past many buildings, she said. Her daughter was washed away and remains missing.
"Hiromitsu Shinkawa, the man rescued at sea, told rescuers he and his wife had returned home shortly after the 8.9-magnitude quake to pick up some belongings when the tsunami slammed the city of Minamisoma.
"I was saved by holding onto the roof, but my wife was swept away," he said, according to Kyodo.
Video showed him barely visible amid heaps of splintered wood, shattered homes and other debris floating more than nine miles (15 kilometers) at sea. He could be seen waving a self-made red flag.
Rescuers aboard a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer spotted him and quickly dispatched a smaller rescue boat to pick him up.
When a member of the force handed Hiromitsu something to drink on the rescue boat, he drank it and burst into tears, Kyodo reported.
"No helicopters or boats that came nearby noticed me," he said.
In Minami Sanriku, a town in northeastern Japan, a family photo album lay on the sodden ground, showing a beaming man holding a newborn baby -- happiness out of place amid the devastation.
It's been estimated that some 9,500 people -- half the town's population -- may be unaccounted for. Only a handful of buildings were left standing, with the rest a mangled mess of rubble. A boat sat on the edge of town, carried more than two miles inland by the tsunami.
When the tsunami warning sounded Friday, "most people ran away," said Choushin Takahaski, who was working in a local government office near the water.
"Some had to leave the elderly or disabled behind on the second floor. I think a lot of those left behind probably died."
As the wave hit, he said, it felt like a dream."
"I saw the bottom of the sea when the tidal wave withdrew and houses and people were being washed out," another resident said. "I couldn't watch anymore."
Forty-two people were found alive Sunday in Minami Sanriku. Search-and-rescue efforts were frequently disturbed by tsunami alerts prompted by ongoing aftershocks.
When the alarm sounded, police abandoned their cars, rescue workers blew whistles and people rushed to high ground. "It's your life!" shouted one man. "Run!" It was a false alarm, but such warnings are taken seriously in the wake of the disaster.
In Sendai, south of Minami Sanriku, Hiroki Otomo said his mother and uncle remain missing. They were at the family's home when the tsunami struck.
"Frightening beyond belief," Otomo said. "I have no words."
Many areas of the town are simply gone -- mud and boards littering an area where a row of homes used to stand. A vehicle was found upside-down among tree branches. A school, which had 450 people inside when the tsunami hit, stood with its doors blown open and a jumble of furniture -- plus a truck -- in its hallways. Some teachers and students were able to escape the building, but officials said others did not.
Sendai residents said the water reached the treetops as it swept into the town. Cars were tossed like toys, windows blasted out and homes crushed or swept away completely.
"As I was trying to evacuate, the tsunami was already in front of me," another young man said. "I tried to drive, but I ended up running instead."
Survivors Await Word on Missing
"Added On March 14, 2011
CNN's Kyung Lah talks with people at a shelter who suffered losses in the earthquake and tsunami."
Amid the silent corpses a baby cried out - and Japan met its tiniest miracle.
On March 14 soldiers from the Japanese Defense Force were going door-to-door, pulling bodies from homes flattened by the earthquake and tsunami in Ishinomaki City, a coastal town northeast of Senda. More accustomed to the crunching of rubble and the sloshing of mud than to the sound of life, they dismissed the baby's cry as a mistake. Until they heard it again. (See 7 ways to help earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan.)
They made their way to the pile of debris, and carefully removed fragments of wood and slate, shattered glass and rock. And then they saw her: a four-month old baby girl in a pink woolen bear suit.
The tidal wave literally swept the unnamed girl away from her parents' arms when it hit their home on March 11. Since then her parents - both of whom survived the disaster - have taken refuge in their wrecked house, and worried that their little girl was dead. Soldiers managed to reunite the baby with her overjoyed father shortly after the rescue.
"Her discovery has put a new energy into the search," a civil defense official told a local news crew. "We will listen, look and dig with even more diligence after this." Ahead of the baby's rescue, officials reported finding at least 2,000 bodies washed up on the shoreline of Miyagi prefecture. How the child survived drowning - or being crushed by fallen trees and houses - remains a mystery. (See pictures of the calamity of Japan's quake.)
In a nation short on good news, other rescues have buoyed morale, too. In Iwate prefecture, northeastern Japan, the devastating tidal wave swept away an elderly woman along with her entire house - but it couldn't extinguish her will to live.
Rescuers found the 70-year-old alive inside her home on March 15, four days after the black tidal wave wiped out much of the region. Osaka fire department spokesman Yuko Kotani told the Associated Press the woman is now receiving treatment in a local hospital. She is conscious but suffering from hypothermia. (See how to tend to Japan's psychological scars.)
Elsewhere, 60-year old Hiromitsu Shinkawa survived two days at sea by clinging on to his floating rooftop. He was discovered 10 miles off the Japanese coastline. "Several helicopters and ships passed but none of them noticed me," he said after his March 13 rescue. "I thought that was going to be the last day of my life." (via Daily Mail)"
"Riverside, California (CNN) -- Akiko Kosaka, a student from Japan attending the University of California at Riverside, had lost all hope for her family in Minami Sanriku, the fishing village where more than half of the 17,000 residents are missing and feared dead in the aftermath of last week's tsunami.
For three days, she scoured the Internet. She received one e-mail that her youngest sister, Yukako, 13, was likely safe in her middle school's shelter. But what about her parents, paternal grandparents and older sister, who all lived under the same roof?
When the mayor was quoted in the media as saying he barely survived the tsunami, Kosaka thought the worst, because her father's pharmacy was located near the town hall.
"I didn't think they survived," Kosaka, 20, told CNN during a tearful interview Tuesday. "I cried for three days -- Friday, Saturday, Sunday."
Then she received word Sunday night from a friend in Japan of the existence of a 45-second YouTube video showing her family home as the only one standing amid the rubble. The video highlighted her older sister holding a sign to a TV news crew saying in Japanese "we are all safe."
Kosaka expressed relief upon hearing of the video, but became distraught after she couldn't find it online, despite staying up all night looking for it.
Then a contact through a Japanese social network e-mailed her the link Monday morning.
When seeing the video for the first time inside the home of her host family in Riverside, California, Kosaka's reaction surprised everyone in the household.
"I screamed, and my host parents woke up and they thought it was really bad," Kosaka said. "They asked what happened. And I said, 'They survived!'"
In the video, her 24-year-old sister, Shoko, is standing on the family home's balcony, off Kosaka's bedroom, and is asking the TV crew to pass along word to her sister in America that she's safe.
Now Kosaka is trying to respond by using the media and the Internet to inform her relatives she's aware of their message -- though she's still concerned about them in the obliterated coastal village, which media accounts liken to a ghost town.
Kosaka has yet to see her father, Katsumi; mother, Noriko; or paternal grandparents on any video -- or receive any word from them.
Though she speaks English, Kosaka extended a message to them, in Japanese, through a CNN news crew: "I saw your video and thank you very much for being alive, and thank you very much for being worried about me when you are in a tough situation. How are our grandparents? How are our parents?"
After asking about the family's pharmacy business, Kosaka ends her message with, "I look forward to seeing you guys again."
In the offices of the University of California at Riverside Extension program, where she began a yearlong study of English last September, Kosaka provided a personal narrative to the stark footage of her hometown street now in ruins.
Kosaka's family home is the only one left standing on a hill because her father reconstructed the two-story house with a basement five years ago, Kosaka said. The other houses in the neighborhood were aging, she said.
Kosaka expressed shock that the earthquake or the tsunami demolished the block because she thought the area would be safe on high ground, she said. Her family's house has a scenic view of the ocean, just a five-minute walk away, she said.
In the video, a news crew approaches the family house, and Kosaka's older sister is wearing a white helmet and holds up one sign saying, "Kosaka Family," and then another saying, "We are all safe."
At another point in the video, the older sister indicates she's holding up the signs to the camera crew "because my younger sister is in America. We are all okay."
When Kosaka heard of the video's existence, she thought to herself, "I couldn't believe it. It's a miracle," she said.
Since seeing the video, she watched it over and over again -- at least "50 or something" times within about 24 hours, she said, offering a wild guess.
As she reviewed the video again Tuesday morning, Kosaka was still incredulous.
"This is my house," she said, viewing the video on a university office computer. "When I saw this video, I was very shocked by it. I thought (the hillside community) was safe. There were houses next to my house, but they were destroyed. That means the tsunami came up to the house."
She was moved to see her sister shouting to the news crew from the balcony. "It makes me very happy," Kosaka said. "It's the only way to hear her voice."
Her sister's voice, though, struck Kosaka as "tired and depressed."
"Maybe she tries to stay strong for my family. So I'm very proud of her," Kosaka said.
She believes her parents are likely OK, but her grandfather, Yoshio, is 85 and grandmother, Soyoko, is 80.
"My grandparents are old, so I'm worried about their health," Kosaka said, adding no one in her hometown probably has water, and the winter weather is still cold, with snow.
She's also worried about the family pharmacy, where her father, 52, is a pharmacist and her mother assists. The family opened it 10 years ago.
"I think it was his dream," Kosaka added.
Since Kosaka saw the video, she has been sharing her story with classmates. "I cried in front of them too much," she said Tuesday.
The University of California at Riverside Extension is the continuing education branch of the university and has an enrollment of 4,000 students from 60 countries who participate in English-language study or certificate programs, said Bronwyn Jenkins-Deas, associate dean and head of international programs.
Of the 4,000 students, 109 of them are from Japan, and five of them had families affected by the quake or tsunami or both, Jenkins-Deas said.
It is only Kosaka, though, who has yet to have direct contact with her family, Jenkins-Deas said.
"The story is quite amazing," Jenkins-Deas added."
Miracles in a Sea of Death
"Added On March 15, 2011
A man is pulled from the rubble 96 hours after the Japan quake hit. NHK reports on stories of miraculous survival."
Man Rescued 8 Days After Quake
"A man is found alive in the rubble of a home, eight days after the earthquake struck Japan."
"NASUSHIOBARA, JAPAN (ANS) -- A Liberian church leader has miraculously escaped the devastating 9.00 earthquake followed by the Tsunami just days after it hit the country.
According to the Reverend Kortu K. Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Concerned Christian Community (CCC), a premier Liberian Christian NGO, Mrs. Miatta R. Sirleaf, Director of Church Aid Incorporated (CAI) and also Church Administrator of New Water in the Desert Assembly in Brewerville, Liberia, had arrived in northeast Japan on March 4, 2011, for a one-year work-study at the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in Nasushiobara. ....
"With our students for this year not yet arriving, most of the staff were in the middle of a planning meeting for this coming school year, beginning in April, and most of the volunteers were out in the field planting for the coming year.
"This ended up being a blessing from God as we were all able to stay out of harm’s way with no injuries among our community and the people in the houses surrounding the schools.
"But as we escaped, fearing the wires overhead and the trees all around, we watched as windows busted and buildings shook around us here at ARI.
"After the first tremors stopped, we started checking the buildings and houses around us to make sure everyone was out and OK. Several staff and volunteers came crying and running out of the main building where our offices are and others came out of their houses as the tremors continued.”
The message went on to say, “That evening, we brought what we could outside, began a fire (all in 30 degree weather) and tried to make the best of the situation. We invited neighbors and had dinner there.
"We would remain without water, gas and electricity into the next day (there are still some towns in the immediate area without electricity and water). We didn't know the damage here or around Japan, because it was getting darker and it was hard to get any information, much less make phone calls.
"We relied on radio reports and many of us decided to sleep outside or all together at the Nasu Seminar House, which we normally use as a guest house and didn’t seemed to be damaged. Throughout the night tremors continued and we didn't get much sleep, but Saturday morning did finally come.
"The next day, as the tremors continued, we all gathered, as usual, at 7 AM and decided that we needed to take care of the animals and get the buildings checked to know what was safe and not. We helped out with several of our neighbors who also had the insides of their houses pretty much fall in and we also tried to clean up the things we could, especially broken glass, busted water pipes, around the campus."
The writer continued by saying, "Electricity returned that morning, but water has remained down because of busted pipes on the campus. The Seminar House had water, as did some of our neighbors. So we used those to get water for the animals, and for toilets, etc. ....
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Foods: Agriculture, Horticulture-Gardening, Farming, etc...
"JAPAN (ANS) -- Extraordinary news emerged from the tsunami coast when police reported they had found an 80-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy still alive under rubble in a tsunami-smashed city.
According to a story by the Daily Mail’s Richard Shears, the report was greeted with skepticism at first following claims on Saturday that a young man had been found alive in his house after clinging to life for eight days - when in fact he had returned to his home from a shelter.
But police in the Mikako prefecture were insisting there was no mistake about the two people found alive under rubble.
The Daily Mail said no details were immediately available, other than police saying rescuers were scouring debris when they found the elderly woman and the young man.
"They were in a very weakened state, but have responded to initial treatment by the rescuers,” the Daily Mail reported a police spokesman said.
Police said the two were found in the city of Ishinomaki, nine days after the earthquake and tsunami, a survival which has stunned medical teams.
The two people are a grandmother and her grandson.
The Daily Mail said the Japanese TV network NHK quoted police in Miyagii prefecture as saying the elderly woman and the teenager had responded to shouts from a police rescue team.
The two people rescued had responded to shouts from a police rescue team. “They were weak, but conscious,” the Daily Mail reported a police spokesman said.
At Ishinomomaki's Red Cross hospital, where the survivors had been taken, the Daily Mail reported a spokesman said they were receiving treatment.
"I had only a glimpse of the elderly woman, who had her eyes closed,” said the spokesman. “She didn't appear to be dead.”
The news came as authorities announced they had restored power to the Fukushima plant.
Three hundred engineers have been struggling inside the danger zone to salvage the six-reactor plant in the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago.
"I think the situation is improving step by step,” the Daily Mail reported Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama told a news conference.
The workers, braving high radiation levels in suits sealed in duct tape, managed to connect power to the No. 2 reactor, crucial to their attempts to cool it down and limit the leak of deadly radiation, the Daily Mail reported the Kyodo news agency said.
It added that plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) aimed to restore the control room function, lights and the cooling at the No. 1 reactor, which is connected to the No.2 reactor by cable.
But, the Daily Mail reported, rising cases of contaminated vegetables, dust and water have raised new fears and the government said it will decide by Monday on whether to restrict consumption and shipments of food from the quake zone.
Police said they believed more than 15,000 people had been killed by the double disaster in Miyagi prefecture, one of four in Japan's northeast that took the brunt of the tsunami damage. In total, more than 20,000 are dead or missing, the Daily Mail reported police said.
According to the Daily Mail, the unprecedented crisis will cost the world's third largest economy as much as $248 billion and require Japan's biggest reconstruction push since post-World War Two. "
"In the wake of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Genki Sudo, Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, Ryo Chonan and many more members of the MMA community have rallied to raise money for those affected by the disasters, creating volunteer programs and even personally driving trucks full of supplies to northern Japan.
Former Shooto heavyweight champion and Pride veteran Enson Inoue has been among those who have traveled to northeast Japan to directly help earthquake and tsunami victims. MMA Fighting spoke with Inoue about his experiences during the earthquake, his charity work in the aftermath and the grim realities in the Tohoku region that you do not see on TV.
MMA Fighting: What were you doing when the earthquake hit?
Enson Inoue: When the quake hit, I was in my home in Saitama. We get a lot of tremors in Japan so at first I wasn't really worried about it. It just kept going on and on though. It lasted about seven or eight minutes and at one point it was easily the strongest earthquake I've ever felt. I've been in Japan for 21 years now, and we get earthquakes all the time, but I'd never felt anything like that.
I hope your friends and family are OK?
Yes, I'm fortunate in that none of my friends or family were harmed by the quake. Many acquaintances have lost friends and family members though, and I have heard a lot of stories.
Was your house damaged at all by the quake?
My house was OK, just some bottles broken and things like that, but surprisingly the walls of my house all cracked. I turned on the TV to see how bad the earthquake was and then I see that the epicenter was around 300 km north in Sendai. After feeling how strong it was in Saitama, and seeing how far away [the earthquake epicenter] was, I knew it was going to be bad, but even then I wasn't even thinking about the damage from the tsunami.
After the earthquake and tsunami hit and you could see how bad the damage was, what was your reaction and what did you do?
For the first few days, I sat at home and was glued to the TV, just watching the news. Then I heard from a friend of mine that the radiation from Fukushima was going to hit Tokyo and my first thought was that I have a gym down south in Kyoto so I'm going to go there and be safe. But after thinking about it for a couple days, I felt something pulling me to go north into the disaster area.
What do you think was pulling you?
I believe in Yamato-damashii, which means the samurai spirit, and I think that was the thing pulling me north. It was like in my fight with Igor Vovchanchyn. I knew he was an incredible striker, and for a moment in the beginning I said to myself, 'F--- this,' and clinched. After about 30 seconds, although it felt like about five minutes, I realized that this was a test of my spirit so I stood back and traded punches with him. To me, going to Kyoto was like me clinching in my fight with Igor, and I think it showed that my spirit isn't strong yet. Although, I would be kind of worried if my first instinct was to go immediately north into the radiation.
You went by yourself, right?
I went by myself because I actually didn't have anyone who offered to go with me. I had a lot of people telling me not to go though!
What was it like driving up through Fukushima and into the areas that were badly hit by the tsunami?
Driving up through Fukushima felt like I was stepping outside into the rain. Like something came over me when I realized what I was doing. The highways were like roller coasters. Because of the earthquake there were cracks everywhere and the roads were really rippled with ups and downs all over the place. I have a radiation detector, and I was constantly checking that as I was going up.
What did you take up?
I had a Hummer loaded of supplies. I had over 100 pounds of rice, cases of water, curry, ramen, tampons for ladies, diapers for babies, diapers for elderly, a lot of junk food. You know for me, what I would be wanting is potato chips and chocolate. A lot of clothing, a lot of socks, anything I could think of. My Hummer was just filled.
What is it like in the evacuation centers?
It's a weird feeling walking into [the evacuation centers]. I don't want to smile when I'm in there but at the same time I want to smile too. The evacuation centers are literally their homes now. I felt like I'm invading their home. I don't want people to think, 'You have a house, what are you doing here? Are you sight-seeing?'
There are kids playing and not even knowing what's going on. Some adults are making the best of it, they're appreciating that they have their lives and that they have a roof over their head. Then there are those that are just sitting there and staring into space. It's overwhelming to walk in those places. Some places have over 800 people in there and you know that they have lost everything. There are still shades of sunlight in those centers though. People laughing and talking. It's a thousand emotions all in one building.
Did you ever have a moment that made you suddenly realize the extent of the damage?
At one place, I was passing out supplies and I asked this guy if he needs anything and he said, 'Shoes.' I said, 'Shoes? You need shoes? I don't know your size?' and he just told me that any size is OK. I looked down at his feet and he had these tiny little plastic bathroom slippers. Then I realized that these guys just put whatever on their feet and ran out of their houses and lost everything. It's stuff like shoes. Things you assume everyone has. It was then that it really hit me and I realized what these people went through. So I went to another town and bought 25 pairs of shoes to give out and they were all gone in like 30 seconds.
Do you see these people getting help? Is the money that has been donated reaching those in need?
The aid is frustrating for me because I know there has been millions of dollars donated but when I was in those evacuation centers I was wondering where that money was going. It's so frustrating because the money is so hard to see. When I first went to the areas hit by the tsunami, I stopped my truck at the donation point and they wanted to take it off to a big storage room. Across the street, I could see people who needed things, and even though that stuff in the storage room would reach them eventually, with my selfish nature I wanted to see it go directly to the people.
What I am doing now is mostly walking through the evacuation center and spending time with these people and getting to know them and then throwing the question, 'Do you have cigarettes? Are you OK for blankets? Do you need anything?' and I'm getting personal responses and getting personal suggestions. Then I'll drive 150 km to the next town and get those necessities for them. I spent $1,000 on cigarettes last time I went back! I was freaking out, I don't smoke so I didn't know how expensive they were! I got mobbed when I took them in! I'm glad I don't smoke, you know?!
Is there anything happening in the Tohoku region that we aren't seeing on TV or in the media?
Well they can't really show the bodies on TV. When I first drove up there, there were still bodies, but they weren't just laying everywhere. When I walked through the rubble, I could see a hand down in the cracks, a leg in the forest or a body hanging on a tree. When you go to the ocean, I saw a leg under a bridge. When I came back to Tokyo, most of that was cleaned up, but 80 percent of the rubble hasn't been touched yet. There are still bodies everywhere in there. It smells too. There's a lot of dead fish there, and it smells like dead fish, but there is a little ... twang to it. There are definitely bodies under there.
There are certain areas up there you can go and claim dead bodies. They haven't shown the city halls on TV. It was remarkable. The second floor in city halls is where you claim dead relatives, and in one place, the line was like 60 people long. The walls are pasted with names of the missing and people posting information about what shelter they are in. It's not even close to being over for so many people who are still missing their loved ones.
Note: Enson Inoue is not asking for donations and suggests that if people can help, they should donate to the Red Cross.
If people would like to contribute to the work he is doing specifically, then he does accept money donated via PayPal and promises that 100% of the funds donated will go straight to those in need. His next trip to the Tohoku region will be on April 11. Enson Inoue's PayPal address is: firstname.lastname@example.org"
"Tokyo (CNN) -- A powerful quake struck Japan on Thursday, killing two and triggering a tsunami warning for one prefecture and advisories in others, officials said.
The warning and advisories were lifted about 90 minutes later, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, but it left millions of Japanese rattled. The quake was closer to the Japanese coast than last month's 9.0-magnitude quake.
There were reports of two casualties in the earthquake zone, and 132 people were injured, officials said. Seventeen of the 132 were thought to have serious injuries, the National Police Agency said. A handful of roads were damaged as well as a few homes. The Yamagata Prefectural office said a 63-year-old woman died after a power outage caused by the quake stopped her oxygen, which relied on electricity. A second person died in the Miyagi Prefecture, the office there said, though it did not say who or how.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was a magnitude 7.4. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was 7.1. The USGS also said Thursday's quake could be considered an aftershock, making it the biggest one since the March 11 quake.
Workers evacuated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after the quake, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said. The company said it has communication with the plant, and the power is still on there. There were no immediate reports of damage, it said.
The workers returned later and were assessing any impact, CNN's Kyung Lah reported Friday. TEPCO later said its work was not impacted by the quake.
About four million homes remained without power, police said, and water and train services were disrupted in some places.
The quake's epicenter was off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The USGS said the quake was centered 41 miles (66 kilometers) from Sendai -- one of the areas worst hit by last month's 9.0-magnitude quake -- and 73 miles (118 kilometers) from Fukushima, where a crisis has been under way at the nuclear plant since last month's tsunami.
Public broadcaster NHK had reported a tsunami warning for Miyagi, saying people in that area should evacuate away from the shore to a safe place.
NHK also reported tsunami advisories for the Pacific coast of Aomori Prefecture, and for the Iwate, Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said based on all available data, "a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is not a tsunami threat to Hawaii."
The quake was centered 207 miles (333 kilometers) from Tokyo, the USGS said. It was 30.4 miles (49 kilometers) deep, the agency reported. The Japanese Meteorological Agency estimated the depth as 60 kilometers.
The earthquake took place shortly after 11:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. ET)."
"OFUNATO, Japan (Reuters) - With a moment of silence, prayers and anti-nuclear rallies, Japan marked on Sunday one year since an earthquake and tsunami killed thousands and set off a radiation crisis that shattered public trust in atomic power and the nation's leaders.
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake unleashed a wall of water that hit Japan's northeast coast, killing nearly 16,000 and leaving nearly 3,300 unaccounted for. The country is still grappling with the human, economic and political costs.
In the port town of Ofunato, hundreds of black-clad residents gathered to lay white chrysanthemums in memory of the town's 420 dead and missing.
"We can't just stay sad. Our mission is to face reality and move forward step by step," said Kosei Chiba, 46, who lost his mother and wife in the disaster.
"But the damage the town suffered was too big and our psychological scars are too deep. We need a long time to rebuild."
The country observed a minute of silence at 2:46 p.m. (0546 GMT), the time the quake struck.
Residents of Ofunato gathered before a makeshift altar with a calm, sun-flecked sea behind them. Ofunato paused again 33 minutes later -- the time when a year ago a 23-metre (75-foot) tsunami engulfed the town of 41,000.
Just a kilometer (half a mile) from Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco) wrecked Fukushima plant, where reactor meltdowns triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, residents of the abandoned town of Okuma were allowed back for just a few hours to honor the dead.
"It was a wonderful place. If it wasn't for all that has happened, I'd be able to come back. But thanks to Tepco, I wasn't even able to search for the bodies of my relatives," said Tomoe Kimura, 93, who lost four members of her family in the tsunami, two of whom were never found.
Authorities have imposed a 20-km (12 mile) no-go zone around the plant and residents may never be allowed back.
"My home is in Namie town, so we can't go home," said Katsuko Ishii, who had to flee from the exclusion zone.
"There are really no words for it," said Ishii, attending a memorial service with her 3-year-old daughter in Iwaki City, Fukushima prefecture.
Along the northeast coast, police and coastguard officers, urged on by families of the missing, continue their dogged search for remains despite diminishing chances of finding any.
RESOLVE AND ANGER
The prevailing mood in tsunami-hit communities was one of solemn reflection and resolve to move on despite frustration with the confused official response and slow pace of rebuilding.
In contrast, those who felt betrayed by Japan's "nuclear village" -- the powerful nexus of utilities, politicians and bureaucrats that promoted nuclear power as clean and safe -- were less forgiving.
"We are angry at Tepco and came here to show our anger," said Tomoe Suzuki, 65, a restaurant owner and chef.
"The earthquake was something that was unavoidable because it was a natural disaster, but you can't stay quiet about Fukushima because it's a man-made disaster," she said, marching with about 12,000 other protesters to form a "human chain" around the parliament building in the capital city Tokyo.
The protest was one of several around the country including in Koriyama City in Fukushima prefecture, where some 16,000 people gathered to express their pain and anger, and call for the scrapping of all Japan's reactors. Before the disasters they accounted for 30 percent of the country's electricity supply, but most have since been shut down for checks and maintenance.
The Japanese people earned the world's admiration for their composure, discipline and resilience in the face of the disaster, while its companies impressed with the speed with which they bounced back.
As a result, the $5 trillion economy looks set to return to pre-disaster levels in coming months with the help of about $230 billion earmarked for a decade-long rebuilding effort agreed in rare cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties.
Emperor Akihito, recovering from coronary bypass surgery last month, attended a memorial service in Tokyo's National Theatre and urged people to work together, echoing his unprecedented televised address five days after the disaster.
"I hope all the people will keep the victims in their hearts and work so that the situation in the disaster-hit areas improves," the 78-year-old monarch said.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who took over in September from Naoto Kan -- who was premier at the time the disasters struck -- pledged to work for recovery:
"Our forebears who built this country's prosperity have emerged from each crisis even stronger. We will fulfill our historic mission of realizing the rebirth of this nation."
Yet many people are increasingly disillusioned about the political establishment's ability to tell the truth and rise to the occasion, a deep lack of trust that one commentator called "the fourth disaster of March 11".
Politicians and bureaucrats drew fire for the chaotic response to the Fukushima disaster and disappointed many with their failure to seize the moment to tackle the ills which have plagued Japan for over two decades.
After a brief truce, parliamentary squabbles resumed, giving Japan its sixth leader in five years and now threatening to block an important tax reform and stall other business, including the launch of a more independent nuclear watchdog.
Tepco, criticized by many for its failure to prepare for the disaster, issued a fresh apology.
"Each and every member of our company and its group remembers March 11 and will work with our all hearts to solve challenges with safety as our first priority," Tepco President Toshio Nishizawa, who marked the anniversary at the plant, said in a statement.
Slow progress in drawing up plans for the tsunami-damaged and radiation-contaminated region is deepening the misery of survivors, about 326,000 of whom are still homeless, including 80,000 evacuated from the vicinity of the Fukushima plant.
While the government declared it had reached "cold shutdown" in December, the nation lives under a cloud of anxiety over the long-term health effects of radiation. It also faces the huge financial burden of dismantling the plant and cleaning up an area the size of Luxembourg -- a task that will take decades and technologies yet to be developed.
Taxpayers, who face proposed sales tax increases to help fund the country's debt, will also need to pay tens of billions of dollars to prop up the still politically powerful Tepco.
($1 = 81.4000 yen)
(Additional reporting by Chris Meyers in Okuma, Yuriko Nakao in Koriyama City and Antoni Slodkowski and Taiga Uranaka in Tokyo; Writing by Tomasz Janowski; Editing by Linda Sieg, Robert Birsel, Daniel Magnowski)
Continuing challenges for Japan
CNN|Added on March 11, 2012
"CNN's Kyung Lah and John Vause discuss the challenges Japan faces as rebuilding continues since the tsunami."
"(CNN) -- From uncertainty to courage, distrust to control, and despair to hope.
Survivors of the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan have searched for what was lost, sometimes finding more.
"The broken glass has been swept away, the building cracks have been filled and repaired, the pavements have been evened out and to all appearances here in Tokyo, on the surface, everything continues as normal," Nicky Washida wrote on CNN iReport. "The 'wa' -- harmony -- has been restored. But scratch away just underneath and this is a city that has figuratively and literally been rocked to its core."
In the quest to rebuild their lives, Washida and four others found inner strength, compassion, community, new love and even a new life.
Faith, love and motivation
Christina Ras nearly left Japan for her native Philippines after the earthquake.
"During this one year period of time, the consequences and effects of the earthquake affected my plans, perspective and attitude of dealing with life, especially as a foreigner in Japan," she wrote in her iReport. "I had to make a plan B. I was very frustrated that living in Japan will be worthless. It was traumatizing and depressing."
Ras came to Japan nearly two years ago to study Japanese at the Shinjuku International Exchange School in hopes of becoming a teacher. But after the earthquake, the 24-year-old found it hard to focus on studying. Five of her classmates dropped out and returned to their countries.
"I didn't see any hope back then," she said via Skype. "I [didn't] know what to do, I [didn't] know who to run to but I don't want to go home."
With the economy struggling, Ras found work giving one-on-one lessons in English. She stopped participating in activities she enjoyed, like dance classes and singing, so she could focus on recovering from the earthquake. But she felt even more like an outsider.
Eventually she realized why she was having such a hard time with Japanese.
"I needed to learn the language deeply and in my heart," she said. "If you learn it, you learn the culture."
A trinity of forces brought her life back on track: faith, love and reconnecting with her Japanese classmates.
"I wanted to be involved more. I wanted to know the Japanese people," she said about joining extracurricular activities and social events through school.
It was around the same time, in May, that she returned to church. Her faith had yo-yoed, but her belief was strong again.
"People who have faith in God have positive vibes and are more optimistic," she explained. "If you go with the negative people, you lose yourself, your strength."
Ras opened up her heart to God and somewhere along the line, she opened up her heart to love, too.
A few weeks before the earthquake, she had met Hiroshi Inaba, who seemed, she says, like a "nice and good-looking guy." Despite persistent Facebook messages and other attempts to court her, Ras said no when he asked her out. Always focusing on her future, Ras had never given herself the chance to fall in love, she said.
With the earthquake and every aftershock after that, Inaba called or texted Ras to let her know he was safe. She found herself doing the same for him. Living in towns two hours apart, they shared their worries of aftershocks, food shortages and the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
"There were many nights that we would go on talking through Skype until dawn," she wrote in her iReport. "Those were the means where we could have intimate talks, know each other deeply and the only given time that we can be ourselves freely."
Three months later, she finally said yes to a date with Inaba.
Love wasn't far behind.
"At first, it was such a euphoria to have an escape from the turmoil we were having but as we were both recovering, we found that strong companionship of getting over and moving on," she said. "Having some love in your heart gives you inspiration, reason, strength, optimistic perspective and it gave me a new direction when I almost didn't know what to do next."
Ras continued studying Japanese, graduated with her degree on Friday, and even found a good job that might turn into a full-time opportunity.
Her sense of direction restored, she is grateful that she didn't give up and leave Japan.
"I realized back then I had a lot of time that was taken from me and a lot of opportunities," she said passionately. "I survived and I still am here, so I might as well work hard and do my best -- take back what was lost from me. ... It would just be for nothing if I go home."
"Nearly 600,000 meals to be shipped to Japan by late March--with possibly more to come as other aid organizations request FMSC food. The first 50,000 meals are already on their way to Tokyo on a shipment with Convoy of Hope, a distribution partner working in the Far East. Convoy of Hope has reserved another 542,000 meals that will be shipped out of the Eagan and Coon Rapids, Minnesota, warehouses bound for ocean liners to Japan. So far, the meals for Japan are already packed and in storage, but volunteers and donors are needed every day to keep FMSC's meal pipeline full for the nearly 70 countries FMSC serves."
"PERHAM, Minn. (KSAX) - Several in the Perham community came together Monday to pray for the people of Japan and listen to a Japanese exchange student with family living there.
Shohgo Suzuki has lived in Perham since last fall, but earlier this month, his focus shifted from sports and classes to an earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands in his native Japan.
The 17-year-old said after seeing what was happening in Japan on the news, he got worried when his family wouldn't answer his phone calls that morning.
"I couldn't call my dad or mom, because I (had) to go to school," Suzuki said. "So, after school, I tried to call them more than ten times, but they didn't answer." "I was wondering if they are ok. And if they were not ok, I didn't know what to do."
Later that day, Suzuki was able to reach his father who told him everyone in the family was ok, including one sister still in Japan, and his mother and other sister who were in Hawaii vacationing. Suzuki said there was relatively minor damage done to their home town of Tokyo, which is several hours away from the most effected areas in northern Japan.
Although Suzuki's friends and family are safe, he said he still feels the need to help out and ask others for support.
"(Many in Japan) have to be refugees in schools, gyms, hospitals ... I hope they can come back (to) their lives soon, very soon," he said.
Monday, he and his host father, Pastor Dirk Currier held a prayer service at Northwoods Assembly of God in Perham, and accepted donations to help those suffering, to contribute to an estimated $235 billion in damages.
"You can't do it all. You're not going to change the difference. But if you do something, and if everybody does something, that makes a difference," Currier said.
"Japan is almost broken, so I just want everyone to care about Japan," Suzuki said.
To make a donation, visit: convoyofhope.org, or contact the Northwoods Assembly of God at 945 W Main St, Perham MN, 56573.
Written for the web by Joe Nelson.
'SPRINGFIELD, MO (ANS) -- Soon after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Response team established connection with in-country partners who have been impacted by the damage and are identifying the needs and areas where Convoy of Hope may be of the greatest assistance.
"It’s the fifth-largest earthquake ever recorded,” says Kary Kingsland, senior vice president of Global Initiatives for Convoy of Hope.
Soon aftre the quake struck Japan, Kingsland said: “Now we are monitoring the tsunami waves that are headed for Hawaii and the West Coast and we will respond to the needs in Japan and in the United States as needed.”
The earthquake struck Japan’s coast at 11:46 p.m. CST, March 10. Dozens of aftershocks followed and 20 tsunami warnings were issued to 20 countries in the Pacific Rim.
If the tsunami was to cause major devastation on the West Coast, Convoy of Hope stood ready to deploy teams and supplies to devastated areas.
"We are dispatching our teams to the region now and we hope to distribute water and emergency supplies as soon as possible. We will respond to the needs in Japan and in the United States as needed," said Kingsland.
Ron Showers, direct of Global Outreach, is making preparations for the emergency efforts. Last night he left his hotel and moved to higher ground after tsunami sirens started to sound.
"Thousands of people fled the low-lying areas," said Showers. "Gas stations were packed with people trying to get fuel, many locals and tourists fled to high ground and sought shelter in hospitals and high school gyms."
According to Kingsland, the Disaster Response team will continue to closely monitor further developments and move forward with plans to help the victims of the disasters.
Showers was slated to monitor the situation in Hawaii after the tsunami hit land.
Convoy of Hope is not seeking volunteers at this time.
Text TSUNAMI to 50555 to donate $10 to Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Response efforts. "
"Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope (CRASH) is a network supporting Christians to do relief work in Japan and around the world. CRASH equips and prepares churches and missions to be there to help their communities when disasters strike and coordinates Christian volunteers to work with local ministries in the event of a disaster.
CRASH is available to conduct Disaster Volunteer Training seminars (DVT) for churches, schools or missions with a focus on pastoral crisis intervention and practical volunteer leadership.
CRASH has produced a child-safe place trauma intervention curriculum called “Operation SAFE” that is used to help children in evacuee centers recover from trauma.
CRASH has provided leadership and coordination for volunteers responding to typhoons, landslides, blizzards and earthquakes in Japan and internationally in cooperation with the JEMA and the JEA."
"TOKYO, JAPAN (ANS) -- With volunteers working overtime, a group called Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope (CRASH), a network supporting Christians to do relief work in Japan, is sending its first team to establish a base at Meisen Academy in Sendai on Thursday, March 17th – four days sooner than previously anticipated.
"The team consists of volunteers who have committed at least two weeks, and will ensure that the site is a secure base of operations from which future teams can operate safely and effectively in Sendai,” said a message posted on their website (www.crashjapan.com).
"CRASH is also partnering with Hope International Development Agency to bring in truckloads of supplies to be distributed from the CRASH bases. These supplies include such things as blankets, bedding, first aid equipment, portable hospitals, and water purification systems.”
The site also said that volunteers continue to pour into the CRASH command center at Matsukawa Place in Higashi-Kurume. What began as six or seven people giving their time the day after the quake has grown to more than one hundred, with more coming in every day.
“The volunteers are a diverse group; missionaries, school teachers, office workers, and high school students. They work in teams handling things such as volunteer coordination, communications, fundraising, and gathering information. Team leaders are busy, but positive, and the atmosphere at Matsukawa Place is focused,” the message continued.
"A spirit of generosity flourishes in Japan as many people show a willingness to give. High-school volunteers raised nearly $400 in downtown Shibuya on Tuesday by simply asking for donations. Other donations have also been coming both in monetary form and as supplies."
Amidst reports of electricity shortages and needs of water and shelter are stories of hope and encouragement. Mary Jo Ruck, a missionary in Sendai says that today, aid arrived in her area from Misawa Air Base in the form of supplies.
"Help is arriving,” she said. “People are banding together to encourage and help each other.”
Speaking of his neighborhood’s effort to help repair each other’s roofs, Simon Clark, an English teacher in Ibaraki, said “There's a big feeling of community here. I think after a national disaster it's something people cling to.”
Missionary Philip Foxwell, whose home rests on a hill next to the beach in Sendai, rushed to the town after the Tsunami, and returned to share his experiences:
"Many of my neighbors are like aunts and uncles to me. I was expecting to find that twenty-five of my close friends had died—but instead I found all of them sitting together in a shelter. There was more hugging and emotion than I’ve ever experienced in Japan. It was one of the happiest moments of my life."
Foxwell also emphasized the delicacy of the situation. “It’s dangerous to do very much right now with earthquakes still going on," he said. “Recovery will take months and months of cleaning and rebuilding. CRASH Japan Teams Reach Those in Need
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service Monday, March 21, 2011 "TOKYO, JAPAN (ANS) -- As relief efforts to help local communities and churches intensify more than one week after the quake, hope is still strong for survivors and their loved ones as fresh news of rescues and reunions filters through.
According to a news release from CRASH disaster relief agency, Okamoto Hiroshi, pastor of Ishinomaki Bible Baptist Church in Sendai, was feared lost when contact was cut following the tsunami.
"No one had been able to locate him,” said Tim Cole, a missionary in Japan whose parents planted the Ishinomaki church. “The tsunami decimated the area they were living in.”
After repeated attempts to make contact, Hiroshi was located by a CRASH Japan relief team. “They went and found him,” explained Cole. “Miraculously, his house was one of the only ones in the area not affected.”
CRASH said acting quickly at the time of the quake, Hiroshi was able to drive around the houses of his congregation and rescue those living in low lying areas. Taking any who needed help to higher ground, Hiroshi’s church, which stands on a hill, is now home to both his family and his congregation.
A third team left from the CRASH Japan command center in Tokyo today, ready to deliver assistance and support.
CRASH said its Japan team members were also present to witness survivors being pulled from the wreckage of their home in Sendai. Attracted by the shouts of emergency workers and those trapped in the house, Ken Ito and others saw Sumi Abe, 80, and her grandson Jin being rescued despite days trapped in the freezing wreckage of their family home.
"We're working with local pastors, and I personally went round local houses asking what they needed,” said Ito in the news release.
CRASH Japan's efforts to reach those most in need continue, with resources still desperately needed to help relieve the crisis still unfolding in Japan. "
"(CNN) -- A grandmother and her teenage grandson were rescued Sunday in Japan, nine days after they became trapped in their home following the earthquake and tsunami, officials said.
In the southern part of the Miyagi city of Ishinomaki, the 80-year-old woman and 16-year-old boy were rescued by medical workers, authorities said.
Police were searching for survivors in the vicinity. The boy managed to crawl through the rubble onto the roof, the Ishinomaki police department said.
A relative had reported the two missing on March 13, police said.
Police gave the specific location as Kadonowakimachi, in the southern part of Ishinomaki near the coast."
Samaritan's Purse - Japanese Congressman Doi Visits Tsunami Damage
Emergency Supplies Reach Japan
"http://www.samaritanspurse.org Ninety-three tons of emergency supplies have made it to the Yokota Air Base in Japan. With the help of the US Military, Samaritan's Purse will transport the relief items to the Sendai area, where we have been working the past few days. Our prayer is that these supplies will share God's love and bring much needed comfort and aid to the many people in that area who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami."
"..Did you know that there are two ways to say “Happy Birthday” in Japanese? A casual and a formal way. In formal Japanese you say:
“Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu” (お誕生日おめでとうございます)
In casual Japanese you simply say: “Tanjoubi omedetou” (誕生日おめでとう).
The Japanese language is spoken by more than 129 million people in Japan and foreign Japanese communities, following the amazing growth in the Japanese economy during the 80s, as well as the emergence of the Japanese video games industry in the 90s (not to mention the anime pop culture) the Japanese language started gathering such a strong international interest that according to one study, around 2.5 million people studied the language in 2003 alone, including 140,000 Americans. Many universities around the world were quick to realize the importance of this language in a global economy, and have started to include Japanese courses in their formal curriculum. A surprisingly large number of schools, including primary and secondary schools, are starting to teach Japanese to their students as well...
Mayo Chiki - Happy Birthday
An archipelago in the Pacific, Japan is separated from the east coast of Asia by the Sea of Japan. It is approximately the size of Montana. Japan's four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. The Ryukyu chain to the southwest was U.S.-occupied from 1945 to 1972, when it reverted to Japanese control, and the Kurils to the northeast are Russian-occupied
Lean On Me-Kirk Franklin:Dedicated to Japan - Music Videos
"I Made this video in honor of Japan and all the victims of the disaster. Japan you are in my prayers. "
Pray for Japan Music video - Music Videos
"cool music video by Danny Rezzo. We all need to come together and say a prayer for those families out there and hope to god it doesnt go any further then what this already impacted ! #PrayForJapan *Thanks to CNN and ABC NEWS for the voice overs**"
Black Eye Peas' Video Supports Japan
"Added On March 17, 2011
CNN's Kareen Wynter has an exclusive interview talking with the Black Eyed Peas about their latest video in Japan."
The Black Eyed Peas are wowing the world once again, this time with their new video for "Just Can't Get Enough," which was filmed in Japan just a week before the earthquake/tsunami disaster.
The video is shot guerilla-style, filming the band over a three-day period while they were on a press tour that included a stop in Japan.
"It was the easiest video I ever shot because it was us living our lives," Fergie says. "I love that it's showing a true perspective of how it can sometimes be lonely on the road away from our loved ones. It also demonstrates the love and connection we have with Japan. Our heart goes out to all of the Japanese people who have been affected by this natural disaster."
"It was an amazing moment in time because Japan has always been my favorite place on the planet," Taboo says. "It was great to do our video there. God bless the Japanese. Our love goes out to them."
Log on to www.redcross.org to find out how you can help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami."
Related Sites: apl.de.ap
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Early life
Apl.de.ap was born in Sapang Bato, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines, to a Filipino mother and an African American father. His father, a U.S. airman stationed at Clark Air Base, abandoned the family shortly after his birth; his mother, Cristina Pineda, raised him and his six younger siblings as a single mother. Studied in Holy Angel University. Two of his siblings are deceased: his younger brother Arnel committed suicide (this is referenced in The Apl Song in the lines "I guess sometimes life's stresses get you down/Oh brother, wish I could have helped you out"). His youngest brother, Joven Pineda Deala, was murdered at the age of 22 in February 2009 in Porac, Pampanga....
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Asian-Filipino, Pinoy/Pinay, Balikbayan, etc.. of Philippines Outreach
Japan Earthquake- Praise You In This Storm - Inspirational Videos
"Praise You In This Storm (Casting Crowns)- My heart is broken as I make this, this is what we need to do. My son lives in Tokyo & I have only been able to get in touch with him once since this started. We need to pray for everyone effected here & I know
so many who are directly effected. Pray for Japan, Pray for the World!"
japanese tribute-This will be the day-Jeremy Camp - Music Videos
"Japan you are in our prayers!"
Japan Earthquake Tsunami Prayer Song - Until Then (Kenneth Maiki Aiolupotea) - Music Videos
"Incredibly inspiring and uplifting Japan Earthquake Tsunami Song: Until Then by Kenneth Maiki Aiolupotea. Stay strong Japan!!! Pray For Japan! www.FaceBook.com/StayStrongJapa"
A Prayer After the Earthquake
""A Prayer After The Earthquake" by Diana Macalintal (who wrote the letter after the Haiti Earthquake). I thought this was so fitting considering the recent quake and resulting tsunami. Psalm 23:4 NIV Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. http://vref.me/ps23.4" Prophetic Word for Japan after Earthquake and Tsunami - Ministry Videos, from godtube.com "Heaven is open over Japan as it rebuilds from the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Many will seek the Lord as their shelter when they realize that the naruarl things are temporay and will not endure. Only the kingdom of God will last."
"LOS ANGELES (ANS) -- In the face of heartbreaking images of damage and destruction in northern Japan, one ministry leader sees an unprecedented opening to reach the Japanese people with the love, grace, and truth of Jesus Christ.
"God is using this tragedy to put Japan back on the map for Western
Christians," says Rick Chuman, executive director of the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society (JEMS). "Some have thought we've put 150 years of effort into reaching Japan and it's time to move on," he notes. "So it’s exciting to see it's back on the radar for Western Christians who now want to pray for Japan."
Chuman hopes for a very different kind of tsunami to hit Japan. Now there’s another kind of tsunami – and hopefully it's the Holy Spirit descending on that country and doing something with the returnees and the in-country missionaries."
While many Asian countries have large, vibrant Christian populations, in Japan only about 1.5 percent identify themselves as Christian. Some consider the Japanese to be the largest unreached people group in the world.
One obstacle to reaching the Japanese with the gospel is the syncretistic approach they take to religion. Many consider themselves Shinto and Buddhist. "Usually they are married Shinto and buried Buddhist," Chuman notes. "For us to come in and say Jesus is the only way is hard for them to swallow."
Some want to add Jesus to a long list of other gods. "Culturally they have 1000 little gods. They assume they can buy into one more God and lump it all together. When they hear he is the one true God they say, 'That's kind of a Western religion. It works for you Americans.'"
"FARMINGTON, MICHIGAN (ANS) -- Many mission organizations are prayerfully developing their strategies to make a difference in Japan, even as the crisis continues to unfold in its many dimensions. Some see an unprecedented opening for the love of Christ to touch hearts and lives as never before.
"Japan is wide open to the Gospel,” says Dave Loewen, personnel director in the U.S. office of SEND International. SEND currently has 43 adult missionaries serving in Japan, along with 32 children.
This interdenominational organization has planted 76 churches in Japan since the aftermath of World War II. SEND began because of the burden many veterans felt for the Japanese after their service in the war.
“We are now planning for the next steps to meet the crisis,” Loewen says. SEND is working with the Japan Evangelical Church Association (JECA) to help with recovery efforts. They will not send people immediately, because that would interfere with government responders. “We can help with the long-term needs.”
Their long-range view of crisis response bore results after a massive earthquake struck Taiwan in 1999. SEND International and local Christians went at least monthly to a community they adopted for relief and rehabilitation. At the one-year mark, many Taiwanese recognized, ‘The government was here and left. The Buddhists were here and left. You Christians keep coming back and loving us!’
MORE at Click Here.
"MCLEAN, VA. (ANS) -- Christian aid organizations in Japan are appealing for prayer as their stricken land struggles to cope with the three-fold disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
According to a news release from Barnabas Aid, an organization providing assistance for the persecuted church, there are more than 300 churches in the affected area. Many have suffered the loss of pastors and church members, while other believers are still unaccounted for, and church buildings have been destroyed.
A Japanese Christian leader, now working in Sendai to help the disaster victims, contacted Barnabas Aid recently.
He said, “Pray for the churches in the northeastern area. Many churches lost their pastors, members, and buildings. Pray that they can stand strong in faith in Christ, Who stood on the raging water and who calmed the sea. This could be a wide open gate for the Gospel. We will conduct our rescue/relief mission through local churches. Need a lot of prayers from Barnabas Aid.”
Barnabas Aid said he reported that people are “traumatized and shocked” after Japan’s most powerful earthquake since records began – 9.0 magnitude – hit on March 11.
The resulting tsunami battered the north-east region, and a nuclear crisis was triggered at the Fukushima plant when the power was knocked out, and back-up generators needed for the reactors' cooling systems were destroyed. Desperate attempts to cool the overheating reactors, which have been rocked by a series of explosions, are continuing amid fears of a total meltdown and dangerous radioactive fallout.
Barnabas Aid said the number of confirmed deaths continues to rise: the figure now tops 5,000, with over 8,000 people still missing. Hundreds of thousands are staying in temporary shelters and are in desperate need of food and water.
Barnabas Aid said for those wanting to assist financially, the organization will forward donations to its Japanese Christian partners, with whom it has worked on relief projects elsewhere, including famine relief and water projects in Niger. They will use the funds from Barnabas to rebuild churches and help Christian communities.
For more information, go to www.barnabasfund.org/US/About-us/What-we-do/ "
Surge from Japan Tsunami reaches U.S.
"Added On March 11, 2011
Boats and docks in California suffer some serious damage following a surge from the tsunami that hit Japan."
"Manila - The Philippines was organizing a team to help in the rescue and relief operations in Japan, a presidential aide said Saturday.
The team preparations would be lead by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and it would include health professionals, engineers, communications experts, police officers and soldiers, said deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte.
'Once Japan is ready to receive our assistance we will be ready to send our people there,' she said.
The Philippine National Red Cross said it would also be sending a team to Japan to help in the rescue and relief operations.
'The Philippine government stands ready to extend any support and assistance within its capability as Japan strives to cope with the aftermath of this tragic event,' President Benigno Aquino III wrote in a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
About 55,000 Filipinos living in coastal towns along the Pacific Ocean fled their homes Friday after a tsunami alert from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
The alert level was lowered late Friday after small tsunami waves were recorded that did not cause any damage or injuries. "
Tokyo Japan-Guide "The metropolis of Tokyo consists of 23 city wards (ku), 26 cities, 5 towns and 8 villages, including the Izu and Ogasawara Islands, several small Pacific Islands in the south of Japan's main island Honshu."
Views of Tokyo - Japan 2004 - PI Productions
Stories: MESSIAH CELEBRATED IN JAPAN AT END OF WW2
Updated: First published December 7, 2001
By: Norma I. Hunt Monday, November 29, 2004 "HACIENDA HEIGHTS, CA (ANS) -- December 7 marks the 63rd anniversary of the start of WW2. It is fitting to note that shortly after the end of that war Japan began to open up to the message of Christ. In August, 1945, at the end of the war, my uncle, Theodore (Spud) Heinrichs, was stationed in Tokyo, Japan, in charge of the 32 Post Exchange stores under General Douglas McArthur...
LET THE MUSIC BEGIN
As December neared Spud was saddened as he thought of missing out on singing the Messiah as he had done for the past 10 or 12 years.
However, unknown to him, a Japanese-American choir director under whom he had sung once in Los Angeles, was stranded in Japan during the war. One day that choir director happened to pass by my uncle's office window and noticed him inside. He recognized Spud and came in to reacquaint himself. Their conversation led the director to ask my uncle if he could find some service men who knew the Messiah. 75 men responded to his bulletin, including both tenor and bass soloists. The director had taught 150 Japanese women to sing the Messiah in English and he arranged to have the Nippon Symphony Orchestra accompany them as they performed twice in downtown Tokyo with 3,000 in attendance at each performance. (Pictured: Erma and Spud with their family in 1990).
Sergeant Theodore G. Heinrichs, treasurer of all the PX's in Tokyo, Japan, finally got to come home in June of 1946 with a memory of the Messiah in Japan which would remain as one of the highlights of his life. Spud died 5 February 2003 at the age of 87 in Bakersfield, California where he lived with his wife, Erma. When I spoke with him in 2001, he was moved to think his story would be remembered once again. His memorial service at Heritage Bible Church in Bakersfield was one big musical with performances from many of the choral and special small groups with which he was associated during his lifetime. (Pictured: Erma and Spud with their family in 1990)."
"Missionary in Japan preaches a sermon that includes a testimony about how God helped him get rid of a huge root of bitterness, allowing him to finally forgive. Forgiveness is still difficult, it always will be. This sermon includes a key for being able to forgive"
"My wife, Denise and I spent about three months carrying the cross in Japan. We rented a car at Narita Airport near Tokyo. We got an estate car or as some would call it a station wagon. It was our home on the road. We would often put down the back seat and lay out our blankets and make it our bed for the night. The hotels were so expensive and this was a way to cut costs.
I would carry the cross and Denise would drive up the road in about 3 or 4 miles in front of me. She would find a place to park and wait for me. She kept our food, water and supplies in the car.
Several time we got very 'lost' from each other. The highway would split in different directions and there was no place for her to stop and wait. Often she had to drive for miles to turn around. I would have gone one way and she another. All the road signs were in Japanese and often even then it was more confusing as Highway 1 would be Highway 1a or 1b or 1c etc. All we could do when we got lost was she would drive back to the last place where we had parked and I would turn back and carry the cross to the last place we had stopped! Some days we went backward as much as we went forward.
Mt. Fuji, standing in its majestic beauty is the symbol of Japan. It rises from the sea in a cone shape to a towering 12,388 feet. It took me three days climbing up a winding road, a distance of about 32 miles, with a highway up to the fifth stage to a height of about 7500 feet. Denise joined me on foot to do the major climb to the top. Our cross walk in Japan would not be complete without this. God had specifically told me to carry the cross up Mt. Fuji. Denise carried the backpack, I carried the cross up, up, up. The air was getting gradually thinner with less oxygen the higher we got. Mt. Fuji is a dormant volcano with the ground being covered in volcanic boulders and fine ash. The climb gets progressively tougher. There were few Japanese going up but there were two platoons of U.S. Marines from the bases in Japan making the climb. They were climbing a bit faster than us so we had a great witness to them as they would pass. These young men were so kind and often help me up and over a tough place. Denise and I had a plate of rice and curry at a rest camp about half way up. Then we made our final struggle to the summit. Oh, I tell you it was tough. My poor cross was crashing against the huge rocks. We climbed up past snow and the air grew colder, dense clouds swept by us but on this day none engulfed us, nor did it rain. On the final ascent, in the toughest area, a group of six Marines were resting where we stopped. They volunteered to help me get the cross to the top. They said, "All the way with the cross, we'll raise it up at the top like the flag on Iwo Jima!" They carried the cross with three or four at a time holding it. It exhausted us all but finally we made it. The cross of Jesus was uplifted atop Mt. Fuji! Hallelujah. All these young men gathered around the crater and we posed for photos and had a prayer together. One Marine gave his life to Jesus on the climb up. Another Marine gave his life to Jesus on the way down. Truly this was a tough but glorious walk with the cross. Getting down was difficult also because of the weight of the cross pushing. The ash was slippery and it was difficult to stand. A group of Marines also helped us get the cross down.
Just after nightfall, Denise and I fell into each other arms in joy, tiredness and thanksgiving. A great miracle of healing took place on the mountains...Denise. She has suffered a lot of illness in her life and she was even sick the day before we climbed the mountain. There was just no way she could have made it, but she said in Jesus name, "I'm going to climb that mountain". The Lord had promised to meet us there in glory. He did, Denise was completely healed and sickness has left her. All glory to God.
We were about to begin the morning walk after sleeping in the car. A little man came up and was watching us. He could speak English and I explained to him about Jesus dying on the cross for him. He said, "Oh yes, my sister is a Christian, they go Amen, Amen!" We had a long talk. He said, "Maybe before I die I believe in Jesus". He took Denise to his flower stand nearby to meet his wife and they gave her beautiful flowers.
We were led into the Japanese home of a family in Tokyo. Taking our shoes off at the door we entered a home of love and of Jesus. Denise had always dreamed of staying in a real Japanese home. This was it. Our room had a straw floor with sliding doors on two sides both opening into a garden. We put out bed mats at night. We were treated as family with food and hospitality for two weeks as we carried the cross in a big circle around and through Tokyo.
From my diary:
All day we saw people pray to receive Jesus, Japanese, and even some Russians. Some Japanese young people joined us to witness and interpret. We preached, gave out gospel material and shared in central Tokyo. We had interpreters with us all the time in the Tokyo area. We saw many Japanese pray and welcome Jesus to be their Savior and Lord.
One young lady I witnessed to today said, "I was interested in Jesus and went to church but there someone stole my purse. I never went back! I explained that not all people in church are true followers of Jesus. Surely it was not Jesus that stole your purse! She prayed and invited Jesus into her heart.
One businessman was playing golf on a huge Japanese driving range. He saw the cross, Denise and I and he asked her what I was doing. She explained the good news of Jesus and he received Christ as Savior.
We did several outreaches with a well-known Japanese evangelist named Arthur Holland. He is really a fire for Jesus! We also did outreach with a youth evangelistic group called YWAM in the Tokyo area. They were wonderful young people.
We carried the cross through Kyoto and later Yamaguchi, two cities where St. Francis Xavier first preached the gospel in 1551-52.
In Yamaguchi there is a big cross in his memory and a lovely Catholic Church on a hill. Here some of the first Japanese heard of Jesus and were baptized.
We arrived in Hiroshima where the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. 80 year old Father Henri Van Boven, a Belgian priest, who was imprisoned in China and was in a Japanese concentration camp for four years, warmly welcomed us. At night, we kept the cross at night at the Memorial Cathedral for World Peace. Each day we carried the cross in different directions from the Peace Park. We found the people here the most responsive in Japan. We stayed for the anniversary of the atomic blast on August 6th. The world still lives in danger of this horrible weapon. The message of the angels at the birth of Jesus 'Peace on earth, good will toward men' still needs to be repeated.
Walking in Japan is very difficult as the traffic is almost always jammed and the roads are narrow. One can't read the road signs and often different highways use the same number. At one point there were three roads using the number 1. It was very difficult for Denise and I not to lose each other. She usually waits at a major road intersection so we don't go different directions but in Japan there are almost no places to pull over or to park.
In the coastal areas of Japan it is just like one long city. Tokyo seems to never stop stretching out in its metropolitan area. Most days we were in Japan it rained and many times in the mountains there was a dense fog. The cars and trucks would spray the water all over me as they passed. At the end of the day I'd be wet, cold, oily and muddy. The prices of a hotel room are astronomical and were prohibitive to us. So we mostly slept in the car. It was uncomfortable but it had to do. There is almost no place to park except in the parking lot of the Pachinko gambling places located all along the highways. Sometimes we would go to a 'love' hotel. It's usually used for short sexual encounters. They are very nice, clean and rent by the hour. We would get the shortest time allowed, go in with our bag, and get washed and clean. Then we would sleep in the car. The store signs lay low over the street so I must be careful not to hit them. Often people would simply crash into the cross as they walked briskly along the street, more than anywhere in the world, except perhaps for New York.
Restaurants are too expensive for us to eat in so we would get some canned food in a store or eat sushi in a local Japanese place. Food is very cheap out on the street.
There are a lot of Buddhist Temples but people were always respectful of our faith and witness. The people that prayed with me seemed to make a very deep commitment to Christ. However, family pressure to conform and not be an embarrassment is a strong pressure against a change of faith.
We basically carried the cross from the airport at Narita near Tokyo to Hiroshima with side trips and a huge circle around Tokyo.
We had a wonderful time walking in Japan and can only say with all my heart "God bless Japan!"
A pilgrim follower of Jesus,
"On March 31, 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the "Black Ships" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Convention of Kanagawa. The Boshin War of 1867�1868 led to the resignation of the shogunate, and the Meiji Restoration established a government centered around the emperor. Adopting Western political, judicial and military institutions, a parliamentary system modeled after the British parliament was introduced, with Itō Hirobumi as the first Prime Minister in 1882. Meiji era reforms transformed the Empire of Japan into an industrialized world power that embarked on a number of military conflicts to increase access to natural resources. After victories in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894�1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904�1905), Japan gained control of Korea, Taiwan and the southern half of Sakhalin.
The early twentieth century saw a brief period of "Taisho democracy" overshadowed by the rise of Japanese expansionism and militarization. World War I enabled Japan, which joined the side of the victorious Allies, to expand its influence and territorial holdings. Japan continued its expansionist policy by occupying Manchuria in 1931. As a result of international condemnation for this occupation, Japan resigned from the League of Nations two years later. In 1936, Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi Germany, joining the Axis Powers in 1941."
Japanese 'rock star' pastor, Marre Ishii, describes what it was like to live through the 9.0 earthquake-
He is now in Southern California to work on a new album with Andraé Crouch
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries Thursday, March 17, 2011 "“Please pray for the people of Japan as they try to recover from this devastating event and also pray for the many Christians who are involved in bringing aid and comfort, in the name of Jesus Christ, to my country."
Shortly after the earthquake, Ishii was able to board a flight to Los Angeles, where he has been working on a new album called “Heavenese” with the Andraé Crouch family, his singers, and Sheila E.
Strangely enough, he has been staying in Northridge where an earthquake occurred on January 17, 1994, at 04:31 Pacific Standard Time lasting for about 10-20 seconds. The earthquake had a “strong” moment magnitude of 6.7, but the ground acceleration was one of the highest ever instrumentally recorded in an urban area in North America. At least 33 deaths were attributed to the earthquake, with some estimates ranging much higher, and there were over 8,700 injured. In addition, the earthquake caused an estimated $20 billion in damage, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.
Still he didn’t seem to be afraid of living through another earthquake this time in Southern California, and enthused about his new work.
"We have already completed a sample CD called “Heavenese” with two tracks,” he said. “One is called ‘Life,’ with music and lyrics by myself, and also ‘Tell Everybody,’ with music and lyrics by myself and Andraé Crouch,” he told me.
"I will be returning soon to Tokyo to rejoin my church which is called the ‘Kick Back Café’ and see how my congregation is doing after this terrible situation that has caused such devastation in my country."
I first met Marre Ishii some eighteen months ago when I was in Japan to launch a new book I had written called “God’s Ambassadors in Japan,” which is the inspiring story of veteran American missionaries, Kenny and Lila Joseph, who have been in the country for more than 50 years. ...
I then asked him how this most unusual church service began.
"Well, here in Japan, we only have a small percentage of Christians, so rather than having a church setting with a big cross on the building, I decided to start the church in this nightclub-restaurant setting which I felt was much more effective,” he explained.
“People can come in not knowing what to expect, and not feel threatened,” he said. “Then they can ‘kick back’ and have a good meal so that we can be friends with them and eventually they will be drawn to the Lord.”
During the week, the “Kick Back Café” is a nightclub/restaurant that he and his wife owns, but it is also becoming a place where many Japanese -- mainly young people -- come and learn about Jesus.
And besides the service, Marre Ishii puts on concerts for visiting Christian artists from the United States. ....
I told the pastor that I didn’t know of any other nightclub/café where all the staff are also church members.
"Well, to me, it is more natural for us to have the services here rather than being in a sanctuary," he explained. “People in Japan don’t have a concept of going to church, but they love café’s and nightclubs and they love music. My staff bring along their friends to the services and our concerts and they are finding Jesus Christ as their savior in this way.” ....
So how did his musical style evolve?
“Well I was raised on KISS,” he laughed. “I was a big fan of KISS music when I was younger and was a typical ‘wanna be’ rock and roll musician who was also influenced by David Bowie and U2 as well as all different kinds of American and British rock music.
“When I got the age of 20, I became Christian and I began to merge my style with Gospel music. Now we do a whole new gospel sound, but with Japanese soul to it.”
I then asked him about the state of Christianity in Japan at this time.
"Christian churches here do not have much power in our society and are only a small percentage of the population,” he said. “I would say that many Japanese people think Christianity is a part of American culture. So our goal is to show them that it is a worldwide faith. We want people to know that we can be Christian as well being Japanese."
I concluded by asking how people could pray for him and his church?
Marre said, "We know that prayer works so please pray that the Lord will bring so many in this new generation who have no concept of a church or God, to our church and get saved."
For more information, go to www.kickbackcafe.jp and for more information on his new CD, go to www.tengokumin.com
Related Sites: History of the Japanese Catholic Church "A Christian born in Korea. During the Korean invasion of Hideyoshi, still young Otaa has been protected by a Christian Yukinaga Konishi. Influenced by his wife, she became a Christian and got baptized in the name of Julia. After the battle of Sekigahara, she served in the house of Ieyasu Tokugawa. But in 1612, she has been expelled to Kozushima in Izu during the prohibition of religion At the present, every year in May, the Julia festival is celebrated in Kozushima, by Koreans and Japanese in memory of Otaa who had been a witness of God's love"
A Memorial for Japanese Martyrs
Vision and Prophecy for Japan - Today's Christian Videos
"Vision and prophecy for Japan given by Nancy McDaniel at Japan National Aglow Conference in June 2007."
A mountain hamlet in northern Japan claims Jesus Christ was buried there "On the flat top of a steep hill in a distant corner of northern Japan lies the tomb of an itinerant shepherd who, two millennia ago, settled down there to grow garlic. He fell in love with a farmer’s daughter named Miyuko, fathered three kids and died at the ripe old age of 106. In the mountain hamlet of Shingo, he’s remembered by the name Daitenku Taro Jurai. The rest of the world knows him as Jesus Christ.
It turns out that Jesus of Nazareth—the Messiah, worker of miracles and spiritual figurehead for one of the world’s foremost religions—did not die on the cross at Calvary, as widely reported. According to amusing local folklore, that was his kid brother, Isukiri, whose severed ear was interred in an adjacent burial mound in Japan.
A bucolic backwater with only one Christian resident (Toshiko Sato, who was 77 when I visited last spring) and no church within 30 miles, Shingo nevertheless bills itself as Kirisuto no Sato (Christ’s Hometown). Every year 20,000 or so pilgrims and pagans visit the site, which is maintained by a nearby yogurt factory. Some visitors shell out the 100-yen entrance fee at the Legend of Christ Museum, a trove of religious relics that sells everything from Jesus coasters to coffee mugs. Some participate in the springtime Christ Festival, a mashup of multidenominational rites in which kimono-clad women dance around the twin graves and chant a three-line litany in an unknown language. The ceremony, designed to console the spirit of Jesus, has been staged by the local tourism bureau since 1964.
The Japanese are mostly Buddhist or Shintoist, and, in a nation of 127.8 million, about 1 percent identify themselves as Christian. The country harbors a large floating population of folk religionists enchanted by the mysterious, the uncanny and the counterintuitive. “They find spiritual fulfillment in being eclectic,” says Richard Fox Young, a professor of religious history at the Princeton Theological Seminary. “That is, you can have it all: A feeling of closeness—to Jesus and Buddha and many, many other divine figures—without any of the obligations that come from a more singular religious orientation.”
In Shingo, the Greatest Story Ever Told is retold like this: Jesus first came to Japan at the age of 21 to study theology. This was during his so-called “lost years,” a 12-year gap unaccounted for in the New Testament. He landed at the west coast port of Amanohashidate, a spit of land that juts across Miyazu Bay, and became a disciple of a great master near Mount Fuji, learning the Japanese language and Eastern culture. At 33, he returned to Judea—by way of Morocco!—to talk up what a museum brochure calls the “sacred land” he had just visited.
Having run afoul of the Roman authorities, Jesus was arrested and condemned to crucifixion for heresy. But he cheated the executioners by trading places with the unsung, if not unremembered, Isukiri. To escape persecution, Jesus fled back to the promised land of Japan with two keepsakes: one of his sibling’s ears and a lock of the Virgin Mary’s hair. He trekked across the frozen wilderness of Siberia to Alaska, a journey of four years, 6,000 miles and innumerable privations. This alternative Second Coming ended after he sailed to Hachinohe, an ox-cart ride from Shingo.
Upon reaching the village, Jesus retired to a life in exile, adopted a new identity and raised a family. He is said to have lived out his natural life ministering to the needy. He sported a balding gray pate, a coat of many folds and a distinctive nose, which, the museum brochure observes, earned him a reputation as a “long-nosed goblin.”
When Jesus died, his body was left exposed on a hilltop for four years. In keeping with the customs of the time, his bones were then bundled and buried in a grave—the same mound of earth that is now topped by a timber cross and surrounded by a picket fence. Though the Japanese Jesus performed no miracles, one could be forgiven for wondering whether he ever turned water into sake.
This all sounds more Life of Brian than Life of Jesus. Still, the case for the Shingo Savior is argued vigorously in the museum and enlivened by folklore. In ancient times, it’s believed, villagers maintained traditions alien to the rest of Japan. Men wore clothes that resembled the toga-like robes of biblical Palestine, women wore veils, and babies were toted around in woven baskets like those in the Holy Land. Not only were newborns swaddled in clothes embroidered with a design that resembled a Star of David, but, as a talisman, their foreheads were marked with charcoal crosses.
The museum contends that the local dialect contains words like aba or gaga (mother) and aya or dada (father) that are closer to Hebrew than Japanese, and that the old village name, Heraimura, can be traced to an early Middle Eastern diaspora. Religious scholar Arimasa Kubo, a retired Tokyo pastor, thinks Shingo may have been settled by “descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel.”
As if to fuel this unlikely explanation, in 2004, Israeli ambassador Eli Cohen visited the tombs and dedicated a plaque, in Hebrew, to honor the ties between Shingo and the city of Jerusalem. Embassy spokesman Gil Haskel explained that while Hebrew tribes could have migrated to Japan, the marker was merely “a symbol of friendship rather than an endorsement of the Jesus claims.”
Another theory raises the possibility that the tombs hold the bodies of 16th- century missionaries. Christian evangelists first came to Japan in 1549, but bitter infighting for influence and Japanese converts led to a nationwide ban on the religion in 1614.
Believers went underground, and these Hidden Christians, as they are called, encountered ferocious persecution. To root them out, officials administered loyalty tests in which priests and other practitioners were required to trample a cross or an image of the Madonna and the baby Jesus. Those who refused to denounce their beliefs were crucified, beheaded, burned at the stake, tortured to death or hanged upside-down over cesspools to intensify their suffering. For more than 200 years, until an isolated Japan opened its doors to the West in 1868, Christianity survived in scattered communities, which perhaps explains why Shingo’s so-called Christian traditions are not practiced in the rest of the region.
Thu, 27 Dec 2012 12:03 CST
"Yokohama Bay Stars Shuichi Murata slugger hit a drive destined to be go over the wall, but Hiroshima Carp outfielder, Masato Akamatsu, leaped into the air, scaled the wall, making what is being called “The Spiderman Catch”, robbing Murata of a home run. "
Masato Akamatsu makes SpiderMan like catch after climbing up outfield wall .
Impossible Is Nothing - Tsuyoshi Nishioka
Twins win bidding for Japan's Nishioka-
Minnesota has 30 days to work out deal with batting champion
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com | 11/26/10 12:08 PM EST "..The Twins have 30 days to work out a deal with the 26-year-old shortstop, who hit .346 last season with the Chiba Lotte Marines to win the Nippon Professional Baseball batting crown. FoxSports.com reported the winning bid was $5.3 million. If the two sides cannot work out a deal in 30 days, the posting fee will be refunded.
A switch-hitter who can also play second base, Nishioka helped the Marines to the Japan Series title last season and led Japanese baseball in games (144), runs (121), hits (206) and total bases (287). ..
"Published on Jul 17, 2011 by AssociatedPress
Japan won the Women's World Cup in Germany, stunning the United States 3-1 in a penalty shootout Sunday night after coming from behind twice in a 2-2 tie. (July 17)
"(CNN) -- OK, I confess. I traveled to Japan carrying with me a number of preconceptions. For many years, my work in journalism and a lifelong passion to see the world have allowed me to explore scores of countries, but I had left Japan far from the top of my list. Big mistake.
I did not expect a particularly fascinating place: I had vague images of Tokyo, a giant megalopolis of concrete buildings, of exorbitant prices, with heavy traffic and streams of salarymen in identical outfits filing to work every day. I pictured modern. I pictured not terribly interesting.
Travel Japan, from youtube.com "My friends and i visited Japan on a skiing and snowboarding holiday, here is an edited scene from the DVD i created of the trip.
This scene is about all the modes of transport we used while staying in Japan "
Nijo Castle, Ninomaru Goten (Kyoto): The center of Momoyama Art-The castle, built in 1603, is an example of the opulent shoin-zukuri style of the Momoyama era with decorative paintings, metalwork fixtures and ornamental sculptures.
Another postcard given to me from one of several from (Noriko of Hirakatu-City, Osaka) former UMM Japanese Int'l students I've met since 1996-1997.