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Country of Kind Hearts

Cultural Ambassador Yoko has family and friends residing in Japan. Daily, she receives word about the local events — not about the devastation and destruction, but about progress and rebuilding.  “The disaster of this magnitude is very rare and yet it is demonstrating the mental strength of Japanese people.  Young students are volunteering to clean up around houses of elderly people.  Volunteers in a remote location, instead of trying to go to the site, are organizing an effort to gather vegetables from farmers to be shipped directly to the shelters.”  She continued to write, “One thing that was mentioned on public radio, is that there is no looting happening, and it is the culture that would not let that happen.  As I teach my culture in the future, I will have the pride that I am from a country of kind hearts.”

The stories Yoko shared moved us.

Little stories from the “country of kind heats.”

“A local papa & mama shop offered ‘Helping Each Other Sale’.  Items were marked so much cheaper.  Their business had already been suffering even before the earthquake.  The woman of the shop had a smile on her face, putting cheapest marked price tags on.”

– “There is a pool of retired members of the Self Defense Force.  These people are tapped in when there is an emergency need of help.  After the earthquake, 6500 of those retired members volunteered to be dispatched to help.”

– “A child was standing in a line at the cashier at a grocery store with packs of his favorite snacks in hand.  He saw the donation box for earthquake victims.  He quietly put the money in his hand in the box, put the snack back on the shelf and left the store. The cashier said thank you in trembling voice to his little back.”

– “A man trapped in a demolished house for 42 hours was rescued.  He said ‘I survived tsunami from the earthquake in Chile.  And this time, I survived this tsunami.  Let’s work together to rebuild.'”

– “Many Japanese workers commute using public transportations.  Trains and buses were completely stopped for a few days after the earthquake.  So, many workers walked for hours to work.  A woman was holding a poster board marked “Please use our bathroom” offering passers-by to use the bathroom of her own house for free.”

– “A business man was at a train station waiting for a train that may never come.  A homeless man offered him a part of his cardboard box, pointing to sit down and rest.”
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