Graphic by JIROH
Prayforjapan.jp collects and shares heart-warming tweets from Japan since the earthquake and tsunami. The tweets are translated into different languages. The followings are quoted from the English versions (Note: Japan Style corrected some misinterpretation and grammatical errors based on the original tweets).
When I checked the emergency backpack, there was a message that my dad wrote 40 years ago. “Have sunshine in your heart. Have a song on your lips.” —I will write a message on a new emergency backpack to encourage the people who see.
Last night when I was tired out waiting for the train at the station, the homeless people gave me one of their cardboards to prevent the cold… even though we usually ignore them in daily life… So warm.
From a friend from Chiba— An old man at a place of refuge spilled out “What’s going to happen next?” A young boy, probably in high-school, sitting next to the old man replied, “It’s okay. Hang on for just a little while. When we grow up, I swear we will fix everything back together again.” The boy kept rubbing the old man’s back. A bright future, that’s what’s next!
“Nights were never this dark, and I’ve never realized how beautiful the stars are. Sendai, look up and keep your heads high.”
From conversation overheard at evacuation camp
At messy supermarkets after the earthquake, people simply picked things up from the floor and quietly lined up to pay for their groceries. Inside of a crowded train, an elderly gave his seat to a pregnant mother. People from other countries are left speechless when they encounter similar scenes. These are true stories. Amazing, Japan.
Shops at Tokyo Disneyland handed out sweets and candies to the people trapped inside the Park after the earthquake. Several high school girls wearing flashy clothes and makeup came and took more than they needed. “What the…??” The next minute, I saw them giving out candies to the children in the shelter. It was hard for mothers to move around with small children, and we were so thankful for what they did.
An old man was rescued after being stranded in a house for 42 hours. He smiled at the camera, “I’ve experienced the tsunami from 1960 Great Chilean earthquake. Let’s get back on our feet. I know we can do it.”
Kanji characters (Chinese character used in Japanese writing) for the word DAIJOBU (大丈夫 meaning “don’t worry”or “it’s OK”) consists of three characters, each with the word people (人) in it. Because three people come together in this word, we feel assured when someone says DAIJYOBU.
My five year old son told me today, “Don’t worry mom. Cover your head when the earthquake comes. I will bring you to my grandpa’s place after the earthquake.” His attitude of trying to protect me with his tiny body made me cry. I never thoughts the kids’ word “don’t worry” means this big. Thank you.
A gentleman from Israel came up to me and said something in Hebrew. I had no idea what he was saying, when a friend of mine, a Palestinian, translated for me what he said. “Is Japan okay? I will be praying very hard.” The two gentlemen, Israeli and Palestinian, were shaking hands with a smile. I was moved to tears.
Tomorrow, my father will be sent to the Fukushima nuclear plant. He will be retiring from his job in six months, and I was near to tears when I heard that he actually volunteered to go. “What we do now will affect the future of nuclear plants. I have a mission to accomplish” he said. I wouldn’t say that he’s been a dependable father at home, but I’ve never felt this proud of him as I do today. We are all praying for his safe return.
I emailed my husband, working for the rescue effort, I thought he should not be having any sleep, “Are you OK? Don’t overwork yourself.” He replied, “Don’t underestimate Japanese Self-Defense Force. When is the time to overwork other than now? Be careful with your words.” They are tough, both physically and mentally.
A child was holding a snack, waiting in the checkout line. It was almost his turn as he was thinking to himself with his eyes on the register. Next minute, I saw him put the money he had into a donation box set next to the cashier. He put the snack back on the shelf where it was and left the store. “Thank you very much” said the store staff to his back with a slight tremble in his voice.
I saw a child telling a station worker“Thank you very much for keeping the trains running yesterday.” The station worker shed a tear. I broke into moving tears.
I said to the subway worker on duty throughout the night: “It must have been a hard night.” And he replied with a great big smile: “It’s the least I can do!”
My two year old son was putting his shoes on himself saying “I’m going to go arrest the Earthquake!” I realized that inside a tiny body, there is a lot of courage and Justice. Everyone, lets stand strong and get through this.
So busy traffic. Only one car can go across the traffic light per green light, but I was moved to see people drove carefully giving their ways. Some intersections completely stopped for more than 5 minutes, but I didn’t hear any horn sounds except for “Thank you” honks for 10 hours. It is scary but also a heart-warming time. I like Japan even better.
There are more heart-warming tweets at prayforjapan.jp. To read them, visit “prayforjapan.jp –memorable, heart warming tweets(http://prayforjapan.jp/message/?lang=en).”