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Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

November , 2018
The Victims of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Japan is experiencing so many earthquake disasters. Frequent earthquakes all over Japan, results in landslides and
river floods in a level that we have “never experienced” before. Cars and houses are blown away by heavy typhoons, bridges are destroyed, and tornadoes occur.
The deceased victims, victims who have lost their homes and not knowing what to do tomorrow, people just standing there in shock, having lost their loved ones. Even at this very moment, we are in fear that such disasters may occur any time.

I have heard from a victim of the Great East Earthquake in 2011 in Tohoku area whom I visit every year, that restoration is still underway and the progress is so slow in some places and people are stressed out. Moreover, they whine that the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster is now treated as a past incident.
In the Great East Japan Earthquake, the huge tsunami triggered by the earthquake, caused truly cruel disasters. Powerful tsunami waves reached over heights of 20 metres which mowed down reinforced steel framed buildings. In addition, there was the nuclear power plant accident. It brought further disasters and so many people are still suffering from the never ending damage by the accident. Areas were divided into prohibited areas which are now gradually being released, but some people can go home and some cannot. Some people, some schools and hospitals have returned to their hometown despite their complicated situations. They are still going through such a state.
This October, I visited as a volunteer, people in areas of Namie-machi and Iitate village.
Before there were 20,000 residents in that area but now it has decreased to 800 and the place is deserted. Though, there are people who rouse themselves to get back their hometown. When the town or village is released from being an off limit area, some people come back but some cannot no matter how they wish to come back, and I have heard people moaning “The broken plate is not restored”.(No use crying over spilt milk).

I also heard that “there were so many victims with broken houses who waited for help and the fire brigades were so desperate to save them that some of them lost their own lives, swollen by the tsunami waves. In addition there was the nuclear plant accident.
The earthquake occurred on March 11th and on the 12th, evacuation was called out because of the radiation leakage. Many of the victims were still waiting for help but those areas had to be evacuated and thus, could not save those victims. We are still regretting that we could not save those people.”

I listened to their shaking voices, looking down to the sea from the hill. Numerous names were carved on the monument of the victims.
I was speechless, just biting my lips.
Now, there was the calm sea in front of me. On the left hand side, I could see the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant, and on the right hand side, an unnaturally vast space, which once used to be full of people living their lives, and waiting for help when the disaster occurred.
I just played the violin for the people who have come back to school and in hospitals, wanting to come close to their souls, by playing music of Bach, Mozart, Kreisler and Japanese songs.
I left for home on a train at dusk, with the peoples’ sorrowful feelings in my heart.