Anniversary of 3/11/11 MegaQuake. A newscast of the first news of the quake.

When the quake struck, it was afternoon in Japan, a Friday. I was reading on my sofa, with my TV off. And then after the quake, we lost electricity so I didn’t see the first news reports.

I looked on Youtube today and found one of the news reports that happened to be going on in Japan when quake struck:

The station is SoLIVE24, a weather channel. I’m not sure where he is reporting from? Maybe Tokyo? I’m really not sure.

(Some people may find the video distressing. Nothing violent is shown, but the room does shake violently.)

It’s only in Japanese, but I understand it, so I’ll give the gist of it in English.

It starts with the male broadcaster discussing weather conditions in southern Honshu Island. (Humdrum everyday stuff.)

Then an alarm sounds, alerting people in the news room.

He says, “Report of earthquake.”

(In background, man’s voice: “What is that?”)

The map of Japan is shown and the broadcaster reads off the quake info that they currently have.

He says, “There is a possibility of tsunami! Get away from the beach please.”

“Magnitude increased.”

He repeats twice, “There is a possiblity of a tsunami!”

“Magnitude increased!”

“Our building is shaking violently.” (Although at this point, I can’t see any visible shaking, but he must be feeling it.

“Don’t run out in a panic!” (He says this because it is usually safer to stay indoors during a quake in Japan.)

At this point, I hear the sounds of things shaking and falling in the news room and he reads the numbers of magnitude for areas. I hear shouting in background. He keeps reading the numbers of areas.

“Magnitude increased!”

“We think there is a possibility of tsunami, so get away from the coast!” He repeats this several times.

“BIG TSUNAMI WARNING, I REPEAT!” (He repeats, and then goes on to areas in danger.)

“DANGER OF TSUNAMI AREAS:” (He repeats the areas. Areas all along the coast.)

“I REPEAT, BIG TSUNAMI WARNING! GET AWAY!”

The shaking seems to have settled down in the newsroom because I hear voices in background: “Okay?” meaning “Are you okay/Is it okay?”

“BIG TSUNAMI WARNING! EVACUATE! GET AWAY!”

“GET TO THIRD FLOOR OR HIGHER!”

“IT WAS ANNOUNCED BIG TSUNAMI WARNING!” (Reads areas again.)

Then he lists times that tsunami may hit for each area. (Keep in mind that tsunami is approaching at this point. It hasn’t hit yet. Depending where they are on the coast, people have about an hour to evacuate.)

And then he goes on with variations of this same information.

He reads off about the approaching tsunami…Getting in bits of news from the other man about the tsunami height, place, etc.

Then he gives instructions–Get away from the river. Get to a high place. And so on.

Then at the 21:00 mark, it changes to a female broadcaster, repeating about warnings.

At 23:15, it switches to two male broadcasters who discuss the tsunami further.

I’ll stop there, because it goes on with more of the same for a very long time.


When I watch this, I feel that those people in the newsroom are such heroes. And such sadness for the people in danger at THAT VERY MOMENT.


However, much later (like weeks later,) there was complaints that the broadcasters (ALL the broadcasters across Japan, not this station in particular) used words like “Please” as in “Please get away from the coast,” causing some people to not flee as quickly as they should have. So now the broadcasters don’t use the word: “Please.” Now, if there is a possibility of a tsunami, the broadcaster uses more forceful language.

(Personally, I felt the broadcaster did a great job. You could feel his fear, which I think is a great motivator to take it seriously. He did use the word “please” at first, but he dropped it later, at the point of “BIG TSUNAMI WARNING!”)

Tragedy of 3/11/11 Statistics according to Yomiuri Kodomo Shinbun…

The eighth anniversary of the earthquake of 3/11/11 in Japan is next Monday. This morning (3/7/19)  I received my copy of the Yomiuri Children’s Newspaper. The cover article says Ano Hi Wasurenaide

That means “Don’t forget that day.”

It gives statistics for the tragedy. According to the newspaper, these current statistics are:

shishya/People who Died: 15,897 people

kanrenshi/Other Deaths Related to the Tragedy: 3,701 people

yukuefumeisha/Missing People: 2,533 people

fushyousha/Injured People: 6,157 people

jyuutaku no zenhankai/Destroyed Homes: more than 400,000 homes

shinsui menseki/Area of Flood Damage: 561 square kilometers

Higai Gyosen/Damaged Fishing Vessels: 28,612 ships/boats

news article: Uranium Ore was found at tourist museum in the United States

Snippets from article:

“three buckets full of uranium ore sat in a museum building”

“children on tours sitting next to the buckets for a half-hour.”

Some good news: “Simply being near uranium ore is unlikely to result in an unsafe dose of radiation”

“technicians reportedly dumped the buckets at an old uranium mine 2 miles away, then for some reason brought the buckets back to the building.”

“specially concerned about kids who were potentially exposed to radiation, at levels he calculated to be 1,400 times the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s safe level for children.”

This is the article: https://www.npr.org/2019/02/19/696001017/grand-canyon-museum-reportedly-had-buckets-of-uranium-sitting-around-for-18-year

Information about radiation: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2019/02/18/grand-canyon-uranium-case-6-things-know-radiation-exposure/2907787002/

Library Volunteer–February 2019

I was instructed to read aloud a picture book to the elementary school sixth, fifth, fourth, and first graders.


This is the book I read for the first graders. I had originally purchased it for the entire school, but upon receiving it, I felt that it was too babyish for the older kids. (I like picture books that feel more grown-up for them.)

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this easy little book! Or should I say, deceptively easy? We non-equator people are introduced to tropical fruits from the country of Kenya. Few words per page, funny, this is a great ESL book.


I chose the following book for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade.

This book in the above photo has very easy English (for native-speaking kids) but has a much more mature feel than the previous book. Also a great ESL book.

It’s set in Nigeria. A chick is born every day of the week. (Thus, it’s a chance to learn all the days of the week, one by one.) There’s a puzzle at the end of the book. (This puzzle substantially raises the “maturity” factor!)

If each of those little chicks has one baby each, how many chicks will Tobi have in a year?

Gosh, this mathematical equation was HARD for me!!!!!!!!!!!!! My dad has chickens, and they are constantly getting killed by coyotes (yeah, I know it’s sad, but they were extremely happy while they lived. Very free range.) So I kept thinking, well, how can I do this mathematical equation without knowing how many chickens get killed by coyotes, or whatever animal is the equivalent in Nigeria?

However, once I went on the assumption that all the hens (to do the mathematical problem, one has to understand that all the chicks are female) lived to adulthood, I could figure out the answer.

So anyway, these two books are great. I recommend them both.

Happy reading!

It’s March, 2019! Let’s look at Hina Festival Dolls at the Aeon Shopping Center in Fukushima City….

Yesterday I rode my bike to our local Aeon Shopping Center. I asked permission to take photos of the dolls for sale in the store. I was told that normally it is forbidden, but they made an exception for me. (So I DO have permission.)

Hina Festival is March third. In the days leading up to March third, Hina Doll sets are for sale. They can be very expensive. The one above is over a thousand U.S. dollars.

There are different styles, and different artisans who create them. The doll set that a family chooses depends on both what they like and what they can afford.

The above doll set is about 125 dollars, so it’s much more affordable than the set in the first photo. Plus, if a house doesn’t have a lot of space (small homes are common in Japan) this small style can be convenient.

And then ultra-small sets. The one on the far right is only about twenty U.S. dollars. Very affordable. And cute!

You’ll notice that these sets are all Hina sets, and thus follow the same style. There is an emperor (always on your left if you are the viewer) and an empress (always on the right.) These sets are not to be played with, but um, that’s what my mom said about our nativity set and yet Baby Jesus still went on quite a few adventures around the house. So I can’t help but wonder how many high-spirited girls and boys play with these sets when Mama and Papa are not looking?