Today begins the weekend marking the one-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Saturday is the launch day for the Tomo anthology, the collection of 36 young adult stories that I edited to support teens in Tohoku, and a Tomo Launch event, an evening of readings and reflection, will be held in Tokyo. Sunday, March 11, 2012, 2:46 p.m.marks the time of the earthquake, and there are ceremonies and events planned throughout Japan to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the disasters that followed.
Throughout the year, I've kept a list of some of the newspaper articles that featured children and teens in Tohoku. I thought I'd share a few of these this weekend:
"Teen girl separated from friend narrowly survives tsunami" Asahi Shimbun, April 11, 2011
"Fukushima high school golfer shoots for glory in tourney" Daily Yomiuri September 23, 2011
"Teenager’s tsunami art on postcard lifting spirits" Daily Yomiuri, October 8, 2011
"Ishinomaki girl comforts friends' families" Daily Yomiuri, October 12, 2011
"Tohoku teens share views of survival" Japan Times, November 10, 2011
"Grandparents stifle grief to raise orphaned boy" Japan Times, February 23, 2012
"Tohoku teen feels guilt of being lone survivor" Japan Times, February 24, 2012
And if you haven't seen it already, take an hour this weekend to watch BBC's Children of the Tsunami.
This will be a tough weekend. Already I am fighting back tears every few minutes. But I am full of hope for the children and teens of Tohoku. I am encouraged and inspired by their strength. Step by step, let's keep moving forward.