The Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

AP Photo/Keichi Nakane, The Yomiuri Shimbun

A brief moment of serious business here. On Friday local time a massive 8.9 earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Japan, causing damage and leading to a tsunami that has caused even more. The situation is still ongoing, and I recommend following your preferred news source for better details than I can provide (Al Jazeera English‘s live stream was admirably on top of things as this happened around 2-4am in my timezone.) Our thoughts here at T.H.A.T. are with those affected and their friends and families. If you have friends or family there we also wish you the best in getting in contact with them. While this blog covers a component of modern Japanese popular culture in an often lighthearted way, I would like to take a more sober tone for a moment and ask you, if you are able, to spare what you can to donate to disaster relief efforts there. Please donate what you can to your charity of choice. I donated to Global Giving as I feel they have a good system and were one of the first to have a fund set up. You can also text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 USD to the Red Cross (in the US) or the same word to 30333 in Canada. For those in the UK, you can donate to the Red Cross in your country here. Thank you for taking a moment to give this your consideration.

(On a personal note, thankfully everyone I know in Japan has checked in that they’re safe. Everyone I know lives either in the Tokyo or Osaka regions which weren’t directly affected. Twitter, Facebook, and email really helped getting in touch quickly and alleviating my concerns.)

-ExecutiveOtaku, on behalf of the T.H.A.T. team.

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  1. Darkfireblade25
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    man this sure hits really close to home…. to think that something like Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (except bigger) might just be possible very soon… *shivers*

    my wishes go to those affected and especially those that lost loved ones :(

    • Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      For as bad as it is, at least the earthquake didn’t happen closer to the most populated areas around Tokyo (like in 8.0) and Osaka. The Japanese response has been very good so far and they’re also receiving lots of assistance from US forces in Japan and many other countries have personnel, material, and financial assistance on the way. In all this it is truly touching to see so many countries helping out.

      • Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        Sendai, which was pretty much ground zero, had a population of one million. (It’s anyone’s guess what its population is now, though.)

        • Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          I’ve heard reports ranging from 700 to 2000 dead. I doubt that the total will go above the single-digit thousands but even so that’s a terrible toll. I just bring up Tokyo (13 million) and Osaka (2.5 million) because they have the most densely populated areas within and surrounding their cities.

          • yop
            Posted March 14, 2011 at 6:08 am | Permalink

            Hope you’re right with those numbers, but afraid you’re wrong. Don’t forget that the coastline of Japan is dotted with tons of little fishing villages (or sometimes former fishing villages). Places where people live now mostly because their ancestors happened to settle there hundreds of years ago. We have next to no information out of those sorts of places yet. In many cases, the only land access is via a coastal roadway which is now impassable.

          • Posted March 14, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

            I had just come back to unfortunately say that it looks like there have been more than 10,000 lives lost…damn…

  2. Posted March 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Best wishes to those in Japan and elsewhere in the world affected by the quake. I also appreciate the shoutout here.

    • Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Same here, and best of luck to all the responders from Japan and the many countries that are offering help.

      I was also very glad to see the levels of donations already collected and that several other anime blogs have made posts asking people to donate. They’re going to need all the resources they can get now and for a long while after during cleanup and rebuilding.

  3. Posted March 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Thoughts and prayers go out to friends,family and people in japan! Really hope everyone donates some money if they can.

    • Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      The amounts of donated money have grown quickly and I hope that more people will spare what they can to add to it.

  4. Lectro Volpi
    Posted March 12, 2011 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Been a while Mr. Executiveotaku!

    Everyone I know is safe. My condolences to the victims.

    Japan is a strong nation that has overcome many tragedies and this will not be the exception.

    • Posted March 12, 2011 at 5:32 am | Permalink

      I mean they often have (small) earthquakes every now and then? Sad that this time’s earthquake’s off the scale for them this time.
      This is a very good time not to watch Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, obviously.

      I hope that the nuclear power plant situation isn’t too serious. (And this incident shows very well that why building a nuclear plant in Singapore is very risky should any disaster arise, natural or man-made.) I hope that things turn for the better with aid and rescue from other nations and from the Japan government.

    • Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Glad to hear that those you know there are safe! I’m sure Japan can overcome this, and it’s important to do what’s in our power to help as well.

  5. Marigold Ran
    Posted March 12, 2011 at 12:37 am | Permalink


    But that would soul-less and inhuman. So instead, I too offer my condolences.

    • Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it would be, not to mention the height of douchebaggery.

      Condolences have meaning, action more. Please consider donating to a charity responding to this if you have the means.

      • Marigold Ran
        Posted March 13, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

        I’m not a US citizen, but which organizations send people to disaster zones to help? I’d actually consider going there. This is the sort of thing that I think I’d enjoy doing since I laugh in the face of disasters.

        Keep in mind that it’s not out of compassion. But it would be a lot of fun, I think.

  6. Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    to bad about our Japanese friends, this earthquake was so terrible as that of

    • Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      A stronger earthquake than that in Chile, though at least it was in a country better prepared for it as far as infrastructure and disaster response units. It was still very devastating though and now there are potential issues with nuclear power plants disabled in the shocks. Many countries are already responding with help, it’s important that everyone do what they can.

  7. Posted March 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Also, those in the UK can give to the British Red Cross here:

    – in which case, if you’re a tax payer, don’t forget to tick the ‘Gift Aid’ box when you’re donating. Thanks. :)

    • Posted March 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the link to another way to donate, comrade. I’ll edit the post to include this with the others.

  8. Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    We are concerned with this incident. However, from this incident we can learn a lot how the Japanese government and its people handle this earthquake disaster.

    • Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      True, and so far both the citizens and government having been doing a great job. Much better than I expected beforehand. I hope that in the future, after the rebuilding is done, that this tragedy will be a source or strength and pride for the country.

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