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.