Sunday, 13 March 2011

Weeping for Japan

Image: The Wedding Co
Words. How to find them at times like this? To adequately convey the depth of our emotion at the utter ghastliness of what has just happened in Japan?

This is in Australia's neck of the woods. Our region has borne so much in recent weeks - devastating floods and a terrifying cyclone in Queensland, calamitous earthquakes in Christchurch and now all this in Japan.

The statistics roll in, readily and constantly updated. According to this recent Sydney Morning Herald online article:

* The official death toll from the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami has reached 801 people with 1,437 people injured.

The death toll could rise to 10,000. That's people we're talking about. That's more than 3 times the number of people killed on 11 September 2001.

* About another 10,000 people have been reported missing in a single town. That's but one of many such towns.

The country's worst nuclear accident in at least 33 years occurred at a plant near Tokyo when its cooling systems failed. That's Tokyo, a city of 13 million inhabitants. We can only hope and pray that the resultant radiation exposure can be contained as quickly as possible.

* At least 350,000 people are currently staying at evacuation centres. That's about the entire population of Canberra. Makes you think, doesn't it?

There have been hundreds of aftershocks since the earthquake. As if those poor souls don't have enough to contend with now.

* The ensuing 7 metre high tsunami that engulfed towns on the northern coast reached as far as 20 kilometres inland. I can't even imagine such a volume of water.

Words. Statistics. The only image of hope which springs to my mind is this glorious chandelier of paper cranes which reminds me of the heartbreaking but inspirational story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Maybe some of you remember this story from your childhood. You can read more about it here.

I think tomorrow on Planet Baby we might try making some origami paper cranes with the pixies in memory of those poor souls who have recently died in Japan. Maybe you'd like to do the same with your children.



  1. What a beautiful post Jane. Love the paper crane idea too. xx

  2. Hi Jane,
    It is heartbreaking, Mother Nature is not happy at all with us humans...
    Hope your week will start good, hugs, Maureen

  3. oh yes so sad, we love japan so much. Have loved travelling there and love the beautiful people there. It's just so sad:(

    what a beautiful idea with the cranes, I remember that story from primary school!


  4. Heartbreaking...

    Thoughtful and thought provoking post Jane. Will definately try our hand at some paper cranes.

  5. something seems totally askew with the world at present ... it's a fragile life afterall ... I think of all the babes at school who were fresh and fearless and full of life one minute and the next all washed away - breaks my mothering heart in two ... kisses to you and yours Jane le xox

  6. Beautiful thoughts Jane. Its unimaginable. Emma.

  7. I hadn't heard the story of Sadako, but there's a statue in a peace park here in Seattle! I must go visit it. We don't have kids, but plenty of paper. I think it's time to start folding some cranes. Beautiful post, Jane. :)

  8. Lovely post Jane...I love origami cranes

  9. Ah, ladies. The news keeps getting worse. My thoughts and prayers are all I have to offer at the moment as our finances are stretched. Unfortunately, folding the paper cranes proved a little beyond the pixies. I might have a go instead. When will Mother Nature take a break? J x

  10. Wonderful post. It is so sad. You did a good job writing this.

  11. We made paper cranes for my cousin and his family who live in Japan. Fortunately they are north west but are still understandably terrified. Thoughts and prayers to all Japan. x

  12. It's all so unbelieveable. I just can't conceive of how they are to clean up and rebuild. It just seems too difficult x

  13. I hear you, Janie.
    The world seems so
    turbulent these days,
    especially in your
    dear corner of the
    world. And now this
    morning I heard that
    about the radiation
    difficulties. Just
    so awful. But already
    I am seeing and hearing
    ALSO about the good
    and positive actions
    that my fellow citizens
    are taking to try and
    help in some way, and
    THAT is what we need to
    focus on...and join in
    on....Praying for all
    in Japan and parts beyond.
    xx Suzanne

  14. Jane - we have been doing just that! almost finished a blog post saying just the same thing. We've got so many paper cranes around this house, I send a prayer up every time I see one. It is just heartbreaking.

    maddie from lil'magoolie is also collecting a thousand paper cranes for her beloved christchurch. I think it is a beautiful gesture.

  15. Beautiful post - it is so tragic, sad, and terrifying. It all leaves me speechless and teary-eyed, feeling helpless.

  16. It's relentless, this bad news, isn't it? Unfortunately, crane making was a little beyond the pixies - we painted instead. I'm touched that some of you have made them. Trying to explain it to the pixies has been very difficult - they're still getting over the Queensland floods. J x

  17. I've seen a few of these crane posts, all so pretty & meaningful. My husband was asked if he could speak Japanese, eekk, kind of glad he is one action man they didn't send to Japan this week. Love Posie

  18. I feel so overwhelmed by the on-going Japan disaster. Really too much for one country to cope with all at once and the scenes of the Japanese being so stoic in the face of it all somehow makes it all so much more tragic.

  19. I think your crane idea is wonderful. I am meant to be having a blogging free day today for Japan but just wanted to pop in and say hi as I haven't been by for a while.

    Hope you all have a beautiful weekend.

    Best wishes always,

  20. Hi Jane, just seeing how you are sailing hon,
    Melissa typed a capital letter, made a link to you,I thought that was so funny, hugs, Maureen x

  21. I mean she made the link...sigh, need my morning coffee...xx

  22. Ah, sweet Planetarians! The news from Japan just seems to worsen as each day passes. Those angels who work at the nuclear power plants are so courageous as they try to shut them down.

    Thanks, Maureen, you sweetheart. Yes, it made me giggle - it followed some emails between us this week. She's a funny girl! J x

  23. I missed this post last weekend as I was having a little break from blogland, feeling fatigued and recovering from a hideous virus and trying to catch up on house work, but all the while feeling heavy hearted as the tragedy unfolded in Japan. I haven't told Ina yet - and she skips home from kinder singing songs in Japanese (she's learning Japanese). Thanks for the link to Sadako. I know of it, but haven't read it. Making paper cranes is a lovely idea, but if it's beyond the pixies, perhaps you could make cherry blossom trees instead - drawing a trunk and scrunching up tiny balls of pink tissue paper and glueing them to the branches.

    Love to you Jane xx

  24. Thanks for the gorgeous idea, Sarah - I'm off to buy some pink tissue paper! J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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