DISCLAIMER FROM THE TRANSLATOR: While I speak both English and Japanese fluently, I know nothing about medicine. These are rough translations made through tears (i.e., sometimes while bawling). Please take all medical details in particular with a grain of salt. These translations have not been proofread and will be revised on a later date.

Please note that I am NOT in contact with the original author, who has given general permission for translation in one of her entries.

I would appreciate it if everyone can refrain from posting these entries elsewhere and to share this address <http://jkts-english.blogspot.com> instead, as I will be making revisions to each entry directly (addresses for individual entries may change if I revise their titles).



Start reading here: 1) To the affected areas.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Half a year.

[September 17, 2011 9:23PM]

In the midst of these terribly hot last days of Summer, half a year has passed since the earthquake.
Since then, I have returned to the basics and studied disaster medical care all over again, and I am spending my days doing research and doing clinical work with the intent of becoming certified in sanitation and medical care for contagious diseases, alongside with concerns about my work environment.

I asked a friend of mine who was providing medical aid as a nurse in Kesennuma on September 11, right at the half-year mark, what the situation is like [in the affected areas].
“Half a year has passed; has it passed quickly, or has it felt like a long time?”
My friend’s response was that “It’s felt long.  It feels long because the situation still hasn’t improved.
Even now, as media coverage and features [about the disaster and its aftereffects] have decreased, there are still many, many people who are facing reality and working hard to deal with the situation, and I believe it will be much longer before all the feelings hurt are healed.
I saw a feature on the ‘sunflower field of hope’ in Rikuzen-Takata on the news the other day, and my tears wouldn’t stop at the sight of the landscape gradually being restored, the people who have done so much for me in those days looking lively, and children the same age as Luna planting sunflower seeds in this field.
Back home, my grandmother plants sunflowers every year, and we have plenty of seeds, some of which we were able to send to Rikuzen-Takata for this project.  When I think of the fact that some of the sunflowers blooming in that field are connected to my family, it feels as though my hometown and my second home of Rikuzen-Takata have come together, and I am terribly happy about this.
I have plans to visit the affected areas again this month, to Minamisanriku for just a few days.  My purposes for visiting have changed as well; I will be visiting in order to give medical check-ups and to get a better idea of the kinds of medical care that are lacking at this point.
It has also been decided that I will also be going to Fukushima to give check-ups there during this year.  I love Fukushima Prefecture, and I would like to study about the accurate notion of radioactivity, so that I can help as much as I can.
—I guess reporting on what I’ve been up to makes me sound like a dead-serious person who is studying all the time, but I’ve also been enjoying my hobbies and going out for a change, making my parents worry sometimes.

Tomorrow, I will be going to a Dreams Come True concert!!
I hope they’ll play that song “Nando demo” that gave me the courage to go on back in those days.  I’ll definitely cry.
Even though I will be listening to the song with different feelings from my feelings back then, it’ll be the same thing in the sense that it will give me the courage to go on.
I’m sure I will be thinking of all my loved ones, everyone from back in those days, and my family, but the tears I will shed will be clear ones!

Translated June 5, 2012.
Original entry in Japanese: 半年。

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