Dear Friends: Like many Americans, I have been following the news about Japan’s disasters with great concern. I wanted to take today to share some news and information I thought my fellow citizens would like to know.
First, a hero who should inspire us all: Hideaki Akaiwa
After surviving the historic earthquake and 100-foot tsunami, Akaiwa dons SCUBA gear and rescues his wife of 20 years and his mother. The compelling account, written in Bruce-Willis-Die-Hard vernacular ends:
Today this 43 year-old Japanese badass rides out every single day, multiple times a day, riding around on a bicycle with his legs wrapped in plastic to keep himself dry. His only equipment – a pocketknife, a canteen, a flashlight, a change of clothes, and a badass set of aviator sunglasses – packed into a trusty trio of backpacks, he rides out in search of people needing rescue, a modern-day, real-life action hero.
Also, it is my pleasure to be acquainted with the Former Honorary Consul General of Japan, Mr. Michael Inoue. He was one of my wonderful RCIA instructors, and I was privileged to hear his experiences about being Catholic in Japan. Last week, I asked him if he could specifically suggest organizations that were focused on assisting Japan recovery from the earthquake-tsunami-volcano-nuclear disaster suite that is inflicting that country. He indicated the Japanese Red Cross. CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO THE ORGANIZATION’S DONATION PAGE; you can also surf that site for additional details. Yes, Japan is a land of survivors!
Also, directly: http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/
More details can be found from this wonderful video, filmed in San Diego’s own Japanese Friendship Garden: A Musical Note of Hope & Love for the Japanese People –
He also indicated the consulate was also taking donation. So, I will additionally recommend the following contact information:
Consulate General of Japan
5154 Via Playa Los Santos
San Diego, California 92124-1555
Michael also provided some additional material I wanted to share: KPBS recently broadcast the Fukushima Koriyama Junior High Choir’s “Gloria” (only 30 miles from the Fukushima nuclear reactors) via videos forwarded by Urasenke Prof Ayako Katayama provided the YouTube. The school remains closed, but you can hear their award winning choir sing:
Benedic Domino, anima mea
Mike also prepared a wonderful presentation which I wanted to make available to everyone. It contains a summary of the most significant news items, information on fake donation sites, and details on the nuclear plant crisis: 3-‐11 Triple Whammy “Can any Good come out of this tragedy?”
As this is a Catholic faith site, I would be remiss if I didn’t share something about an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary that appeared in Akita, Japan: Our Lady of Akita seen by Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa near the this city in 1973. Sister Sasagawa said that the Virgin Mary told her: “Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach.” It seems that all of Japan was able to watch the tears appearing on the Statue of the Virgin on television at this time.
For details on this Apparition check the EWTN site and click here for Marianland.com’s review: January 4, 1975 – the statue of the Blessed Virgin began to weep. It continued to weep at intervals for the next 6 years and eight months. It wept on 101 occasions. In 1988, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger(the current Pope), gave definitive judgment on the Akita events and deemed the messages as reliable and worthy of belief.