April 05, 2011

Join "Operation Yashima"!!

                                                                        the first Sakura, cherry flowers in Nara

 It has been 25days since the deadly catastrophe hit the northern Japan, - earthquake, Tsunami and nuclear plant crisis. Always thinking of the people in suffering, we began to do what we can do. Especially young people's energy and contribution are the greatest.  They are  genius in using Internet or social network. 

                              a tiny,tiny bud of "Thunberg spirea"; Japanese name is "Yuki-Yanagi" meaning snow willow

The fans of "Evangelion", which is  extremely popular animation as well as manga (comics), started  "Operation Yashima" shortly after unfathomable disasters hit Tohoku area, Japan. This operation is to call for people to save energy so that more electricity can be sent to the stricken area, and the message has been sent through Twitter. In  "Evangelion" , people  need a huge energy to fight against the enemy attacking to destroy human beings. All energy in Japan is collected, so the whole Japan is blacked out. This  is named "Operation Yashima" in the story.
They tweeted "Operation Yashima" and a number of people retweeted it. The operation immediately and widely  spread and  has been echoing all over Japan. This movement is becoming a social phenomenon! The planed rolling blackouts, which are  set for 9 prefectures to prevent  sudden and massive blackout,  have been canceled many times. Let's join "Operation Yashima"! This operation is also good to save the earth from global warming.

In response of this "Operation Yashima" ,  another movement began among young people.  Volunteers set up the site for the saving-energy posters. The posters have been designed  by professional designers and amateurs. Here is the site , sorry only in Japanese, but languages are no matter, they are appealing. And you can print out any of them,  use them and link them without permission. With these printed posters,  young people have been visiting shops, restaurants, convenience stores and more to ask for their cooperatrion.  My favorite one is this.
"Tonight, Japan will become the darkest country."   

 The lit area showed by whitish yellow dots is Tohoku, the stricken area.  I wondered that  hundreds years ago, how people had lived without a flood of energy? They must have enjoyed beautiful star-filled night sky talking the legends of stars and constellations.  Where have all of them gone?

A group of  university students set up a multilingual website for foreign residents seeking information about the disasters. Now information is available in 41 languages thanks to more than 100 volunteers, including university students, professors and native speakers of those languages.
young leaves of maple tree bathed in golden sunset
One young man, who is also one of survivors, has been walking to shelter to shelter to find out accurate savivors' names and locations and been tweeting to send the information to the people who are desperately worrying about whether their loved ones are alive. How many people have been relieved to have reached his information.

  I am deeply moved in awe of tenderness and contribution of young people. They are the hope to rebuild Japan, better Japan , home for everybody.

Nara, the ancient capital of Japan, is praying for Tohoku. On April 1st, Himuro Shrine( Himuro means the ancient natural refrigerator)  held the candle lightning ceremony to celebrate 1300th anniversary of offering ice ritual. At the same time, this ceremony became the moment to think and pray for Tohoku, the stricken area. A flickering light covered with an  ice pot is so tiny but evokes firm hope-Japan will rise again.

This shrine is famous for an old weeping cherry tree which blooms first in Nara, an usher of spring in Nara.
The old weeping cherry tree is opening it's arms and bracing people.
Asahi Newspaper introduced Haiku, a short poem,

「生きていて生きてるだけで燕くる」 飯田操
"Being alive/Just being alive is enough/ Swallows come." by Misao Iida

Unknown flowers are beautifully  blooming.

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  1. Wonderful post with beautiful images.

  2. I visited Himuro Jinja today. And when I came home, I saw read your blog. It's beautiful, but I think Matabe Zakura is better.

    Thanks for tellins us about OPeration Yashima. I will write about it on my blog. And here is another Internet initiative, which a commenter told me about today: http://www.quakebook.org/

  3. 古都 奈良で、これほどにも綺麗で見事な桜が今年も無事咲いた事が心から嬉しいです。 ありがとう。

  4. Hello, Snow white.
    The new term will start soon.
    Young people are the hope to rebuild Japan. Moreover, young people are the one that grow up in the society. A lot of Universities throughout Japan have decided that some credits could be given for the students who have involved in volunteer works in Tohoku.
    So they can continue their volunteer works even after starting of the new term. Of course students are required to submit to their Universities reports on their work. I was very impressed with this news. It is a great decision for the students, the victims and Japan. Thank you for telling about Operation Yashima.

  5. Oh my - this is such a beautiful post! I'm so very much in awe of the grace and dignity of the Japanese people during this disaster. I know that hope, like the cherry blossom, will flourish once again.

  6. This is such a heart warming post, Snowwhite...we can all learn so much from your country during these stressful days. The cherry blossom will keep your hearts together and beating cooperatively to heal those so devastated by the tragedy...my thoughts and prayers continue and will not end for you and your country.

  7. The ancient Weeping Cherry seems a symbol of hope with its limbs outstretched. I believe the youth of your country will make Japan proud as it rebuilds itself. I am always heartened when my Nara friends post their messages of survival and strength.

  8. I like your favorite poster, too. Without knowing "Operation Yashima", I have saved energy including candle light dinner which I thought I should’ve practiced not just for now. Due to different electric energy system between Kansai and Kanto and lack of transformers, enough electricity can’t be sent to Kanto. That’s very regrettable.

    In any tragedy, there are positive things found or recognized once again: one of them is creative, powerful, helpful, and kind hearts of the young. They’ve made my heart bright as future depends on them. It’s time for us to change lifestyle, though rudely, violently awakened.

  9. A beautiful post and some great ideas are being implemented to help Japan. Still many thoughts and prayers with you and the people of Japan.

  10. The contrast between the beauty of the blossom and what is happening in Japan is heart-hurting.


  11. "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."
    It is quoted in 37 Frames, April 03,2011. There are lots of things we don't notice or can't see till we lost the familiar things we took for granted. If there are no lights on the ground, we can see stars high above in the sky all the more. Likewise we can see lots of stars in people's heart at this time of crisis.

  12. What a wonderful and emotionally moving post.

  13. Great post. I am convinced Japan will bounce back!

  14. It is so nice to hear how everyone is pitching in to help, and wonderful to see ideas coming to fruition. Beautiful photography of the spring cherry blossoms... a symbol of renewed hope & growth. Thoughts are with you & the people of Japan.

  15. Hi snowwhite, I'm happy you visited my blog, otherwise I wouldn't have known you are back here, posting again. I'm glad about that, I missed you and your lovely photos. this post is most moving, and my heart is with you and the people of Japan during these challenging times.

  16. Thank you for writing this wonderful post! Very moving. And you are right to feel proud of those who are creating posters urging everyone to conserve energy. Japan WILL rise again. You can be sure of that.

  17. wonderful post and so heartwarming to hear about all the amazing efforts of the young...beautiful images in this post too...

  18. Personally I think night views in Japan are generally too bright.
    To save energy at public space and at home is quite necessary.
    And also we can use less water in dairy life, as we do in the case of shortage.

  19. Thank you for this interesting post.It must be reassuring to have young people so committed to helping and finding solutions.

    The cherry blossom is very beautiful!

  20. Very interesting post. Young people of Japan are inspiration for many.
    Your landscape and flower pictures are wonderful.

  21. A great variety of cherry blossoms encourage many Japanese.

  22. It's more than a year later, and that haiku still made me cry. Thanks for telling me about this post and Operation Yashima!

    PS: Some of the power-saving posters are very cute, some are very powerful.

  23. It is so great that thanks to Internet people can unite for good cause. Ideas can be spread so much faster than a few decades ago. I think people should save water and electricity in every country - not only for the environment or to save money. We should think about what we spend and how it comes to us. And if something bad happens, we'll be more prepared.


Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and leaving warm messages. I will visit your site soon. keiko