Two years since the Tohoku Earthquake

Today marks two years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. I’ll never forget that day. I was shopping for a snack just before work when the building started shaking like crazy. We all rushed out. My work got canceled, but all the trains stopped, so I spent the night in the office with two other co-workers. On my co-worker’s laptop, we watched a tsunami wash away a town. I cried and cried.
I felt sick and pained in the depths of my soul. I hadn’t known the horror of a tsunami until then. I thought it was like one of those waves a surfer rode on the beach, except really tall. NO. It rolled over a city, picked up everything, and sucked it back out to sea. It stole people’s lives. It stole their homes. It stole their future.

And it wrecked the nuclear power plant and spilled radioactive material everywhere.

I was so scared, so when my friend/MMA photographer Dan said, “I’m going to Nagyoa for a while, wanna come?” I said, “Yes. I’ll be at Shinagawa in an hour.” Grabbed clothes, my laptop, money and was soon speeding away from Tokyo. Thank you to Dan’s friends for letting me crash at their place along with 9 or 10 other people for a week.
the gang

A week later, after we were sure the power plants weren’t going to explode any worse, I went home. Half my friends and co-workers had left the country.

Even now, people in disaster areas are still living in temporary houses. Even now charity collections are going on, and much of the money hasn’t been distributed. Families have sued Tokyo Electric for their negligence to prepare adequate safety precautions. But how can it pay thousands of people?!

It’s crazy. Energy conservation. People still homeless and jobless and missing. They must have passed away after two years, their bodies washed out to sea. It’s so tragic.

Last year in October, my team Groundslam organized a volunteer trip to Kamaishi to distribute supplies and do a grappling tournament.
mogi's pic on the bus

We built a park and helped clean rubble. I felt happy that I could do something with my own hands.
kamaishi - park grass2

kamaishi - handing out food roxy
I’ll never forget March 11th. The “eleventh” seems to be a super unlucky day. It was a tragic day for the US (September 11th) and also Japan. What a coincidence.

There are still big worries about how the radiation will effect us all. We’re all eating radioactive fish and plants, etc etc. The government keeps lying about how certain degrees are safe, but you know what? Radioactivity is radioactivity. But I’m not leaving Japan because I love it here, and it’s my home.

Ever since last week I’ve been thinking about this. I wish I could do more to help my adopted country. Ganbarou, Nippon!!…