Sunday, April 10, 2011

Follow up: From our new friends in Japan :)--your emails are working

Personal Note from Val:  Masami sent two notes yesterday as follow up to the emails that have been going to Japan from around the world.  Thank you.  :)  It worked.
Dear Friends all over the world,

2 weeks have passed in a flash since we reported what happened in our daily life. We have found far more responses to this small e-mail. Far, far more than we could imagine, we have no words to show our gratitude for your warm encouragement.
We have found many wise words which would support us all through our future lives. The most deeply impressed word is "resilience" given by Dr. David L. Harris, USA. This means; "the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc, after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity. Ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy."

Though we are still in danger of being exposed to radiation affect, we will keep going with this word in our hearts.

Thank you, our friends, and good-bye for a while.

With a lot of gratitude from teachers and parents of Seiju Institute, Japan,

Fujiyo Goto, Masami Fujita (teachers)

Satoshi Sotome, Toshio Mori, Mitsumasa Sunaga, Michiyo Shimura, Michiko Onuki, Honami Hasegawa, Katsumi Tsukui, Saeki Oikawa, Keiko Ando, Akiko Shibaguchi, Hisao Shibaguchi, Tamao Okawa, Yuko Kamioka, Takashi Kawada, Nagisa Kawada, Tooru Nakamura, Noriko Kakizaki, Masako Tsukada, Chikako Kobayashi, Masaaki Kawabe, Shoko Arakawa, Toshio Arakawa, Toshio Mieda, Takashi Kameyama, Atsuko Kameyama, Ikuko Inoue, Saburou Kokubun (parents)

Dear. Friends who responded to my message, friends who forwarded my message to your friends, and friends who read my message,

Thank you very much for your most kind messages to my students. Your words touched their young mind and made them all smile and encouraged. To our surprise, we received over 100 e-mails from all over the world; from Israel, Sweden, USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, Sri Lanka, Romania, Czech, Paraguay, Korea, etc… and it still continues.

Our town is getting back to the normal, original state. Our local train started running on the 1st of April, and every high school has started at last. There is no cue of cars in front of petrol station anymore. No shortage of milk, eggs, or water any longer. We have fear about radiation problem, but we are reported that it is not very serious in our area. One thing is different; stores, restaurants, and offices try to turn off lights as much as possible, so the town is less bright than before; that is not a bad thing at all.

Thanks to your encouraging stories, many of my students have become more active, more energetic, and more confident to everyone’s eyes. Without your help, it could not have been possible.

One parent of 17-year-old boy wrote to me, "My families all appreciate these e-mails from all over the world and we cannot believe this is really happening. I had never thought of letting my child go by bike such a long way, in such a windy day. I considered it my duty to drive him everywhere. Seeing his fulfilled smile, I realized I had deprived him of his chance to be strong, to do what he could himself. – Apparently it makes him feel satisfied and his mind clearer to ride on a bike. He says that he had the most fruitful spring vacation in his life and enjoyed it a lot."

Another parent of the same age said, "My son had never tried to help his younger sister's homework, but now, to our surprise, he does. He seems to have confidence and looks like a different person. He used to take it for granted to be taken to the railway station by car, but now when I realize, his bike has gone already."

We received a lot of e-mails from students of Mariaskolan School in Stockholm, Sweden, and learned that they too learn at their classroom about Japan and discuss on this catastrophe. This made us think a lot, for those young as well as adults outside of Japan take this tragedy very serious as if it were their own. … Do we consider and discuss it thoroughly enough too?

Some of my students wrote a letter in English for the first time in their lives! I very well understand it is challenging for us, Japanese, to write in English because we use completely different letters from alphabet. It gave them some sense of achievement and happiness.

In the classroom, we talked about how we could spend our summer without electricity. We have very hot, humid summer – at hottest 40 Degrees Celsius with 90% humidity! Just thinking about our summer with no electricity was horrible enough to make us silent. After a while, one said, "we could put our foot in a bucket or container with water in it." Another said, "we could use our traditional fun, sensu." Then another, "we could have water frozen during night and put it on our neck!" It is a matter of triviality, but having such a conversation, we can look at our lives in a different way, find something we can do, and actually do it in our daily life.

They now hesitate to say, " I can't." Instead, "Maybe, I can." crosses their mind.

Many things have happened since the last e-mail. To our students, it was a memorable March, not as a horrible one, but as an honorable one.I'm sure they will remember this spring all through their lives.

Thank you, my friends, for putting these young students in Japan into your heart, caring about them and taking some time to write them your warm messages.

Your words are always with them. ARIGATO GOZAIMASU (Thank you very much).

Sincerely yours,
Masami Fujita
Sano, Tochigi, Japan