Archive | Earthquake and Tsunami

What the Tsunami Left Behind

March 8, 2013   By KUMIKO MAKIHARA The New York Times Rikuzentakata, JAPAN —THE deserted white apartment building tells its story floor by floor. The street level has only gaping open spaces where there were once floor-to-ceiling windows. On the second story, pieces of aluminum protrude across some of those gaps. More metal appears on […]

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In Fukushima, Surreal Serenity

July 23, 2012   By KUMIKO MAKIHARA The International Herald Tribune/The New York Times KORIYAMA, JAPAN — The traditional inn nestled amid the mountainous countryside offered all the luxurious comforts for which these old-style hotels are famous. An elegant and eye-pleasing eight-course dinner was served in our room. The outdoor hot-spring bath had a view […]

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Train to Nowhere

June 24, 2011   By KUMIKO MAKIHARA Foreign Policy KORIYAMA, Japan — On the first day of Golden Week, Japan’s string of national holidays that start in late April, I boarded the just reopened bullet train from Tokyo to the quake-struck northeast. I have taken that line many times before without special thought, but this […]

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A Battered Nation on the Mend

June 10, 2011   By KUMIKO MAKIHARA The International Herald Tribune/The New York Times KESENNUMA, Japan — Imagine seeing your office building swept away in a wave and then spending all night on a freezing rooftop watching your beloved fishing boat on fire drifting back and forth in a murky ocean gone wild. The following […]

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A Month After the Shock, a Different Japan

April 13, 2011   By KUMIKO MAKIHARA The International Herald Tribune/The New York Times TOKYO — A surreal chorus of clipped buzzing noises pierced the silence on my rush hour commuter train one morning this week. It was the earthquake warning alarms of the passengers’ cellphones indicating that another temblor was imminent. Everyone grabbed their […]

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Navigating Japan’s Day of Disaster

March 13, 2011   By KUMIKO MAKIHARA The International Herald Tribune/The New York Times TOKYO — As I sat down with my laptop that evening, some hours after the massive earthquake had struck Japan, my cellphone emitted a grating squeal. It was a signal from the National Meteorological Agency warning that a large aftershock was […]

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