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Guy Totaro comments

Posted in: TV party – Netflix, Hulu and other TV streaming services in Japan See in context

Alistair & Selena - "Don't talk about anything else, we don't wanna know! We're dedicated to our favorite shows!"

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Posted in: Rusty Trombone - Drinks all around See in context

Shirokuma beat me to it.

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Posted in: One in four tsunami children needs psychiatric care See in context

Any ideas as to how to reach the author of this story? I'm interested in some follow up information as well as sharing my relief program with her.

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Posted in: Tsunami 'miracle pine' cut down as part of project to preserve it See in context

Another display of ignorance... No, not this admittedly expensive endeavor, rather those here who post out of their rear ends instead of looking into their hearts to try and understand this emotional and symbolic icon. That said, it seems no detractors here have been to Rikuzentakata so it's an understandable knee jerk reaction given the price tag. Try to imagine living in a beautiful sea-side town where the scenic 2 km beach front forest of 70,000 200 year old trees both defined the region and fueled the local tourist economy. Imagine (if it's possible) that you survived a 4 story high tsunami that traveled over 3 km inland and destroyed everything in it's wake. After the horrific deluge receded, one tree - ONE - out of 70,000 was left standing. Can you imagine identifying with that lone tree on the shore that stood up to the massive wave? Shame on you hoserfella, in past JT posts you expressed vehement concern for one young Japanese man who broke the law in Bali and is now paying the price ("fair" or "unfair") yet you wrote, "a tree no one really cares about". It's clearly just a tree that YOU don't care about and you care more for one kid with bad judgement then you do for the 2,000 residents of Rikuzentakata who died. This amazing tree is, was and will always be a powerful symbol of survival and resilience for the people of Rikuzentakata and across Tohoku. Constructing a memorial - albeit expensive - is what the survivors want and it's their decision alone to make. If you had witnessed this in person I believe you may be more empathetic and not so judgmental. I've been there many times and am happy that I chose to stop there again last week to pay tribute not knowing that it was about to be cut down.

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Posted in: Project to preserve Rikuzentakata 'Miracle Pine' draws criticism on Internet See in context

Granted, 150,000,000 JPY IS a lot of money. What seems to be missing from the above opinions is an understanding of the symbolism of this tree to the people of Rikuzentakata and across Tohoku. I'm guessing that most if not all commentators here haven't been there to see the scope of the damage so I can understand why the importance of the tree is hard to get. It is not just a tree. It represents hope and survival in a way that only those who have experienced the disaster first hand can begin to comprehend. Try to imagine for a moment the emotional parallel between this lone tree standing - ONE out of literally SEVENTY THOUSAND trees - and being a surviver standing in the ruins of what was once your thriving community. It's understandable for people to be concerned about how and where their hard earned donation money is going. There are no doubt more creative and cost effective alternatives to spending so much, but please try to temper your opinions with some sympathy and compassion. The solution is not to stop donating it's to find a group or groups who's work is transparent and that you trust / believe in. For the record, I've spent the better part of the past year and a half doing tsunami relief work and am amazed at the powerful energy that surrounds this tree and the people who are inspired by it to continue on. I'll pass by the tree this weekend and when I do I will stop and take a moment to focus some hope that you / we are never left standing alone.

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