Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Message From Nakaya Heiji

Taking an Action
- Pray for Japan-


First of all, thank you again for taking an action to support Nakaya Heiji and their family.  We started collecting donation after the earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011.  We were proud to have such thoughtful and caring customers, friends and families. 

We sent the entire donation to Nakaya Heiji last week, and it was safely transferred and received.  Here is a massage from Nakaya Heiji for all of you:

Thank you so much for your great support.  We are grateful that people around the world cared about us.  We can’t thank you enough for this donation. 

We have cleaned up our properties, including the store, workshop and house.  However, we still face aftershocks every day, and have been notified that even bigger aftershocks will come sometime soon. 

Under these circumstances, we have not been able to focus on our job – we have been preoccupied with cleaning, and strengthening, and reconstructing our buildings. 

We can’t thank you for your support, but we will do so by returning to our job and engaging in knife-making. 

Their home city, Mito, continues to face big aftershocks, and the radiation threat from the Fukushima nuclear plants.  However, they are staying strong and are reconstructing their places and their lives.  Our thoughts are with them, and we will continue to give you an update how they are doing. 

Here is a part of an email I sent to Nakaya Heiji in return – I think many people are feeling the same way: 

I am very glad that the donation was safely received.  We wanted to do something for you, as you have always been there for us.  We were fear stricken when we heard that you were affected by the 3.11 earthquake.   It made us feel very scared, sad, and pessimistic that we couldn’t do anything – anything we could do ourselves seemed so small and simply not enough. 

However, collecting donations really helped us – we gained hope again, and became somewhat positive in realizing that there was something we could do.  We were amazed and touched by the large number of our customers, friends, and family who participated in this.  Not only have they been generous, but they really care and they, too, wanted to do something.  So I thank you on behalf of everyone, for letting us do this for you. 

Northern Japan will never be the same after this tragedy.  But our thoughts are always with them, and as long as everyone works together, people will get through it.  Nakaya Heiji and his family, as well as everyone else who has been affected will hopefully be able to rebuild their homes and lives once again in the near future.. 

It has been over a month now, but Japan is still suffering.  It’s not over.  Nuclear plants are not stable yet, and continue to contaminate the area and the Earth with radiation.  This earthquake and tsunami claimed over 14, 000 deaths and 13,700 missing.  30,000 people left their homes for safer areas because their houses were destroyed, or their houses were too close to nuclear plants. 

Let’s keep doing what we can do to help and keep talking about it– after just a month, the news in the US has virtually stopped talking about it, and thus it has begun to fade away from people’s memory.  But the tragedy in Japan is ongoing, and they still need a lot of help, and probably will for many years to come.

Again, thank you so much to everyone who participated and everyone who continues to help out Japan in its time of need.  We are very happy that Nakaya Heiji and his family are moving in a positive direction and hope to see them back to making knives (which they really love) soon.

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