Because I have a certain profile as a Japanese person who happens to write a lot in English about things Japanese, I periodically get asked to support this or that cause or organization related to Japan. Here's why I may or may not give your group a shout-out or other visible support.
A local TV station in Japan makes a stupid mistake onscreen.
It's all a matter of roots.
One story that suddenly got picked up in the last couple of days by the overseas, not-in-Japan media in the last couple of days is the case of the town of Minamisoma or Minami Soma, a small city in Fukushima prefecture located about 25km from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. It says quite a lot about the inability of these media sources to keep up with current events in Japan.
The past two weeks plus since March 11 have been unbearingly intense. I've not been getting enough sleep, because I'm still so pent up that I have trouble relaxing enough to really relax. I seem to be sleeping on the shallow surface, always alert to something going on. This has surely affected my mood adversely.
For this and other reasons, I've decided to stop my continuous stream of Twitter updates.
The cultural background of Genpatsu-Kun, aka Nuclear Reactor-kun, a viral video explaining how a nuclear reactor accident like the one in Fukushimaa works.
Here are a collection of links where you can monitor radioactivity levels.
UPDATE, March 26: I've stopped my Twitter flow for the most part - here's why.
UPDATE, March 15: Since Twitter may be experiencing occasional load problems, I am archiving my tweets on this page. It should be polling Twitter to get data in every hour. Warning: There's a lot of stuff in the past few days.
Since a lot of new people have started to follow me on Twitter recently, I thought I'd just explain exactly what I'm doing right now on Twitter, to those who don't know anything about me. (Updated to add "who is 'inhouse engineer aka @pdfguru.)
It's now the night of Day 4 of the earthquake in Japan, and I think we can all need to relieve some tension...especially in Japan. This is being retweeted around in Japanese Twitter circles now; being that Japanese is a more compact language all the links and headlines fit in one tweet, but that doesn't work for English. So here is it as a blog post.
The rough translation of the text is: "Mad rush for food. Fighting over scraps. Devastation after riot. Marauding gangs. Is this the reality of Japan? Do not look! DO NOT LOOK!
I've been tweeting the news from Japan in English for about 13 hours straight. It's the very least I can do.
As I was walking for 4 hours from central Tokyo, I was thinking. The sidewalks were overflowing with people, but everyone was walking stoically, in an orderly manner. The conbini (convenience stores) and other stores were all open for business as if nothing had happened. The internet infrastructure survived all the shaking, and was fully operational. All around, emergency help centers (for people trying to get home) were opened, and the commuter rail lines were soon back in operation and said to run all night. This is a great country. I don't care what our GDP rank is.