Please help Japan!

15 Mar

I wonder what kind of disaster it is. It’s not just an earthquake. It’s earthquake + tsunami + nuclear threat + serious damage to our economy and everyday life… The number of the dead is growing everyday. Nuclear plants are exploding one after another and we are under threat of radioactive material that might affect our health…

It’s reported that we should be safe if we evacuate 30km away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. (My place is 250km away from it.) But when I watch CNN, they sound more serious. They say it depends on what kind of material. But our government or any TV stations do not say that. Is our government trying to avoid panic and saying something easy for a moment? Is it better that I should move from Tokyo with my husband and Pi-chan to Osaka for example where my grandma lives?

There is a lack of food supply even in the non-affected areas such as Tokyo. I went to a supermarket in my area but there was even less food left from the last time I went there. It was on Sunday when I went there last time to find out some food and bottled water was out of stock. But I thought it was something temporary at that time when people were more…panicked.

I think there are mainly 3 reasons why supplies are not available here.
1) The affected people evacuating in northern part of Japan should be dealt with top priority!
2) Logistics and distribution of commodity is difficult when the roads that connect northern part of Japan and Tokyo area.
3) People in Tokyo area are afraid of shortage of food or want to be well prepared for blackouts, and some try to buy too many at a time.

Oh…so scary, even while I am writing this, there was an earthquake! How restless…
BTW, I was able to donate some money today at a local post office to Japan Red Cross. If you could help us, they have an English page, however international money transfer may take a long time and some fee that is not always small. Let me share with you some other options you can help Japan.

1) FlutterScape created a donation page!
2) An useful link to Yahoo news.
3) Sedonia, a reader of this blog from the U.S now raises some fund to donate to Japan Red Cross. Please visit her website to learn more.
4) I am also raising fund through paypal just in case and I will promise that I should donate that money to Japan Red Cross from a local post office. (In case I receive donation through below paypal widget, I will report you how much money is collected and finally donated to them.


I will never know what’s going to happen to me. But thank you for reading…
Please stay in touch! I’ll update it again later.


38 Responses to “Please help Japan!”

  1. Renata March 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Hello Kirin…. I am so glad to hearing back from you again and feel very sorry for the situation yo have just described above… Yes, pls count on me in your efforts via paypal. As mentioned earlier, my โค & prayers are always with you but please let me know if I can be of any further help to you & your friends… Best, Renata

  2. Julie H. March 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    I'm still awake thanks to that last quake.

    Google has a website where people can donate to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

  3. Lore March 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Oh my god, this is getting bad , all the things can go wrong are going wrong.
    I think you should go with your parents, only for be sure.
    I haven't much money but I'm going to donate something, there're people that have lost everything, is the least I can do in this situation

  4. Sam Ross March 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    I'm a long time reader, but this may be the first time I've commented. I wanted to mention a couple things:

    Americans can donate to the American Red Cross, which has already sent $10 million in donations directly to Japan. That can be done by clicking on the following link: or by sending a text of REDCROSS on their cell phone to 90999 (Donates $10)

    If they don't feel comfortable donating to the Red Cross, they can also donate to one of the charities on one of these pages:

    The second thing I wanted to say is the same thing I've been telling all my friends in Japan. What happened is horrific, and I can't imagine the tragedy, difficulties and emotions that all of you are going through right now. Please do what you can to stay safe and healthy.

    While I can't do much from where I am in DC, I will support Japan by what I can donate and by encouraging others to do so as well. I hope other Americans will join me in this effort.

  5. Chiohui March 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Hi Kirin,
    i have been watching the news since last friday. its terrible. T__T i feel so sad that this happened to my fav country and i haven even get the chance to step into japan yet! (planned to go this sept)
    i am very sad by the news on the new quake in shizuoka. its so worrying.
    i guess if possible maybe its a good choice to move to osaka, as it currently the more safer place too be i assume. u get to be with your love ones too ๐Ÿ™‚

    i had also made a donation, i hope Japan can recover soon. >.<
    ใฟใ‚“ใชใฎๅฎ‰ๅ…จใ‚’็ฅˆใ‚‹ใ€‚stay safe.

    regards from Chiohui, Singapore.

  6. anouck March 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Hello, i am writing you from Switzerland. I like very much your blog. Here in Switzerland we can donate to the japanese redcross directly through the website from the redcross in our country and i saw it is the same in france. It's probably the same for other countries. In Switzerland, we also can donate through the website Please take care kirin i feel very worried for you.

  7. winnie March 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Hi kirin,

    My area of supermarket also empty. Milk, rice, cereal. tea, bread , energy bar, all dried food …Toilet paper.. Tissue box . Like today, my hubby went to buy drinks. The mineral water is limit to ONE Per Customer.
    My girl have to drink fresh milk every day, it really hard to find now. I only left with a 1 litre packet which i bought last Thursday.
    I agreed with the 3 reason which you stated.

  8. kirin March 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Thank you everyone. Seems like my readers know more options ^_^
    I'm busy catching up with what's happening and being alert to aftershocks and etc.
    I'll read each comment later, but I may not be able to reply to each of them like I do all the time.

    Thank you for your information, at the same time thank you for those who already donated through paypal. This is wonderful!! Thank you for your thoughts and kindness to our country. JAPAN WILL SURVIVE!!

  9. Renata March 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Kirin, it's amazing to see how your blog readers may come together for Japan relief efforts… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Pls also consider these options suggested from Crafters Magazine
    I agree: Japan will survive… and the whole world will get stronger ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Momoko March 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    I guess it would be better for your safety to go to Osaka. It has been reported that the radiactivity in Tokio is now 22 times higher than normally!
    I've transmitted some money via paypal, its not much but I hope that this will sum up with all the other people.
    My prayers are with all of japan

  11. Mrs. M March 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Been watching CNN 24hrs for the past days. Yes, Japan will prevail from this disaster. Pack your bags and move away far to the west shore if possible and find comfort with your loved ones. Our prayers and thoughts are all with you. Stay Safe, Kirin.
    To donate from Canada, go to :

  12. Nohema March 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    Dear Kirin,

    It's good to know you and your family are safe. We live very far apart from each other but please know that I'm praying for you and your country. Right now my family's budget is very tight but we will try to donate food, clothes and meds to the Red Cross or the Japanese Embassy here in Mexico City.

  13. Tempehro March 16, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Hi Kirin,

    long time reader, but this is my first comment, I guess.
    First let me tell you, that the availability of information is far superior then during the time of the Chernobyl disaster here in Europe. And second: No matter what, it's highly unlikely that the situation will turn as bad as in Chernobyl. One of the reasons being differences in the construction of the power plants, e.g. there are no graphite rods burning and distributing material in to great altitudes.

    As to the decision of staying or leaving Tokyo you should make it on base of your jobs. If you and your husband can leave Tokyo without prejudice, then you should consider it. This way you would also contributing in saving energy, food and other supplies in the area of Tokyo.

    If you decide to stay you shouldn't panic to much about radiation levels. (But don't ignore them either.) The higher radiation levels in the northern part of Tokyo probably originated from the lighter fission products like iodine-131, and not uranium. If your local pharmacy has potassium iodide in stock, you should buy it, in (as I understand unlikely) case Tokyo would be hit by winds and/or rain coming from north.

    Regarding the discrepancy of the international and your national news I would suggest to not trust either of one. News broadcaster like CNN tend to dramatize things in order to keep the audience interested, while your government tries to avoid panic. The best thing you can do is to draw your own conclusions by evaluating various sources of information, like:

    Meteorological Agency

    Mainly for the forecast of the wind direction. The information is reliable. A manipulation of the forecast forced by the government is unlikely, as international meteorological institutes around the world are doing their own predictions and simulation. Any discrepancy would be immediately in the international news.

    Embassies in Tokyo

    Keep n eye on the internet sites of the various embassies in Tokyo, like the American and British one. If they announce that their residents and staff are leaving the area , then it's time to leave, too.

    I wish you and your people all the best.

  14. intlv March 16, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    Please, go to Osaka! I don't know you personally, but I love your blog and you and your family! Please stay safe, don't trust the government, they may be lying or trying to keep people calm. The radiation could blow anywhere.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    If you can afford to, I would say fly away to Korea or London or NYC! I realize this is not possible, as you have a job and things to do, but I'm just very scared. Much love from Ohio, USA <3333

  15. Laura Cruz March 16, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Thanks for sharing these links! I was waiting to find an option better than the red cross b/c I didnt want the amount of money to go down b/c of fees, etc…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think CNN largely exaggerates (and uses twitter TOO much!) but always remember to be on the safe side!

    Also, not sure if you got these news, the tsunami made it all the way to the U.S. west coast….I think a few people drowned in California b/c the currents were so strong. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    We're all hoping things get better over there!


  16. John March 16, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    Kirin-san, the western media are hyping up the health risks but in reality, you have nothing to worry about IF the current situation does not get worse.

    "The images of families being screened for contamination by workers in protective suits add to the sense of alarm. So what are the risks at present? Scientists I have spoken to say we cannot give a clear answer yet because we don't know enough about the amount and type of radioactive material that has leaked. Nonetheless, most experts seem to suggest the danger to the public is low.


    One of the main health effects of the Japanese radiation leak maybe the psychological impact. Professor Jones said the stress of being displaced from your home and the fear of radiation contamination could have serious consequences. And that fear factor extends as far as Tokyo, 155 miles from the nuclear plant. "Even though people in Tokyo maybe completely safe, it is understandable that they are nervous and that can lead to stress and ill-health", he said."

    Of course Japan will survive … and will become stronger as a result of the current extreme hardship!

  17. kirin March 16, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Thank you everyone!!
    I cannot respond to each comment, but thank you for your kind messages and donation. This will help us and Japan!!
    I must be alert all the time because aftershocks are so often and things are changing everyday, which is so restless…

    I don't even know when I can get my normal life back…
    For a moment I think I can still stay in Tokyo, but I may have to move in any time…

  18. Natasja March 16, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Hi Kirin,

    Glad to hear that you are doing okay! In the Netherlands there's a lot of new coverage about the situation in Japan and people here also wonder if the spokesperson in Japan is completely honest about the Power Plant. But like someone mentioned above, this is a different situation from Chernobyl. I really hope it will turn out for the best.

    Over here they are advising journalists to leave Tokyo, just in case things will get worse over there. But another reason to leave is the shortage of food and fuel.

    Another way to donate money is to sell things on eBay and donate the proceeds to charities like the Red Cross or GlobalGiving. I've listed a few items like this.

    Take care Kirin!

  19. Potatoos March 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Hello Kirin,

    Please be strong and hang in there. I pray that over at Japan things will be OK soon.

    Here in Singapore, we are also collecting donations to be passed onto Red Cross Singapore to send to Red Cross Japan. For people like me who can't actively participate in helping out in Japan, we'll try our best to raise funds to help out.


  20. Sana March 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I too was going to mention the BBC coverage of the tragic events in Japan. I have heard that there is some mistrust of official information, and that some families are migrating south, or even leaving the country. Nuclear issues really stir up sinister emotional responses in most of us. We don't understand the science behind it, and that makes us doubt what we've been told. Perhaps the rare appearance of the Emperor has also caused some panic?

    Experts seem adamant that this will not result in another Chernobyl, but seeing people leave Tokyo must make your fear grow, Kirin. Please do whatever you can to stay safe.

    I will direct those who are unable to donate the the Japanese Red Cross to your paypal fund. Thank you for doing what you can โค

  21. Lydia March 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    My dearest thoughts are with you Kirin and everyone in Japan.
    The stories of people staying calm and polite and helping each other are very inspirational and something to admire.
    Of course these must be very scary times for you but it's extremely important to stay rational.

    I would follow the advice of Tempehro's comment above.

    I have also heard people say that the British news coverage is helpful as it is honest but not over-dramatic, it is also updated constantly automatically, you don't need to refresh the page for new information

    I'm sure being able to go to Osaka gives you a feeling of security and it is reassuring to know that you have that option should the situation change.

    People all around the world are thinking of your country.

  22. May March 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    I don't think Japanese government covered the news or lied, but I also support you to go to Osaka.
    Because you will feel better emotionally and help reducing the food shortage in needed area.

    Stay safe. ้ ‘ๅผตใ‚Œ๏ผ

  23. Anna March 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    I feel so bad for your situation… Try to stay positive and I'm sue things will get better. My prayers are with you.

  24. David March 17, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    Hi Kirin:

    I suggest you read the story on headlined "Radioactive Risk to Tokyo Limited Even at Worst U.K. says. It should reassure you! Link is in last tweet @david3451. On Bloomberg find the story in News/regions/UK and Ireland.

    Best regards,
    David in Houston

  25. Kaoru March 17, 2011 at 5:08 am #

    hey krin,

    i think it is true that the Japanese government might be hiding some "true" infomation to your guys! I have access to LIVE Japanese new from NHK and whenever I compare the ones to CBC (Canada local broadcasting tv)…there are always different information! The ones in Canada sounds way more serious then the ones in NHK!

    To tell the truth, and sorry if i offender you, I think NAOTO KAN is dealing this whole situation is a VERY BAD AND SLOW WAY! He needs to act fast enough; otherwise, you never know what will happen next!

    ps: i think the way naoto kan deals with the whole power plant in fukushima is badly done!!!

    BUT please stay positive, i might be wrong…..

    please stay strong and safe!


  26. Stephanie March 17, 2011 at 5:12 am #

    On CNN the situation in Japan about the nuclear plants looks very serious ! mabe it's true or maybe they are just making things bigger to atract more audience.

  27. wes March 17, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    The nuclear reactor situation does not seem to be improving. Hope it will soon. They are now teaching kids in Japan about the situation through this cartoon

  28. nao March 17, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    I pray! and I am sure that Japan will handle the situation and will become more stronger then before.

  29. Mª Ángeles Zapata March 17, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Hello Kirin:

    First of all I want you to know that from Spain we pray for the Japanese. We are really sorry and think of you.

    Maybe this is not the right place but I don't know where to look for a Japanese friend I made in England about 20 years ago. The last address I've got from her was 336 Saitama-ken, Urawa-shi, Tokiwa 8-21-17. I think this belongs to the Fukushima region and that's why I'm terribly worried about her and her family. Her name is Konomi Haruta.

    I would be very grateful if you could help me or let me know where can I look for her.

    All my love to you and to the Japanese,

    Mª Ángeles

    • kirin March 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

      Urawa-shi now changed its name to Saitama-shi and zip code is also changed to something like this: 336-XXXX.
      Don't worry it's in Saitama-ken nearly 200km away from Fukushima. Urawa is where my father and brother live now. It's far from Fukushima. No need to worry!! Saitama is next to Tokyo.

      • Mª Ángeles Zapata March 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm #


        Thank you very much for your prompt reply. This makes me feel better. I telephoned the Japanese Embassy in Madrid but they din't have any idea.

        Maybe you will be glad to know that the Japanese Embassy in Madrid is giving account numbers for Spanish people to help Japan.

        I hope this horrible situation will finish soon. It's like a bad nigthmare. I hope you will be able to move to a safer place with your family.

        Your country is giving the world a lesson of good education, public spirit, politeness… I admire you! I fell in love with the Japanese culture when I met Konomi and Waka, twenty years ago in England. I only hope to be able to visit Japan one day.

        Thanks again and all my love to you and to all the Japanese people.

        Mª Ángeles

      • kirin March 18, 2011 at 9:44 am #

        Thank you. It's highly possible your friend is fine as long as she was in Tokyo area when the earthquake hit Japan on 11th March.

  30. Miki March 17, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    Hi Kirin, long time no talk!

    After hearing about this debastating event in Japan, I'm so glad to hear you are ok! We're making donations at my school and sending them to Japan. Hang on tight Japan. โค

  31. Cath March 17, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    I just came back from a work trip in Batam. My family and I are still praying for Japan.

  32. Cath March 18, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    My friend was wonder if it’s possible to send food and water over to Japan via Fedex. I think he’s thinking about the actual places with food and water shortage.

    • kirin March 18, 2011 at 9:42 am #

      Thank you Cath.
      The thing is sending goods by individuals is not very much recommended because things needed now and when they are finally delivered to the shelters are different. Tokyo has just started to receive goods by individuals only today or so but they give specific instructions what can be sent and what should not.

      The best way is to donate money. They keep saying this. I have been waiting for a chance to send goods for a long time but my prefecture still bans that by individuals. (Technically my house belongs to Kanagawa, even though it's right a stone's throw from here.)

      But little by little goods or food or water are started to be destributed to the shelters.
      Please tell my best regards to your friend who think of our people. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you and your friend!!

  33. Anouck March 18, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Hi Kirin,
    I’m glad to know that you are fine. I would like to share an interesting information for people who would like to donate for Japan: Swiss watch brand Hublot will match every donation made via to the Japanese Red Cross, therefore doubling our collective aid. I made it yesterday and it’s safe. I appreciated the special message from Mr. Biver, CEO of this company…
    All the best for you Kirin, take care!

  34. kirin March 18, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Thank you everyone!
    You have more options of donation and thank you so much for praying and thinking about Japan this much โค

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