The Current Situation in Ikata

Ikata was unharmed by the events of this past weekend, March 11-13.

The earthquake that shook northeastern Honshu on Friday, the largest in recorded history at a magnitude of 9.0, brought untold devastation to Japan's northeast region. It was felt in Tokyo and in Yamanashi Prefecture (where Mount Fuji is located), and much lighter tremors were felt as far south as the Kansai region (where Osaka and Kyoto are located). We felt no tremors here in Ikata.

Around 4pm on Friday, emergency sirens went off, and a public service announcement asked everyone on the coast to evacuate to their local designated evacuation spots. In Ikata, some 3,500 coastal households were affected.

The tsunami that had wreaked such devastation in the northeast was considerably weaker by the time it reached Ikata. At 5:10 pm it came, measuring about 80cm or 2.6 feet. Later that night, most of the evacuees returned home.

Coverage of the events in the northeast continued throughout the weekend and is still ongoing.
We are touched by the concern shown by so many of our friends in Red Wing.
If you feel moved to donate, there are a number of aid organizations mobilized to help the victims of the disaster.







ひな祭り★~★Doll's Festival

March 3rd is Hinamatsuri, also known as the Doll's Festival, or Girls' Day.

Dolls representing the imperial court in Heian-period dress ornament a tiered stand.

At one local nursery school, many of the lower-tier dolls were made by the children.

They sang a traditional song about Hinamatsuri and played games. One game was similar to "Fruit Basket Upset," but with the children calling out different colors corresponding to the paper crowns worn by "hime" (princesses) and "dairi" (emperors).

ABC 教室



Since February 17th I have been teaching an ABC class for sixth graders twice a week for an hour at a time. When they enter junior high, they will need to read and write English for classwork and homework, but elementary school English is taught with an emphasis on games and conversation. Several sixth graders have expressed an interest in practicing or learning how to read and write in English. There will be 10 classes in all.