We’ve been distributing socks to schools and temporary neighborhoods recently. On June 1, Socks for Japan spent an entire day within the school system of Watari-cho, one of the first towns we visited back in March when tsunami water still stood on ruined roadways and dampened shelter floors.
Throughout this disaster, Japanese people have remained polite and upbeat. Teachers told us that students are helping each other get through it. Nobody makes fun of a classmate who lost a home. All are treated equally and the pace of education goes on.
Neighborhoods still look like this:
We asked junior-high students to raise a hand if they lost their home on March 11. Here’s the result:
They were happy to receive socks and letters, and even joked around with us.
Younger survivors are doing well, too.
At a kindergarten, one girl named Kotone asked me if I lived in a shelter. “No,” I said. She told me there was room at hers. “Thank you,” I said, “but I have a home in Sano. It wasn’t hit by the wave.” She nodded understandingly. “So that’s why you can bring all these nice socks,” she suggested. I agreed. Here she is during our conversation:
A girl named Rina motioned me to her table and said, “I’m not making this up, I’m very honest, I don’t lie, really, and what I want to tell you is that I love pink socks. I really, really, really love pink socks. I love pink anything, I guess, but what I especially love is pink socks. How did you know I love pink socks?” I told her it was because all girls named Rina love pink socks and we heard from far away that one in Watari-cho didn’t have any. “You mean me?” she asked. “Yes. There are no other Rinas in this town.” She thought carefully, then said I just might be right. Here she is at her table:
Thanks to socks and letters sent from around the world, we can make the days of kids like these a little bit brighter even as they do the same for us.
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Kia ora (Greetings) Jason,
At least once a week I think of you and your organisation and the work you are doing.
I appreciate the updates and trust that during your ‘hiatus’ between phase 1 and 2 you too are taken care of.
I will be travelling to Japan in about a month and will be in the Tokyo region from the 23rd -28th – if here is anything I can help with please don’t hesitate to ask. I have lived in Japan before , I speak Japanese fairly well and can move around independently so would not expect support during this time.
kia kaha (Māori for がんばってね！)
p.s. should have said 23rd-28th August.
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