Letters From Survivors

From our care letter creation page: “If you would like to create the possibility of a reply from people who receive your socks, include your contact info, which recipients can use to respond later if they would like. No guarantee on that, of course, and any replies will probably arrive months or possibly more than a year later.”

To our great surprise, many survivors have already reached out to donors with emails, paper letters, and even occasional phone calls. This is the page to collect them.

Did you receive a reply from somebody who received your socks and letter from us? If so, please share it here — and don’t fix the English if it’s rough. Rough English is part of the charm, and a fact of life in Japan. Keeping it rough is keeping it real.

If you received an email in Japanese and don’t know what it means, copy it into a comment below and our team of enchanting language elves led by Makiko Oku — of care letter creation page fame — will magically transform it into English for you.

If you just want to read the joy that this global effort has created in Japan’s disaster zone, browse through the comments below. When small gestures make a big impact, we should all sit up and bask in the glow of our human family at its finest.

Happy sharing!

19 Comments

  1. Thanya Suwansawad
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    This is a heartwarming email I received from Shigemi. I’m glad that even a small gesture can really be meaningful to someone.
    =========

    Dear Friends Thanya and lnna, Leslie, Isaac, Patsy, Kevin, Dylan, Jenny, Brad, Michelle, Patrick, Joanne, Maggie, Jon, Tandeeka, Salee in San Francisco,

    I’m Shigemi. I live in Sendai Miyagi.
    I really would like to say thank you.
    We have got socks that you sent.
    We are so happy to your help and prayers.
    Now we spend hard time.
    But you bring us a lot of cheer.
    We feel warm with your thoughts and hearts.
    We are not alone.

    Thank you so much for your kindness.

    Sincerely
    Shigemi

  2. Becky Mitchell
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    I received an e-mail on April 9, 2011, from a very kind man who received a pair of socks I sent. I am still speechless, as I didn’t really expect to hear from anyone. He lost his eldest daughter (4 yrs old) and son (1 yr old) in the tsunami; his wife lost her parents. Their loss weighs heavy on my heart.

    A bit is lost in translation, but his message of thanks is clear. I printed his e-mail and posted it on my bulletin board. I am grateful for the connection.

    I can’t say it enough…Jason and volunteers, thank you for offering a way for me (us) to help the earthquake/tsunami survivors. You’re kind, professional, and well organized — you should feel good about your efforts. I enjoy your distribution reports and photos, even though the content and stories sadden me. Your coverage of the tragedy’s humanistic side is much appreciated. We don’t get that type of news in the US; it’s been overshadowed by the nuclear crisis.

    My experience with Socks for Japan has reminded me that the act of simple kindness is amazingly rich.

    Below is the original e-mail message I received:

    ********
    My name is Hideki Sugiyama.
    I got your warm consideration today.
    I think that I am really glad.
    I lost both of four-year-old eldest daughter with one-year-old eldest son because of the tsunami.
    In addition, my wife has lost her parents.
    It is not possible to have gone back any longer though it is a really painful thing.
    It turns ahead little by little and it walks though the psychological trauma doesn’t heal. This kindness is never forgotten though might not be able to return. Thank you really.
    iPodから送信

  3. rose Yamauchi
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    it was good to hear your comments . We are a seniors citizen group of ladies
    Can we be of future assistance?

    Rose Yamauchi, rs70717 @yahoo. com
    life Story Writers,
    Long Beach California.

    • Makiko Oku
      Posted May 29, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Hi Rose-san — Do you want your message to be translated to Japanese? Let me know!

  4. Elizabeth Wilson
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    We received this email from Naoko Tojima:

    Hello, I’m Naoko Tojima, I live in Japan, Miyagi pref.

    I reseived yours heart-warming gift & prayers, Thankyou.

    I will use this socks & I thank you from the bottom of my
    heart for your kindness.

    With Love.

    For Mrs.Wilson’s Developmental Life Skills Class

    From Naoko Tojima & famillies

  5. Eileen
    Posted May 29, 2011 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    On 4/27/11 7:17 AM,” wrote:

    >Dear Miss
    >Hello. Socks and the crayon reached us on April 6. I cried. Because it
    >was glad. We want sincerely to express our gratitude. My child lost all
    >toys because of the tsunami. The crayon was a glad present for the child.
    >My child is wishing to grow up to man who is kind like you and has energy.
    >
    >
    >FROM Kie Hino

  6. Kathy Sakamoto
    Posted May 29, 2011 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    This is a letter we received from a family in Ishinomaki. They thought our names were” Jose and Lisa” because our handwriting was terrible-they mistook ‘San Jose, USA’ for the aforementioned names! One of us figured it out – after awhile! (^.^)

    *****
    Thank you for sending socks

    靴下を送ってくれてありがとう。
    世界中の人たちが、私たちを支えてくれている事を心から感謝します。

    あれから1ヶ月がたち、少しづつですが元に戻るように私たちはがんばっています。
    こうやってメールで「ありがとう」を伝えることも出来るようになってきました。

    日本人は負けません、忍耐と助け合い心で必ず町を再興します。
    これからも私たちを見守ってください、あなたたちの思いが私たちの力になるから。

    本当にありがとう 秀悦、千賀子、典汰、好誠、兼栄より。

    Thank you for sending socks.
    We wish sincerely to express our gratitude for the thing that supports us by people all over the world and is.

    We are holding out as being return to the origin in one month though a little.
    It has come to be able to tell “Thank you” with mail by doing so.
    The Japanese is not defeated, and revives the town without fail with endurance by the mind of helping.
    Watch us in the future, and because your desires help us.

    Thank you from syuuetu,Chikako, tenta.kousei,kenei
    They are sons of us who sends the photograph. (they sent a photo of their three children-we’ve written back since, and they’ve replied once. We’re hoping to keep in touch!)

  7. Anonymous please
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I received a thank you email in Japanese.

    くつしたをありがとう。

    ありがとうのきもちでいっぱいです。

    This translates as: Thank you for the socks. I am so filled with gratitude. Thank you very much.

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