The last few days have been so full; full in so many ways. The schedule, the teaching, the relationship building, the caliber of music, the stories have almost overwhelmed me. However, it’s amazing how spiritual peace overcomes my physical weariness. My heart is very full right now.
On Tuesday we began our trek up north and stoppedk in the city of Iwaki. This is a city in the region of Tohoku where the 3.11 tsunami hit. Iwaki suffered damage in areas closest to the sea but it was also flooded with tens of thousands of refugees from neighboring towns and villages. We partnered with Global Mission Center to do a classical concert for the community. This was the first full set concert that I heard the Juilliard team perform and it was wonderful. My favorite part was when a couple of the musicians played traditional Japanese songs. Spontaneously, the older women started singing and you could see them transported back to their childhood. It brought tears to my eyes, I was so touched.
The following morning, we were able to interview the pastor of the Global Mission Center, Mori Shou Sensei about his tsunami experience.
I cannot even recount what he told us in this post. I’m still processing, trying to find the right words. He walked us through that first week, month, and then year. The stories he told were completely heartbreaking and never ending. I was dumbfounded the entire 2 hours he talked to us. I had never heard anything like it.
But it made me realized how much the world never knew about how much damage the 3.11 tsunami did and how much the world has forgotten how wounded and scarred the Japanese are. The first year after the tsunami, the people were stunned and numb. The second year, they were coping with daily life. Now, in the third year, I think healing can begin. Now, more than ever, people need to come to Japan.
I will be writing about Mori Shou Sensai’s interview later on. Believe me, this man of God is amazing and so is his story.