Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Japanese Actor's Message (part 2):Think and Imagine the Truth Behind the Scenes

Following is the translation of the text from Tatsumi Takuro, Japanese actor's blog (


There is a song that has been going round very softly in my head over the past few days.  The song is “Imagine,” one of John Lennon’s masterpieces.  John Lennon was assassinated on February 8, 1980.  It was the first time (and the last time) that I shed tears over the death of a celebrity whom I have never met.  I was a college senior.  Of course, I had so much to feel about and think about back then, and now I am pondering afresh the words to this song in my fifties, the age known to truly understand the command of Heaven according to the Analects of Confucius.
I am very much thankful that many people have visited my site and have left their thoughtful comments. I was surprised!  Or I was moved rather than surprised and I took my time to read all the comments.
I found many of you having a similar reaction, such as “I can do nothing,” “I don’t know what to do,” and “I feel powerless and frustrated.”  But there is no need to feel that way.  You had posted my blog link and reprinted my writing on other sites.  Actually, this has enabled tens of thousands of, hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including aid groups, broadcasting camera crews and politicians to read my blog as well as the comments, which had led some of them to take action wherever possible.  Definitely, raising your voices was of considerable help.
What is important is that we keep a grip on ourselves.  You might have found the content of my last blog entry gut-wrenching, but we cannot afford to feel sentimental about a single death in the quake stricken areas now.  We can easily guess many more people will die of cold, which is hard to imagine in spring, and severe wasting every day from now.  The death of a child is supposed to carry symbolic weight under the normal circumstances, but it probably should be accepted as nothing out of ordinary in the disaster stricken areas everyday for months to come.
According to the UN World Food Program (WFP) I am involved with, one child every six seconds dies from starvation somewhere in the world.  I was shocked speechless when I heard about this.
Let me dispel the misunderstanding about what I said in my last blog entry.  I did not post it only to appeal for help for evacuation centers where my friends are.  I regret that I could not convey what I meant correctly, but what I really wanted to say was that we should have an insight into or make an inference from TV footage and imagine the future outlook of the areas afflicted by the disaster.  We all should fix this event in our minds, because the disaster stricken areas will need our long-lasting support, given the severity of the current situation.
Here is another thing.  I did not write the blog post to criticize the media.  Apart from broadcasting codes, I think the media should self-regulate itself and should not show overly grim images.  The media should understand that television is such a medium that could exert considerable influence on audience and it should adjust the way of reporting as the situation demands. The problem is that media audience has a tendency to expect too much of television and they believe without a doubt that the media coverage tells the truth.  But we, as media audience, should not be a totally passive viewer. It is very important to connect each piece of information we collect from what we see and think for ourselves.
It is objectionable for all TV crews to cover only areas deemed newsworthy (I am criticizing them).  In fact, we rarely saw any images from Kitaibaraki, even though Kitaibaraki is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture but lies next to Iwaki City of Fukushima Prefecture.
The Japan Self-Defense Force is highly capable.  Aid groups from abroad are working as well.  Many professionals including local governments and physicians are striving to save the stricken areas with no rest.  The disaster caused such wide-spread destruction that the relief efforts cannot cover the whole affected areas.  This is very irritating, but it is dangerous that we as lay persons go to the scene and we could slow down the on-going relief efforts.  The people of Tohoku have tenacity. We should pray for them, holding back our feelings to rush to the scene.  Instead, we should continue what we can do now.  Small efforts, like electricity conservation, cumulatively could make a big difference.  Let’s prepare for the future while we wait for the right moment.  We have Tohoku’s daunting reconstruction process ahead of us, even after everything else goes back to normal and the media no longer reports the disaster.
Lastly, let me tell you one more thing.   It is so important to think about how to ensure that the dead shall have not died in vain as to save and support the quake affected people and areas.

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