When I was 5 years old and in primary school, my best friend was Japanese. His name was Yu Hiraga. We were best friends for as long as I can remember, throughout primary school, until Yu and his family returned to their homeland. Yu and his two little sisters Hiroko and Takako were a massive part of my young life and their parents Akira and Tazuko were so kind to my family, as my family were to theirs. I think we kind of took them under our wing when they arrived in Scotland and prior to their return to Japan, Tazuko presented my mum with a beautiful kimono as thanks for all our help and, I guess, as a token of friendship. I remember this well.
It was the first real friend I had who left my life, I’ve experienced a few since then. Being too young, we never really kept in touch either. However, I have thought about that family on many occasions in the years since and never more so than in the past few days given the tragic events in Japan. I have no idea what happened to any of them. Yu will be my age and his two sisters not that much younger. Where are they in the world? I hope that they are safe and well. I guess my mind has been drawn to them once again by the Japanese Tsunami and Earthquake and I just hope that they and their family are safe and well.
The world is obviously changing significantly. The plates in the Pacific appear to be shifting and the unstable nature of our planet has been visible for all to see with first the earthquake in Christchurch in New Zealand and now the events in Japan. That whole part of the world is at risk and our thoughts should be with all those people affected by the events over the past months, and indeed in any country where such natural disasters can strike at any moment. We Brits have no sense of how lucky we actually are. People moaning the other day about snow in March – who cares. We are a the lucky ones. Puts a lot of things in perspective.
Anyways, there are ways you can help those who have been affected by these disasters as well as those in need of aid elsewhere in the world. Why not visit HERE and donate some money.