Sunday, September 13, 2009

a rememberance

On the way to my job at Otaki's combined elementary/junior high school I stopped to take a shot of this buckwheat (soba) field. It was a beautiful morning.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the nagano-seibu-jishin 長野西部地震--Western Nagano Earthquake. The magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck at 8:48 AM on the morning of September 14th, 1984. The epicenter was located about 5 kilometers from the center of Otaki village. The jolt caused a section of earth from Mt. Ontake's southeastern slope to dislodge and it roared down the mountain and into the Otaki Valley at a ferocious pace. 29 people lost their lives in the quake.

This morning, at 8:48 AM
a siren rang out in the village
and we all hung our heads in
silence to remember the dead.

On the southeastern slope of Mt. Ontake, a mountain that is beloved and revered by village residents, there remains an enormous wound of crumbling rock, which serves as a reminder of the unpredictible power of the natural world.

As the siren rang this morning I thought of the dead, of nature's power, and of all the beautiful wonders that there are.

1 comment:

Taintus said...

Otaki homepage's blog post about memorial events for the Western Nagano Earthquake (in Japanese)