Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nagata 1.17.95 Memorial

Monday, January 17, 2011, marks the 16th year since the 1995 earthquake that devastated Kobe. The quake struck at 5:46am and lasted for approximately 20 seconds, and when it was done Kobe was left in ruins and many lost their lives. Bells are sounded just before 5:46, issuing silence over the many earthquake memorial gathering spots throughout Kobe. Candles are set in honor of the lives lost and hardships some still face since that day 16 years ago.

Nagata, was one of the areas hardest hit by the quake and this is one of the memorials held in the area. The atmosphere of the events vary, some are somber and others more celebratory; some play music and sing songs, while others share stories or stand in silence. In the dark, windy, and bitter cold morning I am reminded how grand my humble but warm apartment - with its running water, electricity, and shelter - really is, and how difficult the uprooted lives of those who survived must have been.