Quake aftermath update- what people in Japan are saying

I am currently in Los Angeles, not in Japan, but am in email and skype contact with peopel from Fukushima(where reactors are) , Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Shimane. I would like to talk a little bit about what people are saying and feeling.

The feeling that I am getting from friends and loved ones is that, although the idea of radiation is scary, it is the current suffering of the thousands of thousands of people in the North Eastern quake/tsunami hit area that is the immediate concern. There are freezing temperatures, and a lack of supplies. Yesterday four people died in a shelter in Miyagi Ken (quake epicenter). These are people who are at immediate risk. Also, of course, the power plant workers and police who are risking their lives getting close to the plant to drop water on it and check on the situation.

Some friends say that they are more worried about aftershocks and another strong quake coming than radiation.

I spoke to my friend Mika in Fukushima who I mentioned in one of my videos. Her family survived the quake and luckily is 100kim from the plants. They are scared and nervous because the wind is supposed to change and start blowing towards them.

From looking at Twitter tweets by YouTube foreign vloggers, many foreign residents in Japan are upset by alarmist Western media stories, and that the stories focus mainly on radiation fear and not the current problem of people suffering right now. Yesterday I read an AP article on Yahoo that said the UN says the radiation will reach Southern California on friday....but they left out that it is supposed to be diluted and not harmful.

The mood in Tokyo has become gloomy say some of my friends. On friend left Tokyo for Osaka and immediately saw that Osaka is much less gloomy. Osaka and Southern Japan are quite for from the reactors and I think radiation is less likely to hit. The US has announced some charter planes to evacuate people in tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya...but none in the more southern regions (Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka). I just heard on the news, that the first evacuation flight left Japan for US.

Another problem with WEstern media is that I notice is that the articles and news pieces make it sound that all of Japan is at risk and make statements of Japan as a whole...that people are hoarding food...etc... But friends say that life is very normal in many areas. There have been periodic hoarding in Tokyo and it is true that gas is hard to get and there are long lines. I'm not sure if this is true in south areas though...I don't think it would be true in Nagoya or Osaka, kyuushuu, shikoku.

Split Watermelons not Atoms. Suika Wari Party!

Takeo-Kun and I celebrated the 4th of July, America's Independence Holiday, in Venice Beach, CA. It was a Japanese party, so we celebrated with a traditional Japanese game called Suika Wari (Watermelon Splitting). It is similar to a pinata party, but instead of candy hidden inside of a donkey or Pikachuu, you get to eat the sweet, juicy flesh that is hidden inside of a watermelon.

If you are a fan of Japanese manga or anime, you probably know Suika Wari. It's in almost every summertime story that takes place on a beach, especially in a romance comic. The player is blindfolded, and spins around until they don't know which way the watermelon is. The spectators guide the player to help him get closer to the melon. Once the player thinks she has found the watermelon, she gets one whack. If she misses, another person gets to play.

I hope you will get a chance to split a watermelon this summer, or at least eat one.

RAmen in Nagoya Japan with Pay Katsuyuki

Pay Katsuyuki took me to Koonan Ramen in Nagoya where they have his art on display. Pay makes ramen at a different Koonan location. It really is the best ramen I have ever had. Everything there was great, gyooza, eggplant, even meatballs.
I would like to have a swimming pool full of it, or at least a bathtub or small jacuzzi.
Pay is a great artist and I did a whole post about him earlier in this blog

I hope you will take a look at it and see his beautiful art work.

Whiskey Minute

I met my friend SKU at a whiskey tasting event in Los Angeles. He is a whiskey and food lover. He has a popular blog about food in LA and whiskey and he also has a youtube channel where he teaches some basic lessons about whiskey...with videos like "What is Whiskey?"...."What is Scotch?" "What is Bourbon(shown above)" and "Why is daddy lying face down in the street again?" (The last video is not real.)

He was nice enough to have me on his video to do a tasting of Japanese whisky .

I like whiskey but I'm not as much of a fan as Sku-san.
I did visit the Yamazaki whiskey distillery in the Osaka area though.

There is all kind of whiskey you can find. Some tastes sweet like caramel, and some tastes like you are drinking the smoke from a camp fire. Whiskey is tasty, but drinking too much can make my brains angry at me. I'm sorry, brains.