Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fall down seven times. Get up eight.

Nana korobi ya oki

Searing images of Japan’s disastrous earthquake and tsunami still haunt us. The incomprehensible scale of human misery is difficult to comprehend! Videos of the power of the tsunami on the coastal city of Sendai were unbelievable. This is Japan’s worst disaster since World War II. Witnessing what has happened to the world’s most earthquake prepared country is sobering. The proverb “Nana karobi ya oki” or “Fall down seven. Get up eight” describes the determination and innate perseverance of the Japanese people. They will rebound and rebuild, but it will take a herculean effort. They will do it, but it will take international help and money!

Japan is on the “Ring of Fire.” This 25,000 mile long region is the most geologically active on the earth with more earthquakes than anywhere. We live on a dynamic planet, and the Pacific tectonic plates are shifting. To put the recent earthquake in perspective, it was 3,000 times more powerful than California’s 1994 Northridge quake which was the costliest U.S. disaster before Katrina! California has three major earthquake zones with the Hayward and the San Andreas faults overdue. Preparedness cannot be understated in these seismic areas.

I paused in front of a Japanese chest in the Wesco Fabrics warehouse this morning. This is a beautiful tansu chest made in the city of Sendai in the 19th century. It has even more meaning to me now!

We continue to send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Japan.

Want to help?

- American Red Cross

- AmeriCares

To check out a charity for reliability, expenses, etc., go to or

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