I rode up to Sendai from Tachikawa with a fellow photographer friend, Jensen Walker. Gasoline is a very scarce resource, so we had around 30 gallons of gas in portable containers in the car to make sure we could get up and back without running out.
Jensen had to meet up with a client, so I jumped out with my gear and started hitchhiking. I traveled up to some hard-hit areas, hitch-hiking from city-to-city, sleeping in abandoned buildings and digging bottles of juice out of the mud when I ran out of water to drink.
Inside 7-11 Convenience store
It appears someone attempted to compromise this convenience store cash machine
Raided for drinks, an entirely forgivable offense
This guy and this friend where using a pick-axe to try and break into the ATM at an abandoned 7-11 convenience store.
Passing through into Fukushima as I hitchhike my way home.
I wanted to continue north to Onagawa and Kesennuma, but I was needed back in Tokyo and was running out of food.
I walked and hitch-hiked from Ishinomaki to Sendai, and then from Sendai towards Tokyo. Back at my home, it’s hard not to a bit guilty for just enjoying the simple things in life: a hot meal, a salad with fresh vegetables, a hot bath.
What impresses me the most is seeing how resilient are the Japanese. No one I met complained about anything. Everyone just laughed when talking about their house being washed away. Everyone is hard at work putting their neighborhood back together. The streets in many areas already had the debris and rubbish sorted into tidy piles, causing Jensen to remark, "three days after a tsunami and Japan is already cleaner than parts of Italy on a Sunday afternoon."
On the whole, the Japanese a very conscientious people–hard working, reliable, disciplined, thorough and organized. As many people in this region are farmers, perhaps their tenacity is born out of the hardships and whims of nature endured by living off the land. They seem to be born to handle these kinds of disasters. They are amazingly good at it.
March 17, 2011