Shinku: Please keep us posted to let us know that you are okay with all that is going on.
Shinku: Please keep us posted to let us know that you are okay with all that is going on.
"Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist
Adding my thanks Shinku!
In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.
Thank you Shinku for sharing your thoughts.
Please give us updates when you can. I am sorry to hear of the new big quake. I hope there won't be any further damage. We love you and Japan.
Last edited by Vash01; 03-15-2011 at 08:47 PM.
Shinku, thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I wish you and your whole country a speedy recovery from this terrible disaster.
Shinku, your posts are informative and beautifully written. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and thoughts with us. All the best to you and your friends in this time of tragedy. Be safe.
As others have already stated, if the World Championships are canceled this year, it would be the result of a completely unforeseen and unstoppable event. Do not feel bad whatsoever, the Japanese people are the real victims in all of this.
Shinku, I wish Speedy could read your post. Have you considered sending it to the ISU?
Shinku, thank you for the beautifully written post. The Japanese figure skating fans have no reason to feel guilty - this is no one's fault. Please, best wishes to all of the Japanese people during this difficult times.
Please don't feel guilty about the Worlds! We just want Japan to recover quickly from this horrible natural disaster.
I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.
We keep you guys in our prayers and in our hearts. Thank you for this post. It's a lesson that we should always look up and move forward but always remember.
Best. Part. Ever.I think Korea might be a possible candidate to take our place. Yuna is returning so it would be a treat for her fans there too. At least some good will come out of the relocation in that way. Plus I'm sure the Korean FS fans will drop the anti-Japanese attitude for now and welcome Mao and the other Japanese skaters with sympathy. It might be a good chance for some of those extreme Korean and Japanese FS fans to end their stupid war.
Oh gosh, I cried reading this thread. This has been such an emotional last 4 days that I really wish had never happened. Shinku, you beautifully exemplify the spirit of the Japanese people: caring, thoughtful, selfless, resilient, intelligent, sincere, humble, kind, strong, I could go on and on. All the people in Japan are in my thoughts and heart. As others have said, please, please, please don't any of you wonderful people feel guilty about the postponement or possible cancellation of the World Championships. Please know that we are all hoping for the best for you all! <3
I just wanted to add my thanks for the beautiful post, Shinku. All of the skaters and fans I know have only concern for the people of your country and send their love and prayers.
I had hoped that World's would go forward not just as a figure skating fan but also so that Japan could have something to showcase it's beauty and resilience in contrast to the scenes of devastation. I hope that things turn around quickly for you. I know that if any country can rebound from such terrible times and be better than before, it's Japan. Your post is a testament to the selflessness and dignity of the Japanese people. Our thoughts are and will be with you.
Even more importantly, thank you very much, Shinku, for posting here so that fans outside Japan have a sense of how Japanese fans feel about this year's World Championships.
It looks to me like many people have commented from all over the world. I hope Japanese fans will see from this outpouring of support that fans outside Japan in no way hold Japanese fans or Japan responsible for whatever decision the ISU may eventually make. I'm humbled by the magnanimity of the Japanese fans, to even be thinking of other people's dreams at this time.
My heart and prayers are with all of Japan.
Thank you all for your warm messages. Everything is fine in Tokyo so far although we've had 2 fairly strong afterquakes today centering in the Ibaraki prefecture which is to the northeast from Tokyo. Shakes in Tokyo were reported to be level 3, but it felt like a 4 to me. Still, since the depth of those quakes were shallow, there seems to be no danger of tsunamis, so folks who have friends in the Kanto areas (Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Gunma, Chiba, Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures) need not to worry too much. The only problems we may be having soon, may be the shortage of supplies in shops. All the supermarkets and convenience stores around were I live (northern part of Tokyo) are full of empty shelves now. They haven't been robbed though, just simply sold out. However, the lack of supplies are much more serious in the northern areas in Japan where the first major quake hit the strongest followed by the enormous tunamis, so nobody is complaning about some of the inconveniences in Tokyo. Our govenment has also decided to have the electricity stopped in some of the places in the Kanto areas to save energy due to the Fukushima nuclear power station breaking down. Many of the cities in the most damaged areas still lack a large amount of energy, but unfortunately temperatures are going down in the north so we have to save as much energy as possible to provide them electricity. We are taking turns in having the black-outs in the Kanto areas, esp within Tokyo. One black-out would go on from about 3-4 hours, and then the next location will have their black-out shift. This will be going on for a while, and according to some specialists we may have to continue this routine up till summer.
Now the Fukushima power station blowing up must've scared you all the most. Today our JIEITAI troops (well, they are obviously a Japanese army, but we're not allowed to call them an army since our constitution has banned any acts of war, prohibiting us to have an army...stupid isn't it?) were supposed to shower water from their helicopters on to the reactors to stop the fire and also lower the temperatures, and of course stop as much radiation from flying out into open air. However the radiation around the station turned out to be much more higher than they had assumed, so they had no choice to abandon the plan and return to a safe area. Our government has asked the US army to help us out on this matter, and so we will be having the US troops to try the same showering plan once again in the Jieitai's place. Although since the US army must have more better supplies to deal with dangerous cases like this, I'm disappointed that our troops couldn't handle it themselves, and because of that, lives of the US troops will be in danger for our country's sake. We are all very thankful for the US army, and hope their men will be able to return unharmed. I'm very sorry to have to ask other countrie's troops to handle such a dangerous mission. But it's been reported that pouring sea water into the reactor containers aren't working, so showering the whole station from the sky is just about the only thing we can do to reduce the amount of radiation leaking out. The French have already changed the danger rates of this accident in Fukushima up to level 5 from 4 on a basis of 1-7, in which Chernoble was rated 7. Most people have already evacuated from areas whithin 20km in range from the station, but there are some who have been left behind; the elderly and sick who cannot walk nor get out of bed, and maybe some blind people living alone. But the Jieitai is working at top speed to find them and have them moved to a safe area, I'm sure they are doing a good job. The government has alerted all people living within 30km range from the station to stay in doors with their windows closed. Although they say that the amount of radiation there should not harm the health of the people there, should they be exposed to even low amounts of radiation for days, nobody can be certain about the consequences. There has been some radiation observed in some parts of Tokyo, which seem to have been blown by winds from Fukushima, too. The amount is reported to be extremely low and specialists have assured there's no danger in Tokyo so far, but they've advised us not to go out when it rains just to be on the safe side. On the other hand people in the Fukushima prefecture are becoming more worried than ever about the amount of radiation which they have been exposed to, so they are planning to start running thorough exams on the people who live there soon. Since we are a country which has had 2 a-bombs dropped on us in the past, most of us have been taught of how dangerous radiation is since we were kids. We have all learned about the horrific outcomes of the tragedies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so even the smallest notice of nuclear station having some trouble usually freak us out. I feel so sorry for all the people residing in Fukushima now, but at the same time cannot help feeling relieved about living in Tokyo to be honest.
Last of all...I'd like to introduce a short Japanese article posted on the net this evening.
Brief Translation:JSF has decided to postpone the scheduled FS World competitions in Tokyo this month to September or October later this year. They will start making arrangements to search for locations for the even to be held then. ISU is planning to announce their final decision whether the competition will be totally cancelled or postponed at least by the beginning of May. Accordingt to JSF, it seems to be ISU which has requested JSF to postopone the event but still have it held somewhere in Japan. The leading chairman of JSF, Seiko Hashimoto said "I will inform ISU that we wish to host Worlds in Japan, after it's been postponed". However, she also said that with the conditions very unstable in the Fukushima nuclear power station along with the damages of the earthquake itself, "It wouldn't be possible to make everything completely safe even by September or October" showing her concerns for the situation we are facing now. JSF will also be informing ISU that WTT scheduled to be held in the middle of April at Yokohama Arena (Kanagawa prefecture) will be difficult to have as well, so they will be considering to postpone it to Fall as well as Worlds.
This is an article written by JiJi Tsushin company. They are no tabloid of any kind so what's written here can be trusted I think.
And frankly, I'm quite upset about this option of postponing this season's Worlds to September or October. Many Japanese fans have expressed the same, and all the comments written under this article are criticizing ISU and esp JSF (since most FS fans in Japan had always hated them) for their decisions. I personally wonder if ISU had made enough effort in seeking a country which would be willing to host Worlds in Japan's place during the season in such short a time. Plus I can't help having doubts to whether it was really ISU which came up with the Sept/Oct idea...JSF might have been the ones who so wanted to have the competition held in Japan that they told ISU that they can be ready by that time and asked ISU to postpone Worlds until then. Should that have been the case, although I hope it wasn't, I am truely disappointed in the way JSF had taken care of things this time. Esp about Hashimoto planning to tell ISU that they'd like to host the competition in Japan once it's been postponed till Fall. She admits herself that she cannot be sure what kind of a state our country will be in by then, but for some reason, she wants ISU to think that Japan is up to hosting at that time. This is such an irresponsible statement to make for somebody who may know some things about skating, but surely almost nothing about earquakes and major disasters.
Furthermore, what rages us FS fans in Japan the most is that we all feel that the best thing to do is to find another country which is willing to take our place in hosting Worlds during this season, not in September or October. I'm quite sure that other than JSF, nobody would mind if this season's Worlds can be held in another country while the season still isn't over. The Japanese fans do not want the efforts of the entering skaters to end in vain, more than anything. And I assure you that the fans in the most damaged areas wouldn't want that either. We all want to see Worlds being held in a safe place outside of Japan, before the season ends. Although many of you have told me there is no need for my people to feel guilty about the influence on Worlds because of the earthquake, I still think most of us would feel very bad towards the skaters and fans in other countries if it were cancelled or delayed until Fall. Just because our country is a mess, we do not wish for others to give up their pleasures or the skaters being deprived of their chance to compete in Worlds. To some it may turn out to be their last or only chance to enter Worlds, so we cannot stand the thought of our country being the cause of such an outcome even if this earthquake was a natural cause which we are not responsible of. That is the way a decent Japanese person would feel under these circumstances. Hashimoto should have told ISU to keep searching for a safe location outside Japan where Worlds can be held during the season, emphasizing the fact that Worlds belong to the skaters more than anyone, so they need not worry about Japanese fans complaining about the competition not being held in Japan...for there really won't be anybody complaining, at least nobody amongst true FS fans.
So please, if anyone is willing...mail ISU and request them to consider and keep trying to convince other countries to hold Worlds during the season please! Tell them that you are writing to them upon the request of the Japanese fans like me. Although I've prepared English templates for Japanese fans to use for mailing ISU themselves, alot of people will hesitate to send an English message cause most Japanese people aren't confident about their language abilities. It would mean alot to us and the FS fans in the damaged areas who aren't capable of using the internet yet to contact ISU. I assure you that the majority of Japanese people do not wish for others to give up their pleasures, and certainly not to deprive the chances of skaters chosen for Worlds this season, just because our country is in a mess. We are not the kind of people who'd want others to sacrifice what is important to them for our sake.
So do consider it a favor for all Japanese FS fans including those in the damaged areas who have sent me personal messages saying they do not want Worlds to be cancelled this season for the sake of their tragedies, and send messages to ISU about how we are trying to stop JSF from cancelling or postponing until October too, please! You can contact ISU from the link below.
You can also help by mailing Hashimoto and JSF too. I'm sure someone there must be able to read English so there's no need to write to them in Japanese. Organizations like JSF are very consciouss or even terrified of how society and people in other countries think of them, so I'd advise all of you to criticize their decisions if you wish as strongly as you wish to. You can even tell them how irresponsibly they had been acting on the matter, and you had expected more from them or stuff like that. Also, emphasizing how unfair it would be to the skaters might work. JSF should be told that although the people in the damaged areas are not responsible in any way for what may happen to this season's Worlds, they certainly are so if they want to avoid criticizm toward them, they had better take back some of the decisions they along with ISU have made, and start looking properly for another country capable of holding Worlds within the season!
Hashimoto's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JSF's email: email@example.com
It's going to knock them out once protest mails start coming in from oversea fans in English for sure! You all have the power to change their minds, believe me!
I thank you all in advance for considering to help.
Bless you Shinku and the Japanese people.
I too am conflicted. I want Worlds to take place at some point, but I know it's still a sport and not of vital importance compared to what's facing Japan.
Getting a round tuit.
Shinku, I am so sorry for your and your country's loss over the past few days.
If you could keep posting here, I think it helps us who live so far away to have an accurate description of the beginning of what is going to be a very long follow up.
Thank you for taking the time to post.
I think the skaters should have been one of the first to be asked what they think should be done about Worlds, and what they want ISU and JSF to do for Worlds. Since I haven't found any so far, I wonder if ISU and JSF ever bothered to do that. If they haven't I can't possibly agree with the decisions they have made.
This is one of the largest disasters which ever happened to my country, maybe even the largest disaster even. But it only happened in Japan, so there is no problem in having sport events in other safe countries. And I suppose this hasn't been reported abroad, but they even had the first pro baseball game on the 14th in the Gifu prefecture here in Japan already! The players weren't sure if it was appropriate, but decided to have the game and donated part of the ticket profits to the damaged area. The teams offered a moment of silent prayer for the victims of the earthquake and tsunamis before they started the game, too. Although I do think having a game on the 14th was a bit too early they tried their best not to be inconsiderate towards those who are suffering. This was a small game, but the major league games are about to start a new season soon as well, and although there are arguments whether they should go on with it or not during such a crisis, one of the leagues have already announced they will start the games from the 25th of this month. This is what's happening in Japan concerning sport. Though many sport events have been cancelled right away afte the earthquake, we know that at some point, at least the undamaged areas have to start putting things back to normal. We've already experienced these kinds of dilemmas when we had the Kobe earthquake in 95. There are always awkward times after large disasters in which some parts of the country will go back to their ordinary routines while other parts will still be suffering from damages, but this cannot be avoided.
In that sense too, it's much better to have Worlds in a country besides Japan. The farther the better. Only about 2 thirds of Japan was damaged. We should all keep in mind that it's not the end of the world. Other countries should continue their lives as usual without feeling bad for us. Most countries have done enough for us already and we are most grateful. It may take some time but we will fix all the mess and catch up with the world eventually. You need not sacrifice pleasures and what's important to you during that period. Seeing other countries doing fine would rather comfort us since the watching footages of the damaged areas makes us feel as if the whole world has collapsed. I think most of us need encouragement rather than sympathy at this point. We won't be feeling sorry for ourselves forever, so there's no need for the rest of the world to be like that either.
thank you very much for your post!