Mar 31, 2011

Our Prayers for You BYJ Sister Onpu-san and all Tohoku Kajok...

Onpu-san is a lovely BYJ sister who lives in Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture.
She was one of the sisters who crossed our minds immediately when the big quake hit the area, and we were very anxious about her safety. Then Makishi-san (whom many of you will be familiar with for her wonderful photos!) was able to confirm that she was alright… what a relief it was.

But anyone in Japan could guess her troubles were far from over, and many were suffering from more severe damages in the area. Yesterday, I sent a message to Makishi-san to ask how she was holding up and sought for her advice on introducing onpu-san’s beautiful art/video works here. Makishi-san said that it would be a good idea, and she also updated me on her recent happenings. I would like to share onpu-san’s tweets since the day of the big disaster.

Also, I hope you will take a moment to take a look at one of my favorite video works created by her in the past. It expresses her joy and gratitude towards meeting this wonderful man, wuri Bae Yong Joon-ssi. Since she is a musician herself("onpu 音符" means musical note), I think that not only her artwork but her selection of music also speak to our hearts as well. I am full of appreciation for her sharing this work. My prayers for onpu-san , all BYJ kajok, and everyone coping with this difficult situation.

Onpu-san’s tweets since March 11, 2011

First tweet on march 11
In a bind. Family scattered in different places. Can’t get in touch with them. Electricity and gas is out, and getting frequent and strong afterquakess. The whole house in a mess.

Second tweet;
I was able to get in touch with my family. All alone in my house, and I’m scared. I can’t use my PC. I will cut my cell phone because I’ll run out of battery.

14 Mar (1)
I was in total panic during the disaster because the quake was so big and long. In our district, we got our electricity back.

14 Mar 4 (2)
Watching the cruel reality on TV, my heart is crushed. The messages of support from all of you and Yong Joon-san makes me feel warm, and I am so grateful that I am moved to tears.
I still cannot get in touch with my friend who lives near the coast, and I am worried. The IN and phone is still disconnected. The magnitude of the disaster is huge. I hope all of you will continue to be careful. I will try to save electricity too.

26 Mar
No water and gas yet at my home. But just now, I was able to get a numbered ticket to buy gas for my car and I’m waiting in line. I’m so happy!

26 Mar
Thank you everyone. I am covering my dishes with plastic wraps to minimize the wash. I was able to buy wraps at a supermarket nearby. There was no fresh food until about 3 days ago, but with the expressways starting to open, it seems food distribution is recovering little by little.

26 Mar
To friends; I am sorry to have you worry. I am thankful for your messages and they make me happy. Electricity was back in 3 days, and we plan to get our water back by the 28th. Only a few days to go. I was finally able to line up for heating oil today so that was a great relief.

26 Mar
I was able to fill my car with gas after lining up for 2 hours and a half. It’s the first time since we ran out completely on the second day after the quake. I’m SOOO HAPPY~~! (T.T)

26 Mar
Thank you everyone. With my car loaded, I immediately went to my parents’ house that already got its lifeline back. I was able to take a bath for the first time in 6 days, and I feel refreshed body and soul.

26 Mar
The lifeline we took for granted… I have really come to realize how important they are. Living in a safe and clean condition is something we must be truly thankful for. After coming home, I noticed that I have received many direct messages from you. I was moved to tears with all of your warm words. Thank you for your concern. I will now write back to you <(_ _)>

27 Mar
I feel ever so grateful for the connection between people, and I have nothing but words of thanks<(_ _)>
And today, our water system has recovered a day earlier than scheduled. I was so happy with the sense of running water that I washed up many things without even minding how cold it was.

28 mar
Ohh… I am so grateful for your words of support you send me every day. Hearing you say “we are all connected” makes me so happy!

28 Mar
My best friend who lives in the coastal area finally called me after a week and I broke down in tears. Carrying her mother who is ailing from a serious disease on her back, she reached her car and fled to a higher ground and spent the night in the mountains. Her cell phone was swept away by the tsunami while she was fleeing. She returned from the evacuation center yesterday, and listening to the stories she has to tell that are not reported on TV… the unimaginable left me speechless.

29 Mar
Dear friends - my friend and her mother were able to get back safely, but her house was completely destroyed. There are people missing in her family. She said that she didn’t let out even one yawn during the 2 weeks while she was evacuating… She said she was surprised to find herself yawning many times after coming back to her home…

29 mar
(my friend), she must have been under so much stress. When I asked her, what do you need, she said she wanted to take a bath…It hurt me to hear that she was finally able to bathe after 14 days since the quake. All I could say was “come back any time when we get our gas back...!” I feel so ashamed for not being able to do anything for her when I am here. Let’s pray and hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day then yesterday.

30 mar
I-san, music that gives me courage is what supports me♪Thank you for such wonderful lyrics that give me power. Tomorrow should be a better day than today… I will keep a song and smile in my heart and live today making the most of it. Y-san, thank you for always being at my side and supporting me! We may get our gas back today!

31 Mar pm (latest tweet)
Just as I was starting to think that we were moving forward very slowly… getting our lifeline back… I just heard that a friend I was worried about who was missing did not make it. This unbelievable reality… I am just so sad that I am losing all my strength. Tomorrow, it will be 3 weeks from the disaster. The traces are still huge, and I am in a state of numbness, at the same time feel this unfocused frustration… I can’t stop the tears from running down my face while I am doing housework…

Just as I (flowerbossa) was reading onpu-san’s last tweet with a heavy heart, I got a message from her:

Dear flowerbossa-san,

It has been awhile. How have you been? Thank you for asking about me - Aoba-ku of Sendai City where I live has been spared major damages. But the coastal area has been totally devastated. We are still under much anxiety.

And thank you for adding my youtube videos (onpu43) to your list. Makishi-san sent me a message to me about you too. I was so happy that you remembered me, and with gratitude towards your warm words, I would like to live on with a positive attitude.

Thank you very much for praying for us. I too will continue to pray. Please send my kindest regards to pallet-san.



Reflections 04


Anonymous said...

Dear Flowerbossa,
Thank you for sharing about onpu and sharing the video.I "scanned" through the onpu43 channel and
somehow it is always Wintersonata that gives most emotions and joy to me.
Media here has turned their interest elsewhere now and I guess news get old quickly and some other disaster is "hotter". But for those affected by the catastrophe it will always be part of their lives forever.
I'm glad your friend is safe.

Anonymous said...

Dear onpu-san,

I was happy to hear that you are safe. Please take care good care of yourself. We will thinking of you and the people of Tohoku always.


flowerbossa said...

Dear Ida,

I'm glad you had the opportunity to look at onpu's beautiful works.

About the media-
I'm sure it would be pretty much the same way here in Japan too if this happened to another country. It is a great comfort for us to know that people like you still keep us in mind. Plus, what is happening in Japan right now is not merely a "natural disaster". It contains many serious issues that the whole world should continue to be aware of.

Onpu-san appreciates your warm thoughts!


Anonymous said...

Dear Flowerbossa,

I'm afraid I named onpu wrong and it should be onpu-san, right?

What does -san stand for? I have noticed that it follows names sometime.
Just the usual curiosity; I can't help myself when it comes to language.

flowerbossa said...

Dear Ida,

"san" is a Japanese honorific you use when you address people (like "ssi" in Korean).

I only added it to "onpu" here to emphasize that she was Japanese. I'm sorry for the confusion^^
It's perfectly ok to address her here without the san, I'm sure she would not be offended!


Ida said...

Dear Flowerbossa,

Thank you for the explanation. You also sorted out the "ssi" because I've noticed it but never asked about it.


flowerbossa said...

Dear Ida-san,

I'm glad you were able to sort out 2 questions on one occasion^^


flowerbossa said...






onpu said...







onpu said...






onpu said...










flowerbossa said...

Dear Ida,

onpu-san has left a message for you, and here is the translation:


Dear Ida-sama (sama is a honorific of a higher level^^),

How do you do?

Thank you for worrying about us.

Some of my friends survived, but some of them did not. Natural disasters are indeed terrible.

I think we should never forget this disaster.

I was supported by many BYJ family, and I am very grateful.

I am also happy to hear that you enjoyed my "Winter Sonata" videos.

Arigatogozaimasu. (Thank you very much.)


Ida said...

Dear Onpu,

I'm sorry for not replying sooner but after Flowerbossa's last reply I didn't expect any more comments to my comments of this article but continued to read what came after.I hope you understand.
I'm honored that you add a honorific to my name but I feel I don't deserve it. You are a more proper owner of a honorific to your name and if I stood in front of you now I would bow to your courage and if it would be proper to do although we are strangers I would give you a hug. In times of disasters when we come short of words we can at least reach out a hand and a hug of comfort. I can not fathom the level of pain it has caused you and your fellow country man but I hope in time your life will be back as normal as it can be although never the same as before
Take care

flowerbossa said...

Dear onpu,