Saturday, November 12, 2016


I've had never really thought too much about earthquakes until we moved here to Japan. I had felt a few small ones in Michigan and once in California, but didn't worry about them.  I was also aware on a conceptual level that Japan (like the US west coast) was an area that experienced many more than most parts of the world.  We have experienced a few minor tremors since we've been here, but not been too concerned.  Maybe it's because everything is so well prepared.

Earthquake bracing on a building in our neighborhood

Evidence of preparation and planning for earthquakes can be seen all over Japan. There are signs for safe areas and buildings are built with earthquakes in mind.  Schools hold earthquake drills and evacuation procedures manuals are present in every room along with helmets for every student.

Earthquake helmets for each student under their chair

The mindset is very much that earthquakes will happen, and we can't change that. But we can change how much impact they have, how we prepare for them, and how we react to them. Good lesson for all us I think.

A mild earthquake happened here the other day - I think the third since we have been here. It was so mild that I never felt it while working at school.  My sister was visiting at the time and was still at the apartment getting ready to go to the airport when she felt it - and heard a noise in the other room.  She went to look and found that the TV which had not been sitting very securely on it's little table in the corner had fallen You can see the results below.

Nice pattern, don't you think ?

So - we don't currently have a TV, which is OK since we don't watch much anyway.  When we do get another one, I think I will think a little more and plan a little more carefully for when the earth will shake next, because it certainly will.

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