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Remembering the Tohoku earthquake three years later

“At 14:46 this afternoon there will be a school-wide two-minute silence to mark the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake: teachers will be asked to switch off classroom lights, and everyone is asked to reflect silently on the suffering of those involved in the earthquake as well as what we can all do to support those who experience such natural disasters.”

Ripples in the river, Tohoku earthquake anniversary, Hiroshima, JapanTGS students heard this announcement over the intercom at school this afternoon. Clear, blue skies and crisp air are the salient features of today’s environment.

Residents of Hiroshima continued to walk across the many bridges of the city. Cars waited at red lights, just as they always do. Construction cranes gave the illusion of being completely still, though it’s more likely they were swaying ever so slightly due to the wind that also rippled the river’s surface.

At TGS, we can easily get lost in the shuffle of trips and class work; emails and group dinner plans; but we are often provided with moments that force real perspective-taking.

The Boston Marathon bombings shook us as a school and as global citizens. Biking along the footprint of the Berlin Wall and seeing commemorative crosses scattered along the way made history visceral.

On the third anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, we felt a powerful moment of silence, accentuated by an intentional power cut, that let us connect the event we watched on TV with real people, real lives lost, real cities destroyed.

[The moment was powerful] because I am in Japan where the actual event took place. Plus, I have seen the effects of the A-bomb, the Kobe earthquake, and just how much Japan has been through. During that moment of silence, I was thinking of life and facing uncertainties every minute of our lives. It sort of just really touched me… -Pema

Three years later, northeast Japan is still recovering from the fourth most powerful earthquake in recorded history. After seeing the incredible reconstruction of Hiroshima post-Atomic bomb, Global Studies teacher Nick Martino felt inspired to coordinate a project in the Tohoku region where a few students could learn about the rebuilding efforts still taking place, and create a mini-documentary about what they witnessed.

Today, those selected students will learn about their coveted appointments to the project, including their roles in the creation of the short film — one that hopefully shares with the world their findings from the ground level.

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Ready to embark on the educational journey of a lifetime?

A passion for travel. A strong academic record. And the desire to improve the world as you experience it. If this sounds like you, you just might be our ideal candidate! Start your application with a five-minute inquiry form - you never know where you might end up.

It all starts here.

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