Just before noon on the morning of Sept. 1, 1923, a massive earthquake shook Japan’s Kanto Plain, hitting the busy industrial cities of Tokyo and Yokohama. The quake leveled buildings and sent cooking stoves tumbling to the ground. Fanned by typhoon winds off Tokyo Bay, the flames spread across the flattened landscape, raining ash on evacuees. Rumors spread that Koreans were looting and thousands were massacred in retribution. By the time the Kanto Plain stopped seething, at least 100,000 people were dead and most of the region lay in ruin. The devastation was so complete, the loss so profound, that Japan considered moving the capital.


Nowadays in Japan Sept. 1 is a day for earthquake awareness, stocking up and planning what you would do if the Big One hits.

During the Big One on March 11, 2011, my husband, my son, and I were all in Fukushima City. Our electricty was off overnight and water off for a few weeks.  I had heard that a good idea is to keep one’s bathtub continually filled with water in case of an earthquake.  I discovered that the reason for this is not for drinking water–we had enough drinking water in bottles.  But all that water is needed to flush the toilet!  Tons of water is needed to get flush that toilet, even on low flush.  Now I have a chemical toilet, bought from Itoyokado.  My Japanese teacher also taught us how to make a toilet out of a cardboard box.  Here are instructions, although the one she taught us is simpler than this one:  http://www.toilet.or.jp/dtinet/311/dtoilet.htm

As far as food goes, everybody knows that there was none to be had.  However, I went on the Disaster Diet—when you have absolutely no appetite due to the fact that the world is being annihilated around you.  Thus I was not hungry and lost a few pounds.  However, I still had to feed my son, and gave him food from our supply.

We left as soon as we could (evacuated) but are back now in lovely Fukushima!

Today I’ll go shopping at our supermarket and buy disaster food.  I saw a lot on display due to the remembrance day of Sept. 1.  Instant rice, canned fish, bottled water……  off to the market!