Blog Translation: Kubo Shiori (March 11th, 2021)


Since the Tohoku earthquake 
today, 10 years have passed.

In the past ten years since then,
there have been many thoughts and feelings of many people, 
some things have changed and some things haven't changed at all.

Even now, I remember those days vividly.
The sights in front of me, 
the things I saw on the news, 
the sounds, the weather, the sky at that time.

While keeping those memories in my mind,
I wondered what I could do now, in Tokyo.

I was in the third grade of elementary school at that time.
Immediately after the send-off assembly, 
some of the students were already on their way home.

I was in the classroom.
In the falling snow, I took refuge in the schoolyard and waited for my parents to come.
The normally empty streets were so crowded 
that the usual 10 minute walk took more than an hour that day.
I was among the last three students still waiting from my class, and I was filled with anxiety.

At that time, we used an earthen charcoal brazier 
to melt snow for water for our daily use,
and since we couldn't get any water, 
all we had on hand was soda, 
so we used that to brush our teeth.
I didn't see my father until a week later.

One thing in particular that I remember is the sound.
I remember the teacher's voice, 
which was completely different from that of previous evacuation drills.
In the next class, a bookshelf collapsed.
Even now, when I hear my cell phone ringing, 
I feel scared and confused not knowing what to do.

The schoolyard grounds, 
which I hadn't visited in a long time, 
were extremely damaged and there was nothing to do there.
That year, my sister who was graduating, 
couldn't make it to the graduation ceremony at her alma mater.

At that time, I was an elementary school student, 
and I still clearly remember all the sights that I saw.
With those memories and thoughts in my mind, 
I have been thinking all the time, 
"What can I do here, now that I am alive?".

"I can't talk about what happened that day.
It can't be good." That is what I thought.
But I felt that I had a responsibility 
to stop it from fading away. 

I, who was protected at that time, 
will be celebrating the coming of age this year.

From now on, in order to be able to protect others, 
I would like to remind myself that being here now is not a matter of course.
I would like to reaffirm my gratitude and move forward with what I can do and the mission I have been given.

The significance of leaving my beloved Tohoku and working on a job at this place.
No matter where I am, Tohoku is always on my mind. 
It's my one and only hometown.
I sincerely want to help my beloved Tohoku, even if only a little bit.
In order to achieve this goal, I would like to keep on living and working hard at this place.
I hope that someday these thoughts will reach my precious hometown.

I believe that this blog will continue to connect to the future.

I pray for the souls of the victims of the Tohoku earthquake, 
and express my deepest condolences to the victims of the disaster.

Nogizaka46 Kubo Shiori


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