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June 1 - Goodbye Sendai

June 1 - Goodbye Sendai

Goodbye Sendai, Hello Tokyo

Yasue’s return to Hawaii has been delayed slightly as she worked to complete a myriad of things at her mother’s home in Sendai. Today, for the first time since the quake and tsunami ravaged Tohoku on March 11, Yasue is leaving Sendai. She will spend a couple days with friends in Tokyo before flying back to Hawaii on Friday June 3. We are hoping her flight goes as planned and that she will make it back just in time for an awards ceremony at Ian’s school.

I can’t begin to understand the range of emotions she will be feeling as she departs Sendai on her flight to Tokyo. The elevated highway to the Sendai Airport ironically is a dividing line of sorts. The tsunami came right up to that road but did not cross it. Traveling that road was an emotional journey for the aio executives who flew to Sendai for a couple of days to visit with Tohoku University Hospital officials. When looking toward the coast, one can see complete devastation with entire coastal villages flattened, debris still piled high. Look out the other window toward the mountains and one can see Japan much as it was prior to March 11. Homes still stand. Stores are open. Kids are going to school. I sit here wondering which side Yasue will choose to look at as she rides to the airport. I wouldn’t blame her at all if she just shuts her eyes and gets a little rest. God knows she deserves it.


Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 in Permalink

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About This BLOG

Scott and Yasue Schumaker moved from Japan to Hawaii in 1995. They and their son Ian, 14, live in Kapolei. In mid-January, Yasue unexpectedly returned to her childhood home in Sendai, Japan to care for her ailing mother. She was in Sendai when the devastating 9.0 earthquake struck. In this blog, Scott will share how all 3 family members are coping with the separation amid the chaos and misery of post-quake life in northern Japan. All times in this blog are HST.

Editor's Note:
Scott Schumaker, president of our parent company, PacificBasin Communications, has a unique take on the events unfolding in Japan. His wife, Yasue, is a concierge at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa. Yasue was in Sendai when the earthquake and tsunami hit and was one of the first people interviewed by CNN. She remains there, looking after her ailing mother and coping with the devastation. In this online column, Schumaker chronicles the experience of one family, both separated and united by disaster.

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