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.