#RANDOM / / / Sadness from Kumamoto

Saturday, 16 April 2016

I've got some news from Japan that 2 days ago (April 14th, 2016) there was earthquake in Kumamoto city, a centre part of Kyushu island. I don't realise that it was quite big after my Sensei shared news about it. It was to be said that the earthquake magnitude was 6.2 from its maximum scale of Japan Meteorology Agency. Seven is the maximum. Aftershocks have been recorded from its first earthquake. Several aftershocks were on scale 6 of its maximum. Last night, the 7 magnitude earthquake occurred, the initial warning of the tsunami was alarmed but then cancelled. The tremor can be felt until Fukuoka and Oita. The aftershocks continue until today (live report from my Sensei update on Facebook). After last night earthquake, at least 19 people to be confirmed died, 1000 injured, and about 97 people trapped inside of collapsed building.

I visited Kumamoto 2 times when I was in Japan, the first was with second year student on architecture trip, and the second time was with my Suehiro-laboratory member to attend Kumamoto Artpolist Symposium. I didn't have much time to wonder around the city. But it was a really beautiful small city in the centre of Kyushu. One of my best-friends in Suehiro-laboratory was born and grew up in this city. He helped me a lot during my stay in Fukuoka. His big family (both parents, 2 younger sister and 1 younger brother) lives in Kumamoto. Last night, after I realised what really happened in Kumamoto (well, tsunami alarm means it really serious thing, right?), I texted him to confirm his family safety. Gladly to hear that they are safe.

Couple months ago, when the Paris tragedy happened, there was earthquake in Kagoshima. My two Parisian friends and one of my best-friends in Suehiro-laboratory who join exchange program were safe during the tragedy. But, some friends of one of my Parisian friend were being past of the victims. While my best-friends (in Suehiro-laboratory who join exchange program in Paris) family also lives in Kagoshima. My tutor during my stay in Kyushu University moved to Kagoshima after graduation to work there. To be confirm that both my tutor and my friend family were safe and nothing really bad happen during the earthquake in Kagoshima.

But, the earthquake in Kumamoto is different. It to be said in NHK that the second earthquake on April 16th, 2016 was as strong as the earthquake in Kobe on 1995 which is the second worst earthquake ever happen in Japan. Well, not so many death tolls in Kumamoto. But, much historical building around Kumamoto and Aso was in danger (some part was reported collapsed). Transportation was stopped due to the effect of the earthquake (landslide and damaged road). Kumamoto Airport closed. Shinkansen and train delayed.

#RANDOM / / / Sakura

Thursday, 7 April 2016

“So, what kind of Japanese trees do you like?” a friend asked me in the middle of our way to the airport. It was my departing day. My student exchange program was ended. I had to go back to Indonesia. The car was full of my friends, 8 peoples went to the airport to send me away.

“Hm, it is a hard question,” I responded it, thinking. I never thought that somebody will ask me that. But they chuckled because of my answer.

“It is an easy question!” my friend protested me.

“Hm, if you insist me to answer, maybe I like Momiji and gingko trees,” I answered while remembering golden carpets of fallen gingko leaves in front of Kumamoto city hall and the patch of fallen Tsubaki flower petals in between.

“Why?” other friend asked me.

“I think it is beautiful. I never see it in Indonesia.” I remembered a street full of Momiji near Osaka University, the red colour contrasted with the early winter blue sky.

“But I think, Sakura is more beautiful, isn’t it?” I asked my Japanese friends.
“I never see sakura before,” I added it sadly.


(Sakura besides river bank in Kyoto. Photo credit: A.D)

It is April, already, more than one year after I came back to this place. Last year, I was still struggling with my graduation project. And now, I struggle with what I want to do. The Sakura blooms and falls. Last year, some friends graduated. This year also, next year also. People moves to other live in another city. Once Fukuoka is my home, the next, it is only a city once I lived. But this city, this two-hundred-something city, is home.

Why do I not feel it is my home anymore?