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03/14/2011
Great Tohoku Earthquake

There was a huge earthquake in eastern Japan on March 11th.
Even in Tokyo, it shook more than I've ever experienced, but I wasn't hurt. I am doing fine.
Thank you very much for your concern.

I'm fine physically, but I'm mentally affected every day by hearing news and seeing images of the disaster-affected areas.
The dreadful reality leaves me speechless.
I hope that even one more life can be saved.
That's all I wish for with all my heart.

Recently, I survived through deadline hell, celebrated my birthday, and the first volume of "Kiss Ariki" went on sale.
I was originally planning to write a comment about that, but this time I'll write about what the earthquake reminded me of.

In the final scene of the chapter "Lifeline" that I wrote for the 14th volume of "Haru wo Daiteita,"
at Kato's award ceremony, there's a line where Iwaki comments,
"You can't live just by nourishment of the body. The more you are in pain, the more you need nourishment of the heart."
This line was born from the unforgettable words that a reader once said to me.

In the past, when I was writing dojinshi, there was an event in Tokyo one week after a big earthquake in Kobe in western Japan.
At that time, while I was hearing reports of the heavy damage, I worried about my new book, and I remember feeling guilty about that.
Then a reader called out to me with a lively voice, "I came to buy relief supplies for my friend in Kobe!"
According to her, she was asked by her friend to get my book, which was the "best relief supply" to her.
I cried tears of gratitude.
More than 10 years later, I still hadn't forgotten, so when I wrote about an earthquake, I added in that line.

Right now, those that have been rescued, and those who are in evacuation centers, are still in need of water, food, and warm blankets.
I pray that the day comes soon when they can find nourishment for their hearts.