In Memory: The Animals Lost After the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

In March 11, 2011, a 9.0 earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan. The quake shifted the earth off its axis. A tsunami was triggered that wiped towns away. The giant wave swept over the Fukushima nuclear plant, and radiation forced over 150,000 people to flee from the area.

When we hear of tragic news through internet, print media or word-of mouth, it can sound shocking. Yet, we are distanced by location and background to really feel the horrors of the reality.

Imagine this: Police and cell phone blasts warn that you must evacuate your home immediately — right now. Your cat is nowhere to be found. The horses are in the pasture. You leave your pups in the yard. You tell them you’ll be right back.

But, you don’t.

After the nuclear accident, authorities create an exclusion zone that increases with the leakage of radiation. Local residents are not allowed to return. Moreover, your entire city is barricaded from entry.

You can’t go back to rescue your pets.

Days go by, then weeks and months…

Most of the house cats and dogs perished of starvation, but some survived by living off the land.

Compassionate individuals would track paw prints in snow in hopes of helping these abandoned pets. Rescuers found horses, severely traumatized, wandering on the beach.

Yet, in spite of the odds, survival instincts were strong. Some emancipated ostriches, left on their own, were found to have laid eggs despite barely being alive. Moreover, faithful dogs and cats waited outside their homes, hoping for the return of their owners.

Mayumi Itoh’s “Haikus of All Seasons VII – Fauna” (Amazon) is dedicated to these victims and wildlife in general. Her anthology of delicate Japanese poetry is also a tribute to the people who have devoted themselves to the protection and welfare of animals.

There is a universal connection between humans and dogs.

Mayumi perfectly captures the fragile existence of living creatures and their symbiotic relationships with us. We experience life against the sometimes stark, oftentimes breathtaking beauty of nature. A tender collection of feelings, through the four seasons, warms your heart and most certainly, elevates your spirit.

Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind. — Albert Schweitzer

Hachiko is a symbol of the strength, beauty and resilience of animals.

For some people, dogs are their preferred companions. Even if they don’t “like” people, they can bond with a furry friend. The film “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale“, the true-life story of Hachi, the loyal Akita, touched people deep within. They can relate to the intense attachment with their constant companion.

Here’s a few of my favorite viewer comments:

“This is an amazing story showing the unconditional love and loyalty of a dog for his master. If only humans would be the same, the world would be a much better place.”

“You ask yourself, if the dogs has so much love in his heart why can’t humans be the same?”

“It showed me that dogs definitely have soul, emotions who are really able to teach humans a thing or two about love and devotion.”

Animals are the link to our humanity. Through them, we can come closer to our essential and pure inner souls. Click To Tweet

“Knowing Hachi’s story I cannot help to feel wanting to be a better person and human, this movie leaves its prints in your heart/soul and is a story you will not forget.”

What did your “take-away” from the film? Like many Hachi friends, you might want to watch “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” again!

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