After a tragedy like the April 16 sinking of the South Korean ferry Sewol, many are left wondering how to appropriately commemorate the lives lost without forgetting the awful truth of the actual incident. Last week a South Korean newspaper revealed that a two-hour documentary about the accident is being planned to be released next year to coincide with the one-year anniversary. The film’s backers are relying solely on donations and are seeking just 400 million won (US$392,000) to finance the low-budget project. And with the entire country paying extremely close attention to every tragic detail to come out of the investigations surrounding the accident, this film is destined to be an instant hit in Korean movie theaters.
Further controversy has emerged surrounding the South Korean Sewol ferry disaster, as a TV crew is accused of setting up footage of a rescue diver. Korean media reports that a member of the rescue team who was not working at the time was put in a wetsuit and drenched in water to give the appearance that he had just come back from a dive. Media crews apparently said that a dry-haired diver would not be realistic and believable enough.
No sooner was it announced the third most at-risk area for natural disasters in the world than the Pearl River Delta in China was hit by extremely severe rain storms with giant hail and damaging winds. The region, which is composed of several major urban centers has experienced flooded subways stations, canceled flights, and destroyed shopping centers due to heavy downpours.
Some of these scenes have been recorded and shared online in video form.
- Cara Clegg
Mar 5, 2014
‘I wonder if you’ll have a grandchild when you get this letter?’ These are the words written by a woman 10 years ago, before she lost her life in the March 2011 tsunami. Her mother and father were shocked to find the letter containing them arrive in the mail this January. While there was no Hollywood movie ending where their beloved daughter turned up alive and well, the letter has at least given them a chance to hear some of the things she never had the chance to tell them in life.
Nov 27, 2013
It’s been three years since the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster swallowed up whole cities and caused one of the worst nuclear power disasters in history. For much of the world the devastating event is a distant memory – except for people in California who, for some reason, to this day think swimming in the ocean is going to give them three eyes or four boobs or something.
But for many living near the crippled Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant, like the inmates at a Kagoshima City prison located within the nuclear evacuation zone, the Tohoku earthquake and the persistent effects of the subsequent nuclear disaster altered their lives forever; so says a former inmate who is formally suing TEPCO for emotional distress.
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Nov 21, 2013
Super Typhoon Haiyan left a trail of destruction as it made its way across the island nation of the Philippines on November 13, 2013. In the wake of the disaster, one of our reporters traveled to the Philippine island of Leyte to talk to the victims of this massive storm and give a firsthand description of the damage. Please enjoy his humble account of the situation in Ormoc City, Philippines.
US psychic Ron Bard has spoken out once again via his official Twitter account, warning that the world – specifically Japan – is in great peril, prompting chatter online. This new warning comes after Mr. Bard claimed back in mid-July this year to have foreseen a natural disaster that would occur in Japan “in the next two or three months”, urging people in Japan to follow him on Twitter and prepare for difficult times.
- Casey Baseel
Sep 5, 2013
Living in Japan, it’s easy to take safety and honesty for granted. This is, after all, the country where public trains make ideal spots for a nap.
That said, with over 150 million people in the country, you’re bound to have a few bad apples, such as the lowlifes who’ve decided there’s no better place for a crime spree than the town of Yamamoto, which was hit hard by the massive earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
Ah, Japan. Land of the world’s best vending machines. It’s hard to go anywhere in the country without finding one, including the summit of Mount Fuji. With over five million scattered around the country, someone should put those hunks of metal to work. Three organizations in Japan are doing just that, teaming up to turn the machines into a lifesaving tool in the event of a disaster, and we aren’t talking about the devices giving out free beverages.
Jul 16, 2013
Japan’s Twitterverse is abuzz with the news that US-born psychic Ron Bard has predicted a huge natural disaster in Japan with major loss of life by the end of 2013. Bard, who calls his work “parapsychological consulting”, is well-known in Japan and counts major players at companies like Sega and Merrill Lynch Japan among his clients.
Bard took to Twitter yesterday with a series of translated messages for his fans in Japan including one that read: “I predicted March 11, but no one believed me. You can save lives this time by retweeting this!”
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Mar 15, 2013
The town of Rikuzentakata was once famous for its picturesque shoreline painted with 70,000 pine trees. However, when the ocean waters finally receded after the tsunami of March 11, 2011, only one tree remained. Standing proud at over 80 feet, this single pine battled on for 18 months after the tsunami until finally perishing due to the overwhelming amount of salt that was introduced to the surrounding earth. Although no longer standing tall, the memory of “the miracle pine” will live on thanks to a newly erected monument in its honor.
To mark the second anniversary of the March 11 disaster, student volunteers in Vancouver spent two days dealing with the lingering effects. They collected more than 40 large trash bags of tsunami debris that has been littering beaches on Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim National Park. Read More
On 8 March 2013, in the second round of the World Baseball Classic, Japan beat Taiwan 4-3. It was a close-fought game, but the real hot topic on the day was the large number of Japanese spectators holding up handmade signs to express their gratitude to Taiwan for humanitarian aid given in response to the catastrophic March 11, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which devastated northeastern Japan.
The gesture was organized beforehand through social media. Japanese fans reasoned that “a lot of Taiwanese people will be watching the game,” and so it would be a great opportunity to get the message across by showing simple words of gratitude on placards, broadcast on Taiwanese TV.
Living in an earthquake-prone country like Japan means constant vigilance in terms of disaster preparedness. Though the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011 struck during daylight hours, there’s no guarantee that a disaster of similar magnitude won’t strike at night. Most people keep a flashlight or two at home, however, if power is cut as a result of an earthquake, as groping your way around in the dark while in a panicked state might not be as easy as you think.
Thankfully, Tokyo’s Force Media group has come up with an ingenius solution to this problem. And it’s much more than just a regular-old flashlight…
Since the Great Tohoku Earthquake of March 2011, scientists have been anxiously watching the massive volcano known as Mt. Fuji for signs of activity. In September of last year, a report was released stating that Mt. Fuji’s magma chamber pressure had risen to a worrisome 1.6 megapascals, which is estimated to be higher than when it last erupted.
According to retired professor Masaki Kimura of Ryukyu University, this and other recent phenomena indicate an eruption of Mt. Fuji should have taken place in 2011 with a four-year margin of error ending in 2015.
- Master Blaster
Dec 20, 2012
With only a few more days until the end of the world as we know it, surely everyone has their survival gear all packed and ready to go. But for those lazy-bones last minute disaster preparers Panasonic feels they have developed the “ultimate disaster survival flashlight”, called Any Battery Light.
As the name suggests, this flashlight can run on any common battery you find lying around, regardless of its size, from AAA to D.
- Master Blaster
Nov 30, 2012
Deep below the ocean lives the squid Chiroteuthis, known in Japan by the name Yurei Ika (Phantom Squid). The Japanese name comes from its ghost-like fluttering and floating movement.
It’s a squid seldom seen by people who don’t have access to a submarine and can visit their habitat 200 to 600 meters beneath the ocean. So when they started turning up in unprecedented numbers around the southeastern coast of Japan, experts became understandably alarmed.
- Philip Kendall
Nov 30, 2012
Playstation 2 and Wii owners will likely be familiar with Ōkami, the adventure game set in ancient Japan that features an absolutely gorgeous wood-cut, cell-shaded graphic design.
The game puts players in control of the wolf incarnation of Shintō goddess Amaterasu, and quests them with using a magical, life-giving paintbrush to transform a dark, cursed world into one of plants, trees and flowers, as well as battling a few demons and evil spirits along the way.
On the same theme of restoration, a local website based in Rikuzentakata, a coastal town in Iwate prefecture severely damaged by the March 11 tsunami, has launched a special range of products officially backed by Capcom, the makers of Ōkami, with profits from their sale going to towards rebuilding the town and, much like the game, “restoring nature to its once beautiful state.”
In Dragon Ball lore, when the Saiyans would dispatch their warriors to conquer or destroy distant planets, they would send them in spherical pod-like spaceships called Attack Balls. These vessels were built to keep their occupant safe across light years of intergalactic travel, and durable enough to withstand impact upon arrival. In short, they were the ultimate personal protective device.
What does this have to do with anything? Japanese auto parts manufacturer, Pond, has developed a disaster shelter called Life Armour that looks almost exactly like the Attack Balls from Dragon Ball.
And we bet you’ll never guess how much it costs…
A Businessman from Yiwu, China recently unveiled his disaster survival invention labeled as “China’s Noah’s Ark.” However, the other side is labeled “Atlantis” which makes me wonder about his knowledge of ancient myths.
Although it lacks the sleek design of the original ark, this orange ball is claimed to be shock-proof, water-proof, fire-proof, and radiation-proof.
- Blogger’s silly video of types of dancers at Singapore clubs is trending in Japan1
- That awkward moment when your phone rings on live TV… and then you make it worse 【Video】2
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker3
- Basement Jaxx’s bizarre Japan-based music video freaks us out, makes us want to dance4
- We go octopus hunting, learn how to turn octopus heads inside-out5
- Chiro the corgi talks, shakes hands, wiggles her bootie, and wins our hearts6
- Live-action Attack on Titan confirmed for 2 films7
- What turned Tokyo Disneyland into the Loneliest Place on Earth last weekend?8
- From Sailor Moon to Freddy Krueger – The lovely cosplayers of Wonder Festival9
- Baked Kit Kats now showing up in cakes, parfaits, and crepes across Japan10
- Little kid causes a stink after parents tell him to poop in his seat during Delta Airlines flight1
- 16-year-old girl arrested for beheading classmate in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture2
- This watermelon might be the most disappointing thing you see today3
- Gamer discovers his deceased father’s ghost on an old Xbox game, challenges it to a race4
- Internet survey sheds light on how Japanese women deal with the hair ‘down there’5
- Vietnamese man, angry at wife, hatches bizarre revenge scheme: Cut off his own penis6
- What turned Tokyo Disneyland into the Loneliest Place on Earth last weekend?7
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker8
- These four Siberian Huskies probably have more followers than you on Instagram!9
- Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】10
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!1
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker2
- Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!3
- Japanese politician screams and cries at press conference as he defends expenses claims【Video】4
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!5
- “Retweet if you thought I was a girl”: This beautiful young man, in his own words【Photos】6
- Little kid causes a stink after parents tell him to poop in his seat during Delta Airlines flight7
- Japanese giant salamander caught taking a stroll on land8
- German team hero Mario Gotze wins World Cup, later loses dignity thanks to gross pic9
- These anime mascots are just what the World Cup has been missing!10
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker1
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!2
- Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup3
- Doggy gets upset over his new haircut, walks around on hind legs like a boss for two days4
- Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it5
- Internet falls in love with Chinese cosplaying beauty, disappointed to hear she’s a guy 【Updated】6
- Not your average Bulbasaur: Mayan-style Pokemon7
- Chinese student asks for cooked sushi at Sukibayashi Jiro, gets flamed by Chinese netizens8
- The official Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist trailer just made our day【Video】9
- This amazing water cake just may be the most delicate sweet ever created!10
- Chiro the corgi talks, shakes hands, wiggles her bootie, and wins our hearts
- Live-action Attack on Titan confirmed for 2 films
- What turned Tokyo Disneyland into the Loneliest Place on Earth last weekend?
- From Sailor Moon to Freddy Krueger – The lovely cosplayers of Wonder Festival
- Baked Kit Kats now showing up in cakes, parfaits, and crepes across Japan
- Titans attack Lawson convenience stores, bring tons of anime goodies with them
- The top 20 most eagerly anticipated anime of summer 2014, as chosen by fans!
- Amazing Game Boy smartphone wallpaper brings out the Nintendo fanboy in us all
- Man in China steps into “royal rumble” to save the day, maybe goes a bit too far【Video】
- New video from Wagakki Band “Hanabi” is an original, awesome song【J-Tunes】
- How to make your own Pikachu Burgers!【RocketKitchen】
- Hairy armpit selfies have invaded China’s biggest social networking platform【Photos】
- Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】
- Japanese deodorant sheets for ladies smell so nice some guys don’t need the actual girl