What 14 year old AKB Member Miyawaki Sakura felt after Visiting Tsunami-Hit Area

  April 9, 2012
Sakura Miyawaki (14)

From Sakura Miyawaki’s (HKT48 – a sister group of AKB48) G+ post…

こんばんは! Good evening!
宮脇咲良です! This is Sakura Miyawaki!


今日は Today,
被災地の宮城県名取市にI visited Natori-city, Miyagi pref, with my Senpais,
板野友美さん Tomomi Itano san
渡辺麻友さん Mayu Watanabe san
横山由衣さん Yui Yokoyama san
竹内みうさん Miu Takeuchi san
中俣汐里さん Shiori Nakamata san
岩田華怜さん Karei Iwata san

被災地訪問に行くと I was a bit nervous
知らされた時 when I heard we’re going to visit
少し不安がありました。Earthquake-hit area.

3.11の震災復興支援特別公演で I determined
自分の出来ることを to do my best to support people
精一杯しようときめたのに when I joined the charity concert on 11th Mar
やっぱりいざ行くとなると But when I was actually going to do it,
私なんかが大丈夫かな…と。I wasn’t sure that there’s much I could do…

でも But
元気や勇気を届けにいくのに It does no good to have a depressed tone
不安そうな顔をしたら on my face when I try cheering up people!
心に決めて被災地訪問に行きました。With this notion, I visited the tsunami-hit area.

被災地に行くと Once I arrived at the area,
小さな子供達から a lot of people 
ご年配の方まで from little children to
たくさんの方が elder people
笑顔で待っていてくれました。welcomed us with wonderful smile

本当に短い時間でしたが Our visit was only for a short time,
見ていて下さった方は But people who watched our performance
皆心から楽しんでいる表現を looked they enjoyed it
していました。from the heart.

最後に握手会を開いた時 At last, when we were having shake-hand event,
「頑張ってね! 」 “Hold on there!!”
「応援してます!」 “I support you!”
と応援の言葉を we had a lot of warm words.
私の思っているより They are more positive and looking forward
被災地の皆さんは than I had expected.

だけど But
心の片隅に隠してはいるけど we Japanese tend to hide
消えることのない深い傷跡が a deep wound they suffer
日本人にはあると思います。 which would never disappear from their hearts

私達は歌って踊って I figured what we can do is
笑顔と勇気を届け、 deliver them smiles and courage
そのキズを出来るだけ癒し、 to heal those wounds as possible
一日も早い復興を目指すと and support the recovery as soon as possible.

誰かのためになるなら If what we ‘re doing has a meaning to someone,
ステージがある限り we keep singing and dancing 
私は歌い躍り続けます。as long as there’s a stage.

そして Then
私達の握手会が終わり as we were boarding a bus after the event,

「息子の為に1本でもいいので “Could you serve a senko for my sun?

*Senko is a Insence Stick used for Buddhism ritual. In funeral ceremony, people usually serve several Senko to remember the deceased.

ある女性の方が A woman taked to us.
女性の方から She asked us “Please this is once-in-my-life-time wish.”
本当に一生のお願いだからと so urdently.
私達に少しでも We were following her, thinking if there’s something we can be help…
と思い仮設住宅に向かうと when we got to her temporary-housing,
一番最初に思ったのは the first thing came to my mind was 
狭いということです。 it’s very tiny.

大体独り暮らしの部屋ぐらい。It’s about as large as one-room apartment for a single… 
その部屋には4人で生活していて 4 people of the family are living there…
そんな不便なところに We realized there still pople living such a hard life
一年も住んでいる人が one year after the disaster…

お部屋の中には There also was a dog in the house,
女性の方は大事そうに She was held a dog so gently,
犬を抱き抱えて and said
「唯一、家から持ってきた “This is the only luggage we brought from our home”
荷物なんです。」 with a smile.

津波で家は流され、 Tsunami washed her house away,
息子さんも流され亡くなられた and killed her son,
と話して下さいました。 she told us.

息子さんは私と同い年で Her son was as old as me,
AKB48さんの大ファン and he was a huge fan of AKB48, she said.

仏壇には At Butsudan (inhouse shirine to worship the deceased)
息子さんの写真と there were a photograph of her son,
AKB48の下敷きが置いてあり、 and AKB48 Shitajiki.
私達は下敷きにサインを We singed on the Shitajiki.
サインを書きながら As we were signing signatures,
ふと女性の方を見ると the woman were talking to her son in the photo,
「亡くなってもこうやって “You are so happy… you are treated so kindly
親切にしてもらって幸せだね~」 even after you died..”
と写真に向かって I saw a smile on her face and tears in her eyes.

「ずーっとずーっとAKB、AKB “He is always taking about AKB,
ってうるさくてねー It was son noisy haha…
下敷きとかグッズを集めてねー。 He was collecting AKB48 goods,
まぁ、全部流されてしまったけどね!」But now they were all gone with Tsunami.. (: !!

女性の方は She always had a smile on her face while she was talking.
話を聞いて私達が泣いていると She gave us an encouraging word
when we were sobbing as listening to her… 

本当は私達が元気を届けないと Our role is giving them a support, but on the contrary
いけないのに this time, she helped us smile.

その後、 After that,
津波の被害を受けた場所に we visited the tsunami-hit place.

本当に何もなかった。There was nothing left.

住宅街だったその場所は The place used to be a cozy neighbourhood,
あと影もなく left nothing at all,
ただの原っぱにしか just a plain field to my eyes.

原っぱの中心に  In the center of the place,
小さな丘のようなところがあって there was a small hill,
そこには震災の一日も早い復興を on which had a place to pray for the fast recovery.

その丘から周りを見渡しても I looked around from the top of the hill,
空襲があったんじゃないかと but there was nothing as if there was an air-laid,
何も。 Nothing.

私が被災地に行って  There are countless things I learned from my visit to the tsunami-hit area
 and it’s impossible to write everything down. 

そして、気付いたことがあります。 And found one thing..
きっと  Probably
ガラスが飛び散っただけだと it is because there’re crashed glasses,
思いますが but 
土はきらきらしてました。soil was shining there.

津波によってたくさんの命を The ocean deprived a lot of people of their lives and caused enormous suffering to people who survived
奪い、たくさんの人を悲しませましたが but…

海はきらきらしてました。the ocean there was shining.

心のどこかに深いキズが People have a invisible deep wound in some corners of their hearts,
あるんだろうと思いますが but

皆の笑顔、瞳はきらきらしてました。their eyes, their smiles were so bright.

被災地はきらきらしてました。The area was shining.

今被災地は Now the damaged-hit areas are
復興に向かって striving forward for the full recovery
一歩一歩ゆっくりですが slowly but surely step by step.

明日からの一日一日を I cherish and give my best to days I will have tomorrow and in the future.
大切に一生懸命 I live to the fullest and never regret my life.
被災地の一日でも I pray for the damaged areas and wish for the the fastest recovery as possible.

さくら咲け(συσ)/*★.。Sakura sake! (Spread your petals Sakura!!)

Tomochin “We gotta go!”
I also want to note this. According to her, when the woman asked them to come to her home, all were lost what to respond, then it was Tomochin (Tomomi Itano 板野友美)  who took a leading role to urge the member to offer a pray for the victim.

Some people judge her by her looking that she looks like a slut, not an appropriate role model for kids… look, I’m not trying to say this one conduct makes her a good role model, but if you take off your blindfold and look straight toward her inside, I grantee that you will find out that she just like a little bit flashy make up and tend not to explicitly express her feeling, but she actually is so brave that she never hesitates to take a stand for people if it’s necessary.

We’re all preached that don’t take unnecessary risk and keep distance from dangerous looking people. We have similar kind of national argument right now over *Trayvon Martin case and have had the same or more serious problem on people of Arab descent. Don’t judge people from their appearance, it’s easy to say but difficult to do, since it depends on each individual to find a proper balance between tolerance and self-defence. But one thing for sure is no matter what race you are or what kind of fashion you like, if you treat people nicely and always keep a goodwill, someone must notice you and that ultimately is going to erase the whole social sterotype.

Anyone can be a victim of judgement. If you’re Asian, you may face discrimination in white-majority white countries, if you’re black you may face in Asian or white-majority countries, and if you’re white you may face in any non-white-majority countries. Don’t judge people from their appearance or race, you can always be in the same position. And if you had a bitter experience from people’s judgement, not be overcomed by anger or disappointment. Please stay strong and keep a goodwill. In the long run, you can wither the social perception by proving it’s just incorrect. (But of course if something really unacceptable was happened, you would have to stand up and protest for the betterment of society with all due consideration…)

*I am talking about the loss of his life invoked the discussion over whether one should be cautious against black guys in his hoodie or not. Not talking about the case itself.

Rayn will teach you on this in more down-to-earth way!