I lived in Japan for a year, specifically in Sendai, and frequently visited Natori, which was one of the hardest hit communities.
Japan has a rich culture, and what a lot of people may not realize is that Sendai and it's neighboring towns (like Natori) had a population of only about a million, smaller than Seattle. It wasn't the bustling chaos of Tokyo or Osaka that foreigners usually think of Japan being. It was a quiet, close-knit community, with a rich history.
Sendai's patron was Masamune Date, commonly known as the One-Eyed-Dragon, the Samurai lord with the eyepatch and large crescent on his helmet. You may have even seen depictions of him in anime. Just north of Sendai is Matsushima bay, one of Japan's most beautiful natural landmarks. So beautiful that haiku master Matsuo Basho was so awestruck his poem was simply "Matsushima ah, Matsushima aaah, Matsushima ah."( Please DonateCollapse )