What happened on March 11 was the biggest earthquake hitting Japan in modern time resulting in the worst disaster in Japan since second world war, with more than 10000 people confirmed dead and more than 17000 people still missing. And as if that was not enough, a nuclear crises in the Fukushima #1 power plant.
Though everything about what has happened is tragic there are also some positive things. Like how people unite and help each other. There are stories about people that open up their homes and share the scarce food they have with strangers. Restaurants in the disaster areas that give away food. And many other stories like that.
Also, a very extraordinary thing is how the emperor and his family have reacted. It all started with the emperor speaking to the Japanese people via TV. This is very unusual if not the first time ever.
In Nasu the emperor has a summer house and it is located quite close to one of the shelters. The emperor has opened the bath for the people in the shelter. The summer house also has a farm where they grow vegetables and breed chicken etc. Food to be used for dinners that the emperor is hosting. The food is now donated to support the victims of the earthquake/tsunami. And though the emperor is not included in the rolling blackout he has volunteered to join Group 1.
All these may seem like small things, but they are not when considering the status of the Japanese emperor. The emperor usually does not interact with the common Japanese. Only once a year is he “shown” to the people, and then at a great distance. So for him and his family being so engaged in what has happened to Japan is quite extraordinary.