Thank you for the thousands of emails in support of the original translations of Japanese Twitter accounts of the March 11th quake on my Facebook note, "Japan Quake as Seen from Twitter". Now, together with ten classmates and friends in the University of Cambridge, I have launched this blog to continue translating the voices of the Japanese people on their road to recovery.
- Jun Shiomitsu -

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Be Strong!" Hashikami Jr. Highschool Graduation

As is tradition in Japanese junior high schools, the valedictorian salutes the class with his speech, thanks the teachers, and delivers a pledge for the whole class.  

This is a clip from the graduation ceremony of Hashikami Junior High School in Kesenuma City, a city that no longer exists.  The ceremony was held at one wing of a gymnasium that now serves as an evacuation facility.  There are parents receiving the diplomas in place of their children who are dead or missing.  The translation below is from 0:43.


"We have all been stricken by sudden and incredible tragedy.  Knowing that disaster could hit our city one day, we did prepare.  But the disaster that struck us and continues to grip us day by day has proven to be something unimaginable ... far more terrifying than we had ever imagined.  

We have been burdened with enormous grief and sadness, but we must overcome."


“Hashikami Junior High School has always been known for its excellent disaster prevention training, and as such, we have been highly respected both from within and without.

“But, in the face of nature’s fury, we were entirely powerless, and it has mercilessly robbed us all of things we hold dear.  These are trials given to us from above, but they seem too painful to bear, and too baffling to understand. 

“But even in distress, it is the duty of us the graduates of Hashikami Junior High School 2011, to not blame heaven, to persevere through our lot in life, and to always help one another in our life ahead together.”


“Courage. Be strong.”

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