We are one

Commentary by: Tamara

JAPAN, March 11, 2011 — In the early afternoon Japan was hit by an earthquake the island state had not seen before. Shortly after, the first tsunamis hit the northeast coast, destroying large parts of Sendai. Telephone lines were destroyed, cell coverage was overloaded and many cities were without power. And yet, there was a small blue bird, probably better known as “Twitter,” who brought some light into the darkness.

As soon as the news went around, worried fans from all over the world started tweeting their favorite artists, inquiring whether or not they were okay. It did not take long for the first ones to answer these worried calls. No matter whether it was Aoi and Ruki from the GazettE, T.M.Revolution, Miyavi, Yoshiki from X Japan or Sugizo and Ryuichi from Luna Sea (just to name a few), they all reassured that they were fine, but expressed their own worries for their fans and asked to keep praying for the safety of the people in the affected areas. Other artists like Minoru Niihara from Loudness and Gackt, as well as his band , expressed their worries through their blogs.

As more and more information about the magnitude of the earthquake and the destructiveness of the tsunamis became known, people started making “safe lists” where they noted every artist from who they knew were safe and sound. Here is one such list in case you are still worrying about your favorite musicians: http://www.jpopasia.com/news/jrock-artists-reported-safe::5422.html

Artists and fans alike shared links like where to find a shelter if you where stuck in the city and could not get back home as public transport had come to a halt. When X Japan’s Yoshiki tweeted in the evening hours that he was still unable to get into contact with his mother, fans got in touch with the maintainers of his hometown’s Twitter page, asking them if they had any information on the current situation. It was probably a long shot, but it did not take long and the maintainers twittered X Japan’s leader a detailed report, informing him among other things that neither collapsed buildings nor injured people had been reported. [Site C. note: It has since been confirmed that Yoshiki’s mother is okay.]

Would something like this have been possible 10 or 20 years ago? Probably not — especially for overseas fans that would have been left in the dark, not knowing whether their favorite artists survived or not. Unfortunately, the danger is not completely over yet, as aftershocks are still shaking the island state and the danger of nuclear radiation is still not over. So let’s do what so many of our favorite musicians already asked: pray for the safety of everyone and remember those lost.

Edited by: Debra H.

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