March 11th 2011, Japan was hit by a 8.9 magnitude earthquake which then resulted to a 10-meter tall tsunami that hit the northeast of Japan, dubbed as the “2011 Tōhoku earthquake.” Thousands of lives have been lost in just one swoop. Help came from various parts of the world.
Just hours after that, various TV stations had cancelled their regular programming including TV-Asahi's then Super Hero Time, Kamen Rider OOO and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger that we regularly watch, as they focus on relief and giving up-to-date news to the said event.
Worried fans of various Japanese celebrities breathe freely as various sites listed compilations of those who are "checked in safe" after the quake. A hoax circulating about the death Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri was later pronounced fake.
Riders Rangers and Rambles, or RRR, with CS-Toys Japan, along with other tokusatsu blogs, forums and websites joined forces to do our best to help the country, the home of tokusatsu, that we all love. Dubbed as the "Super Hero Time" Donation Drive, it collected a total of US$8,255 which was donated to Red Cross Japan.
Many artists had given their best to cheer-up Japan in those times of crisis. Former and current tokusatsu actors cheer children with encouraging words via Teruaki Ogawa's @TokusatsuHero Twitter page.
T.M. Revolution and Gackt organizes charity concerts. Akira Toriyama and Kunio Okawara posted their own artworks online. Original Fullmetal Alchemist and Rurouni Kenshin artworks were auctioned to raise funds for Japan relief.
Amidst of the disaster, a Kamen Rider statue was seen standing undefeated in Ishinomaki in Miyagi, a city hit by the tsunami, and considered as the hometown to Kamen Rider. Buildings around the city are left in shambles, but the statue stands tall and gives courage and hope to those who fell victim to the terrifying events.
After a year had passed, the effects of the disaster were still visible. Although much of the debris has been cleared, survivors from the devastated north-east have complained about slow recovery efforts.
One day before national commemorations, the families and loved ones of victims began to pay their respects at the graves of those they have lost. In Iwaki City in Fukushima, thousands of candles were lit, ceremonial bells were rung and monks chanted.
Anti-nuclear protests are also scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Fukushima and other parts of the country to coincide with the anniversary.
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