Approximately three years ago an earthquake measuring 9.0 (the fourth highest since the turn of the 20th century) on the Richter Scale struck Japan.
To exacerbate the devastating effects of the earthquake, a tsunami and a level-7 nuclear meltdown delivered the final jab and upper cut to the island nation.
Apollo Kaneko ’15, who was living in Japan during the time and felt the effects of the earthquake, continues to think about the people of Japan.
“There are many children in the Tohoku area who have suffered immense losses. The kids near Fukushima face a different type of peril every day.”
The Shirakawa area, located in the southern portion of Fukushima Prefecture, was just one of the many areas that was heavily affected by the earthquake. Tycho Koll ’15, who was also living in Japan at the time of the earthquake, believes that although radiation levels in the area are in fact quite low, “the common belief is that the children in the affected area cannot go outside to play for fear of dangerous radiation exposure.”
As a result, the unlikely love story between two Japanese high-school students at a boarding school in California and a children’s library in the Shirakawa area blossomed.
“My mother somehow knows the owner of a children’s library in Shirakawa,” explains Koll.
Koll and Kaneko are the current heads of The Japan Club, a Thacher club that prior to this fundraiser had not aided Japan after the earthquake. After they had felt the affects of the earthquake “we looked around ourselves and wondered how we could take care of others? We have found the answer, and it was noodles.”
The two leaders, along with seven additional members of The Japan Club, cooked noodles for Tuesday’s Snack Bar. As a result, $500 dollars was sent to the owner of the library, Miyako Ishimura.
Ishimura in response to their fundraiser thanked them and was wonderfully surprised by the hard work Koll and Kaneko put forth.
“Without your support and help the Children’s Library would not have been re-opened.”
This is just one example of students escaping the infamous “Thacher bubble” and giving back to the community, and in this case, the world.