100 Days

June 20th, 2011

This is the one hundredth day since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the ending of the formal Buddhist period of mourning.

But to people like 45-year-old Yukari Sato, pictured here, it’s just another day of loss and reparation.

Ms. Sato and all her friends spend eight hours a day picking up wreckage, one small piece at a time.  It’s cold there and most of her winter clothes were lost, which explains the outfit, and the level of radiation in the area is still elevated, which explains the mask.  Although she’d probably wear the mask anyway, because this is a world of dust.

They do it this way, one piece at a time, because they hope to find something that matters to someone they know, and because all the big machines are busy elsewhere.  In a community where everyone knows everyone else, some wreckage inevitably looks familiar.

Asked if she has complaints about her unpaid job, Ms. Sato said, “My back hurts.”

This is a high school in Rikuzentakata, one of the hardest-hit of the towns in the water’s path.  Students worked with teachers to clear the gymnasium floor, which was one of the town’s first tasks, because hundreds of people needed to sleep there.

And are still sleeping there.

So the period of informal, internal mourning continues, and will into the foreseeable future.  It will take years for people to reassemble normal lives, even though those lives will be empty of people they knew, and perhaps loved.

So if you haven’t bought SHAKEN: STORIES FOR JAPAN, please do so.  I’m really happy to say that Amazon has decided to donate its thirty percent of the price–retroactively, all the way back to the first copy sold, so every penny of that money goes directly to the 2011 Japan Relief Fund.  If you’ve already bought it, try to get someone else to.

It’s at Amazon, waiting for you and your friends.

12 Responses to “100 Days”

  1. Bonnie Says:

    Excellent news about Amazon, Tim!

    It was great meeting you on Saturday. I forgot I was going to ask you whether you were thinking about doing an interview with Craig Sisterson. Seems there are a lot of potential new readers (for Shaken as well as your novels) Downunder, and the list of folk he’s already posted is pretty impressive.

    My friend Leslie’s husband was very impressed by your musical history and of course by your connection to Robb!

    Glad to see you posting again, and congratulation on Amazon jumping on the bandwagon.

  2. Mike Schimmer Says:

    I am doubly impressed by Amazon, who now has a lasting spot on my “good guy” list. If you ever needed a good reason to buy (or give) a copy of SHAKEN, you have it now. Kudos to Tim and to Amazon, respectively.

  3. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    This continues to be heart rending. Long after the news crews have gone home, these folks will be working and struggling to get by. I’m happy to see your post, and good for Amazon. I’m glad there is a heart in their capitalistic hearts. What a job you have done!

  4. Robb Royer Says:

    I, on the other hand, am very proud of my connection to Tim (and his very literate friends)

  5. Tom Logan Says:

    And, you can remind your friends who tell you they don’t have a Kindle that they can download Kindle for PC and buy the book that way. Thanks to you, Tim, for keeping it alive. Hooray for Amazon.

  6. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, Kids!!!

    Thanks for all the responses to this post and the last — I’ve been overextended, doing 20,000 words on the new Poke in seven days and also a bunch of guest blogs on the sites of people who have graciously offered to host what are essentially plugs for SHAKEN. And also getting LITTLE ELVISES in shape to go online. Plus, you know, life.

    Bonnie, great to meet you, too. And everyone is impressed that I know Robb. I sometimes wonder whether anyone likes me for myself. I wrote Craig Sisterson after he asked for potential bloggers on one of the Kindle groups, but haven’t had a response.

    Hi, Mike, and thanks for weighing in. It now appears that Amazon would just as soon we don’t play this up too much because they’re afraid they’ll be inundated with requests for them to suspend their percentage. Whoops.

    Lil, I’m with you. I had about fifty stories and picked two that I thought were representative without being overly heart-rending, which many of them are. Amazon is a pretty amazing company, I have to say.

    Hi, Robb. I’m speechless, which as you know is a rare event.

    Tom, thanks for the reminder. I’ll also send the book free (in the appropriate format) to anyone who has a Nook if they’ll buy it from Amazon. If they don’t want to go through all the downloading, I’ll send it to them if they just tell me they’ve sent a check for $3.99 to the 2011 Japan Relief Fund.

  7. Vena Says:

    I purchased SHAKEN and I’m just about halfway through the book.

    While I did grow up on Okinawa, I am quite ashamed to say I’ve never really been to mainland Japan. Honestly, all of my visiting was done in the airports – transferring from one flight to another – and that’s it. I can now rectify the selfish choices I made as a child and teen, taking for grated that I could visit Japan any ol’ time I wanted to. When I do visit, I will have a number of places mentioned in Shaken on my List of Things to See.

    If I could, I’d offer all of the authors a standing ovation for the amazing and affecting stories they’ve written.

    My sincerest thanks to you, Tim, for coming up with this wonderful and eloquent way of giving aid where it’s needed.

  8. Gary Says:

    One friend is tweeting SHAKEN and another is publicizing it through their local Writers’ Group. Hope it translates into more sales.

  9. Larissa Says:

    It keeps eating my comments..unless you’re just mad at me and don’t want to post on your blog anymore…:P Just wanted to drop in and say congratulations on getting this wonderful thing together and creating such an awesome momentum. Well done! Try to get some sleep, though too (c:

  10. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Vena, I had no idea you lived on Okinawa; were you in a military family? Japan can be daunting to an outsider, but it’s one of the most fascinating places on earth, in part because of the rigidity of the social structure and the complex code that governs individual behavior — but then something like the disaster occurs and you see what it means to have a mindset that says the good of the all is what’s important. I used to have lots of Japanese T-shirts that all said “Let’s” something – “Let’s Together” and “Let’s Hello Kitty.” That “Let’s” is the giveaway; it’s natural for the Japanese to think in the first person plural. I do hope you like the book and that you’ll review it because sales are slipping.

    Gary — That’s what we need: hands on the oars, propelling the book forward. I can only hope a bunch of people sign in and donate their four bucks. Thanks for all the effort.

    Hi, Riss — I just checked the TRASH and SPAM areas, where the comments Captcha junks usually show up, and didn’t find anything from you — sorry about it. We need a simpler solution. This one may stop you but you have no idea how much penile enlargement mail slips through — 15-20 a day. I appreciate the congratulations and best wishes (and I’ve missed you).

  11. ‘Shaken’ Gets An Awesome Review « Debbi Mack: My Life on the Mid-List Says:

    […] (which you can download for $3.99 on Amazon, with ALL proceeds going toward charities supporting disaster relief efforts in Japan — just sayin’ […]

  12. Larissa Says:

    It’s all good-there was nothing particularly prolific. (c: I’m going to go read and post a comment on the appropriate blog update here in a minute-but it sounds like you’ve got a lot of good things going on-perhaps it is the softer side of karma coming to say hello. (c:

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