Hi, this is Shire. Thank you very much for coming to my room again♪

25 years ago today, I came back to my apartment late afternoon from the drum practice at my music school in NYC. When I stepped into the room, I saw the flashing light on the answering machine. “Oh, someone left me a message. Hmmm, who’s that?” I pushed the “play” button. It was from my mother.

“Ah, well, we just had a huge earthquake around Osaka. But we are all fine. Your father, sister, myself all fine. So no worries!” Answering machine could only record less than 60 seconds at that time so that her message was pretty short. But it was enough to make me wonder what really happened out there.

I turned on the TV and immediately saw the war-scene like burning city of Kobe. Oh, My, God!!! I was stunned. That city was one my old neighbor towns I was pretty familiar with! I couldn’t believe what I was watching.

That was the Great Hanshin earthquake on January 17th, 1995.

CNN headline news kept showing the moment of the earthquake in Hanshin area (Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto and the vicinities) as well as the live broadcasting. I was just frozen and kept watching the TV for a while.

Then, I jumped into the phone to start calling my parents in Osaka. Of course, the line couldn’t get connected. My mother knew this would happen so that she left me the message right after the first shake hit there. I kept trying to call my other relatives around Osaka and Kobe. Yes, I had an uncle & aunt in Kobe city! No one answered my phone. Kyoto, no one answered. Nara, Shiga… no answer either. Finally, I could reach my mother’s brother in Nagoya and heard the basic information and all my relatives were safe.

That was the day I really decided to be ready for any situations… a situation like everyone in my family all of a sudden might be gone, my childhood places could be destroyed so easily, and I could be gone too in any time.

I pray for those who lost the lives… 6,434 souls.









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