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I am a freelance writer for newspapers,magazines as well as a journalist for TV.
I am from Tokyo, Japan and have been living in Los Angeles since 1990.

#142- My heart goes out to Japan, my country / 9.0-magnitude Japan earthquake & Tsunami

9.0-magnitude Japan earthquake & Tsunami (Tōhoku Chihō Taiheiyō-oki Jishin / literally “Tōhoku region Pacific Ocean offshore earthquake”) occurred on March 11, 2011 at 2:46pm local time.

All I can do is praying for my country, Japan…please, please, please be careful and be safe everyone…My heart goes out to Japan and people in Japan.


On the 10th in Los Angeles around 11:00pm,when I was going to take a bath, my best friend, Suzie called me and told me about this news…

I turned on the CNN TV and saw the tragedy footages…smoke pouring from buildings and Tsunami (ocean water) rushing across fields, so many cars, ships, houses and buildings were swept away, an oil tank was burning…

“The quake was the fourth-largest in the world since 1900 and nearly 8,000 times stronger than the one which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month”, said scientists.


For 15 hours, I couldn’t reach my mother and brother in Tokyo, Japan.

Thank god, I finally talked to my mother at 1:30pm on the 11th (L.A. time) / 6:30am on the 12th (Japan time).

Me: Oh…are you guys ok??? I am so glad that you are there!!!

My mother: Thank you. We are ok. I had never felt such a powerful earthquake.

Me: Worse than the Kantodaishinsai?

My mother: Ahahaha! Yoko, I wasn’t born during the time.

That’s right…Yes, I know...the Kantodaishinsai (The 1923 Great Kanto earthquake) was a huge earthquake in Tokyo area in September 1st, 1923 and casualty estimates range from about 100,000 to 142,000 deaths. The magnitude was 7.9.

Me: Oh…ahahaha!!! Anyway, I am so glad that you guys are ok. The phone line was busy since last night, so I was so worry about you guys!

My mother and I talked for two hours on the phone.

My mother doesn’t know how our relatives in Fukushima and Tochigi (near Tsunami Area) are doing…I hope they are ok…


I have sent many emails to people who I know in Japan and talked with some of them, but I have not heard from many people…

Also I am concern about the nuclear emergency in Fukushima…

Again, please, please, please be careful and be safe everyone in Japan…My heart goes out to Japan and people in Japan.

P.S. I really appreciate the friendship of my great friends, Suzie, Keasha, Marie, Maria, Amy, Kimberly, Erika, Anette, Neely, Maria and Danielle. Thank you for calling & emailing!

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
March 12, 2011
Copyright © 2011 Yoko Fujimoto

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#271-Why people fight?

Why do human beings keep fighting with each other or fighting wars?

About profit?

About territory?

About religion?

About ethnicity?

About statism?

About collectivism?

Why can’t we talk instead of fight (war)?

People are trying to change others…

People don’t want to change for others…

People think “I am right, you are wrong”…

I was thinking about “how can we resolve issues of terrorism and war in this world, can we talk instead of fighting?”

And then I realized “I need to think about my issue first” (since I moved into my apartment in Montrose one year ago)… yes, I have an issue about my living situation… my upstairs neighbor (64 years old woman who is not working) has been waking me up every night (around 11:15pm, 12:15am and 1:15am) with loud squeezing footsteps (it sounds not normal & regular footsteps) for one year… I had to call police twice, and I fought with this neighbor twice…

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#144- To my people, Japanese people 米国より東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)被災者および日本の皆様へメッセージ / 海外セレブからのお見舞い&応援メッセージ -Pray for Japan(日本に祈りを捧げます)-

Sorry folks, Today, I am going to write a message in Japanese, in my native language to Japanese people. If you read Japanese, please do.

I am going to write my thoughts for Japan &Japanese people and sending prayers to Japan & people in Japan.


P.S. I am going to write in English next time. xoxo Y

******** My Japanese blog :

From LA by 藤本庸子      




*** 米国でも多くの人が心を痛めており、皆様のご無事を願っています




*** 米国在住の私に出来ることを考えてみました


#272- Happy employees make happy customers

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Last October when I bought gift items (for myself and friend who visited this store together) at RAINS in Ojai, I was very surprised by that RAINS has a complimentary wrapping service (all Japanese department stores have a complimentary wrapping service in Japan). I was smiling on the way back to my home after I shopped at RAINS.

This spring when I heard about some Japanese department stores in country side are closing business and their towns became like a ghost town, I thought I want to find out why RAINS is doing well, and I wanted to inform some great news about RAINS to Japanese readers who are struggling in their business.

I’m glad that I did it. I met a wonderful CEO of RAINS (Mr. Alan Rains) and found…