It’s been an interesting year as many of my friends from Japan and the US has visited me thus far. I think I was slowly getting used to the same old routine of sleep, eat, and work and I rarely had a chance to get out and see Beijing these days. Here is a photo that I took from the top of Jingshan Park, located directly north of the forbidden city.
I’ve been posting and tweeting a lot about Japan these days, for obvious reasons, and I didn’t get a chance to post photos from the beginning of the month when I was an honorable extra for a China based band, Pets Conspiracy‘s music video shoot. When people ask me what Beijing is like compared to other cities around the world, I can’t come up with a better analogy than saying that “It’s like a jungle”. There’s so much going on in Beijing and I believe this energy level I can feel from this amazing city and its people is what attracts so many people to come here. Survival of the fittest might even fit in this analogy with Beijing. But what happens when you actually have animals taking over Beijing? This is what happens: Beijing Jungle. Enjoy the photos from the shoot and I will update my site when the actual music video comes out. Also, see if you can find me.
First off, I am thankful for all the new subscribers and readers of my site. Please check out my info page to learn more about my work and photography from Asia. It has truly been an encouraging last couple days receiving numerous messages and tweets from around the world. As far as my current residence in Beijing goes, I was walking around an area around the Drum Tower, when I saw a sign on top of a designer store that read “With You Japan, Live Strong 2011 March 19”. It was nice to see a store in China thinking about Japan. For the latest updates on Japan’s situation and road to recovery, I am translating Japanese media into English on my twitter feed @gokatayama. Feel free to follow me and join in on the conversation.
I debated whether or not I should post these photos but I can’t stop but to think of Matsushima, one of the three views in Japan. Located in Miyagi Prefecture, Matsushima is a group of 260 islands, in various sizes, covered in pine trees. With the earthquake last Friday, I have seen many sources that this scenery is now gone and 600 people were killed in this area. I saw twitter feeds saying that the tsunami came through Matsushima and now it is empty and it doesn’t have the same feel that it did last week before the earthquake hit. For the latest updates on Japan’s situation and road to recovery, I am translating Japanese media into English on my twitter feed @gokatayama. Feel free to follow me and join in on the conversation.
Dear friends and families,
It’s been a while since I have made my last post on my site. I’ve been busy making sure that all my family members and friends were okay in Japan. Fortunately, my relatives and families reside in the western part of Japan and so everyone was okay. But this devastating earthquake which took tens of thousands of lives away will not only affect the North-eastern(Tohoku) part of Japan but the entire population of Japan and the interconnected world. The aftershocks continue at this very moment and Japan’s largest challenge to recovery will take time.
Living in China, I can feel that the Chinese population can relate to what Japan is going through at the moment as there was an earthquake in Yunnan last week and in Sichuan in 2008, which is still new in everyone’s memory. I was happy to see so many of my Chinese friends and colleagues ask me if my family and relatives were alright. I also saw a video from the Sichuan earthquake victim’s telling Japan to not give up. It left me in tears when I saw this. Everyday I am touched by the people who are praying and trying to make a difference to help Japan from around the world.
Here’s my heartwarming story from Beijing:
I walked out of my apartment to grab some breakfast this morning at the usual vendor who sells eggs and sausage for about 5RMB(about 0.75USD), prices went up from 3RMB about a week ago. I enjoy having a 1-2 minute conversation with him in Chinese since he’s curious about me and what I think about China. He knows that I’m from Japan and this morning he asked me if my family was alright and told me to never give up. He said he is originally from Sichuan and he lost a family member in the 2008 earthquake. “Times like this, we need each-other”. I was really touched by his simple remarks and gave me power to push on.
Living in China, it is hard for me to contribute directly and help with the relief efforts in Japan and I though that I could help by spreading the word on how everyone can help out right in your living room. It’s been 4 days after the earthquake but Japan is still in need of your help. At this very moment, the survivor’s of the earthquake at the evacuation centers are starving and are lacking warm clothes and blankets. Please make a small donation at the Red Cross’s website here.
I am also continuing to translate and interpret Japanese media and useful information on my twitter feed at @gokatayama. I will also be making daily posts on my thoughts and photos I took from Sendai and Fukushima in the following days from last year when I was in Japan.
It’s always a good idea to visit the 798 Art District in Beijing if you are ever in town. I made my way over to this location to hear New Yorker’s Beijing correspondent, Evan Osnos speak about journalism and ethical dilemma(expect a post on this event over the weekend). Walking through, I ran into this sculpture of a fat man and could not help but to snap a couple photos. It’s supposed to be gorgeous in Beijing this weekend. Spring is finally here.
Once in a while I like taking photos of random things and make it look cool. During Spring Festival, I wanted to take a panorama photo of the fireworks all over Beijing by going to the top floor of my office building. But the door was locked to the balcony and I wasn’t able to do so. I came up with this photo instead. I’ve been lazy with posting photos this week and I plan to do a much better job next week.