To Japan, With Love, Part One

In March of 2011, I awoke in my comfy house in Connecticut to read of the Great Earthquake in Tohoku and the devastating tsunami that followed.

It was all we read in The New York Times for weeks on end, and the images were haunting.  The Cuties made and bought paper cranes outside their school to send to Japan for relief efforts and we prayed for the people of Fukushima at synagogue.

One small thing I did that month was to purchase this t-shirt from J.Crew, knowing that 100% of the profits from the sale of the shirt were donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society to provide medical and emergency care to the area affected by the Great Quake.


Little did I know that a few short months later I would move to Tokyo and how special Japan would become to me.

It has been three years, two months, and four days since we arrived in Japan and it’s all been amazing for more reasons than I’m ready or able to enumerate.

My Japan Love shirt, as it was called by J.Crew, has been a weekly staple; first as a regular shirt with jeans, and later after it became threadbare and filled with holes, as a sleeping shirt.  When my husband asked me over a year ago when I’d get rid of it, I told him only when it was time to leave Japan.

Today, while sorting belongings to pack in suitcases, to be packed for the air shipment and for the sea shipment to eventually head to temporary storage, I squeezed my Japan Love shirt and tossed it in the trash.

I’m being silly to feel such affection for a battered old shirt, but it’s one more sign it’s time to leave and one more thing about which to be sad.

We have moved a lot.  We’ve made a lot of friends and liked living a lot of places.  It’s never been this hard.

This time it’s different.  The tears are different.  I’m different.

Japan, I have loved you big red puffy hearts and to your rabbit moon and back.

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5 Responses to To Japan, With Love, Part One

  1. msumissa says:

    Awww, I can’t believe how time has flown! I remember reading of your coming adventures on the BHB. I have enjoyed each of your posts, whether I have commented or not. It is amazing to see the growth of your girls! Safe travels in your new adventure. Can’t wait to read all about it!

  2. Julie says:

    I have been reading your blog for years, and am also so sad for you! I am sincerely praying you will continue to blog in the states! Your readers will be missing something, if you do not! It has been one of THE BEST BLOGS EVER! God bless you and your family!
    With hugs,

  3. condo blues says:

    I understand your love for Japan! I visited for a week when I was in college and Japan has been in my heart ever since. I long to go back. I cook at lot of Asian inspired food and I am sure it is because of that amazing experience so many years ago.

  4. Shelli says:

    Wow that brought tears to my eyes
    We know how much you love Tokyo You all looked so happy when we saw you at Leah’s Bat Mitzvah

    We wish you much happiness in the next chapter of your lives

    Shelli and Ira

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