A short extract of a post that features in my book about the Great East Japan Earthquake, The Teas That Bind:
What is the correct response when a student offers you potentially radioactive peach sponge cake? Despite warnings of an 80% drop in tourist numbers this year, one of my students, a lovely and very generous lady, drove for hours and sat in huge traffic jams to visit the famous 1,000 year old cherry trees of Miharu. They are located just 30 kilometres away from the damaged nuclear power plant. When asked if she felt afraid, she laughed and said not at all, instead she felt it was her duty to support the people of Fukushima. She had brought us all cake as a gift from her trip.
As the Golden Week holiday approached, there was much soul-searching as to whether to holiday or not to holiday. People are torn between wanting to support the tourism industry and the Japanese economy, and the sensitivities of enjoying holidays when others in the country are living in emergency shelters.
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