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Books | Think Out Loud

Healing After The Tsunami


A Japanese family walks along the flooded street at an area devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the port town of Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, on Monday, April 11, 2011. Exactly a month ago today a massive earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan's northeastern coastal region.

A Japanese family walks along the flooded street at an area devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the port town of Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, on Monday, April 11, 2011. Exactly a month ago today a massive earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan’s northeastern coastal region.

Sergey Ponomarev/AP

On March 11th, 2011, Marie Mutsuki Mockett woke up in New York to a text from a friend that Japan had been hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake. The tsunami that roared in next had risen to 30 feet high in places, killed thousands of people, and severely damaged several nuclear power facilities. That day, Mockett tried to reach her relatives in Japan. Her mother’s family owns a Zen Buddhist temple 30 miles from Fukishima. Mockett’s efforts to reach her family mark the start of her book: “Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye.”

OPB’s All Things Considered host Kate Davidson spoke with Marie Mutsuki Mockett on stage at the Wordstock book festival earlier this month.

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