Update: It appears the video was pulled from YouTube by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York due to copyright infringement…

So we’ll just use a Japanese video sharing sight instead! It’s embedded below, so be sure to check it out!

To the people of the world: there is a video we would like you to see.

On March 11, 2011, at 2:46pm, the Pacific coast of the Tohoku region of Japan was hit by the most powerful earthquake the country had ever experienced. As the overwhelming scale of the destruction from the quake and resulting tsunami became clear, and the number of lives reported lost continued to climb to reach over 10,000, the people of our country were devastated with grief and a sense of dejection.

It was during this time that you, the people from different countries across the world, called out to us with a message of strength and support: “Ganbare Nihon!”—Be strong Japan! You lifted out spirits and gave us the courage to keep our heads up and move forward.

Nowhere is this feeling of appreciation stronger than it is with the people of Tohoku. Anyone who has spent time helping with the rebuilding efforts knows how strong these people are, and how thankful they are.

Now, a group of people from Tohoku have created a video with the hope of conveying a simple message to all of you around the world who sent your love, prayers, donations and words of encouragement: arigato.

[Skip ahead to 5:20 for the people of Tohoku’s message, or watch from the beginning for the full story on what this disaster and your support means to them]

The video, uploaded to YouTube on November 30, is titled “We Will Always Remember You” and begins with a series of video footage showing the terrible disaster the earthquake wrought.

It then turns the spotlight to Taylor Anderson (then 24), an American assistant language teacher (ALT) in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture—one of the areas hit hardest by the disaster.

Anderson, was teaching at an elementary school when the earthquake hit, stayed with the frightened children until they had all been safely evacuated. However, on the way home, Anderson herself fell victim to the tsunami that came rushing in after.

Anderson’s students appear in the video and speak of their memories of their teacher: “Taylor sensei was really nice. She really cheered us up when the earthquake struck.”

The comments are also filled with messages of hope. While most are in English, one Japanese user wrote: “I became a father in January of this year. When my child grows up, I want to make sure to tell him about the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on his year of birth, and about how we were rescued by people from around the world. Thank you.”

Watching this video and reading through the comments, we were reminded of how proud we are of the people of this country for never forgetting the compassion of others, and we felt empowered with the confidence that our country will come back from this disaster stronger than ever.

And when that day does come, we know that it’s because we had our friends from around the world there to help us through.

Once again, arigato.

Original article: Daiichiro Tashiro

[ Read in Japanese ]