Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami: From Devastation to Resilience Talk-Story with Ray Tabata

On July 16, 2020, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) hosted its first Summer Talk-Story Webinar entitled, “Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami: From Devastation to Resilience.” This webinar illustrating the resilience of the Japanese people after the Tohoku disaster was JASH’s first in a series of four virtual Talk-Story webinars.


Mr. Ray Tabata, veteran JASH member and photography-aficionado, shared his personal experience and profound interactions with the survivors of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. He shared several photos from his collection which showed the devastation and despair that occurred after the disaster. More importantly, he also shared photos which illustrated the steadfast resilience and dedication of the Japanese people in their efforts to rebuild and rebound. This inspiring webinar closed with a rendition of “Elegy” performed by renown Japanese classical pianist Nobuyuki Tsuji at Carnegie Hall in a tribute to all victims of the Tohoku disaster.


Mr. Tabata retired as a Program Specialist from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine in May 2011. Since then, he has been spending his time enjoying photography, listening to classical music, and traveling to Japan. He has made numerous trips to Tohoku from 2012 to present with his last trip taking place just four-months ago in March 2020.


Mr. Tabata has been a loyal member of JASH since April 2006. Currently serving as Co-Chair of JASH’s Tomodachi Committee, he has helped to coordinate numerous committee programs for JASH over the years and was even a featured speaker on several occasions. JASH would like to express our sincere appreciation to Mr. Tabata for hosting this poignant webinar for JASH and our members. If you missed the live-program, you may view a recorded version of it by Clicking HERE.


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The Japan-America Society of Hawaii was founded in 1976 to promote understanding and friendship between the people of Japan and the United States through the special and unique perspective of Hawaii.

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