We have had our Japanese flag flying high this week but today we have lowered it to half mast out of respect for those lost, and for all those survivors that continue working towards finding a new normal despite the challenges they still face.
Here is a selection of links you can visit to see the progress of moving toward the new normal in Tohoku. As I looked at these pictures I was amazed at the progress that has been made in 12 short months. It is a testament to the fortitude of the Japanese population that they could do so much in such a short space of time.
Slide photos of March 2011 and Jan/Feb 2012
Now and then Images of Tohoku
And here are some activities happening around Australia and elsewhere (maybe in your area) this week to mark this event and raise money for the Tohoku area.
Big Bento Lunch - Most Australian States
Friendship, The Sun Will Always Rise Concert - British Columbia
One Year Later: Shaken But Never Broken - Vancouver
Rise Japan - Northern California
Remembering Fukushima - Perth, Western Australia... The Hinata Gallery Cafe group will be there.
Japan Day - Canterbury NZ
There are many activities planned all around the world, check in your area to see how you can get involved. If you can't make it to a local event, please just pause, to keep a thought for all those caught up in this and other natural disasters that have occurred recently around the world.
Best wishes to you.