Leaving Bad Fortune Behind in Japan


A young woman leaves behind her bad fortune at the temple in Kamakura

It’s only small comfort but I feel extremely fortunate that everyone I personally know in Japan was, at last contact, safe. Only one friend could not make it back to their home after the quake/tsunami but after days in a hotel, he and his family are now staying with his parents in Kamakura where I spent one glorious day last fall and where this photo was taken. In this image a young Japanese woman ties her randomly drawn fortune to a piece of rope with the hope that if  left, good fortune will come true or bad fortune can be averted—an almost impossible hope for Japan this past week.

Each day my heart breaks a little more for Japan and its people as they struggle in the aftermath of such horrific natural disasters plus the growing threat of radiation from the crippled nuclear power plant. The grace with which the civilian population has dealt with this unimaginable tragedy is a lesson to the world. I know it has been to me. Even in most dire times their deferential and unselfish attitude is remarkable and enviable. A reminder: others first.

As this awful scenario plays out let’s pray, in all the manners we do, for their quick and long good fortunes in the times ahead – and use their example by giving more than we think we can, to help them.

18/03/2011: Istockphoto has set up a matching fund of up to $25,000 for donations through their website – with all funds going to Save the Children, Mercy Corps and Doctors without Borders. So, make your donations go farther and Help Japan.

By | 2011-03-18T21:27:43+00:00 March 14th, 2011|Blog, Travel|5 Comments


  1. Brenda March 18, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Such sad days Christine. Glad your friends are safe. I have made a special donation to The Red Cross.

  2. Ellen Poole March 18, 2011 at 9:51 am

    The abstract quality of this shot really shines. I have emailed you about other projects you might be interested in related to Japan.

  3. Jennifer Steck March 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Beautiful shot, Christine. It says so much. Thoughts and prayers with our friends in Japan.

  4. arthur March 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    gorgeous and poignant. prayers for japan.

  5. Mari March 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Having just left a comment, now I read this post. This is a beautiful image. Hope for better day for them.

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