25 Years On: Young Woman Makes 1995 Kobe Quake Personal through Writing

Society Lifestyle

Kobe, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)--Young people without firsthand experience of the 1995 Kobe earthquake are learning to understand the threats of disasters on a personal level through writing articles about them for a special website.

A total of 27 high school and university students born after the Great Hanshin Earthquake, which marked its 25th anniversary on Friday, write for the "Remember 117" website launched mainly by the Hyogo prefectural government in western Japan.

Topics, selected freely by writers, range from "disasters and cashless payments" to "volunteering and job-hunting." The students receive advice from a professional editor as they use the opportunity to think about natural disasters.

One such writer, 20-year-old Ikumi Hara from Kobe in Hyogo, said she did not think much about disasters until writing about them made her begin to understand their significance.

The second-year student at Kobe Women's University said she would sing "Shiawase Hakoberu Yo Ni," a song written to pray for recovery from the 1995 quake, every anniversary at her elementary school in the city. However, she did not think much about the disaster, only noting that it was the time of year to sing the song.

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Jiji Press