So worried about my friends in Japan. I've been emailing with my closest friend Kitamura-san. She doesn't live in the north where the quake and tsunami happened, but her life has been affected nonethless. Her husband was missing after work during the power outages, and she spent a scary night. Her parents live in Nagano, and a secondary quake happened there. Fortunately, the Japanese are architecturally prepared for even large quakes, and no homes were damaged, although the quake was very large.
However, I have a cousin who just returned from Sendai. He says all his aquaintances but one are safe. He knew a person through an Eikaiwa (English instruction) class who was killed in the tsunami, and several people who lost their homes.
This whole thing is tragic.
I have full faith, however, that the Japanese people will pull together and work hard to get through it. They are amazing people, resilient, dutiful, diligent. My prayers are with them.