NE Japan Earthquake Day 6: A Message from the Emperor

This is the text of the video message about the earthquake that the Emperor released on the 16th. I’ve heard that only the Emperor can use certain vocabulary, but besides its elegance, this message wasn’t lexically unusual. Perhaps that’s because it was spoken word – a video recording – or perhaps times have changed. Regardless, I was moved by his compassion.

A Message from the Emperor About the Great Eastern Earthquake
Yomiuri Shimbun: 天皇陛下、東日本巨大地震でメッセージ

I feel great pain for the misery caused by the recent earthquake off the northeastern shore, which at Magnitude 9.0 was of a scale we’d never seen before. The death toll from the quake and tsunami climbs every day, and we don’t yet know how exactly many were sacrificed. I continually pray to hear news that even one more person is safe and sound. I am also very worried about the unresolved problems at the nuclear power plants, and I hope that the efforts of those involved will prevent that situation from becoming even worse.

Now as ever, relief efforts are pulling the country back to its feet, but in the midst of this bitter cold, many people do not have enough food, water, or fuel, and they are in grave conditions. Because of the alert and exhaustive efforts of many, some victims’ circumstances have changed for the better, and I hope against hope that our people’s recovery will continue. I am deeply moved by the valor of those who have pushed themselves to survive day after excruciating day.

I offer my deep thanks to national and local organizations, including the military, police, fire department, and coast guard, to those who have come from abroad to assist with aid efforts, and to members of emergency rescue teams for laboring day and night despite the danger of aftershocks.

Leaders of every nation have contacted me to offer their best wishes and to tell me the thoughts of all their citizens are with us. I pass these words along to the victims.

Many news stories from abroad have noted that in the midst of this tragedy, Japanese people are not descending into chaos but instead are responding in an orderly manner. From the bottom of my heart, I urge our people to continue to lift each other up, to show kindness to each other, and to ride out this unhappy time together.

I believe that we will all have to give a little more of ourselves to the victims in the difficult days ahead. I ask these victims to hold out hope, to take care of their health, and to preserve the will to live tomorrow and in the days to come. I implore our people to come together as one, to keep their hearts close to the afflicted areas, and to continue watching over the victims on the long road to recovery.



特集 巨大地震







(2011年3月16日17時26分 読売新聞)

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2 Comments on “NE Japan Earthquake Day 6: A Message from the Emperor”

  1. Sakiko Hashimoto Says:

    Hello, James-san. How do you do? My name is Sakiko Hashimoto who is living in Himeji city in Hyogo prefecture. I’ve just read your website about our Emperor and would like to say thank you for your brilliant translation which made me so moved and taught me something very important. I myself is an in-house translator/interpreter at a Japanese company and I tried to translate the Emperor’s words but yours were a lot more excellent. I very much respect your talent. I’m a still a novice and go to a vocational school to brush up the interpretation skills on weekends while I work during the weekdays. I want to be like you someday. Thank you again. Take care. Best regards, Sakiko

  2. jsmyth Says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words! :) I think it’s really impressive that you’re doing J-E. It’s a lot easier for me to translate into my native language! I wish you all the best!

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