Regular Posting to re-start tomorrow 3/17/2011.


See below for updates on those friends we have been able to make contact.

Monday 3/14/2011

Evening everyone. We haven’t had any further updates on anyone’s status from Japan.  We want to assume that everyone else is fine until we hear to the contrary.  As we watch the news and review photos and videos we are deeply saddened at this devastating disaster impacting a country and people we care deeply about.

With the nuclear reactors now leaking radiation we hope that a God given miracle can occur to help those trying to stop this leak be successful.  It will be a day or two before we continue our normal blogging. We are very thankful that all of the people we know in Japan are safe.

Japan and her people are in our hearts and minds

Sunday 3/13/2011 – Good news story

With all of the devastation and loss of life and property, when I saw this photo and heard the story it uplifted my spirits and I hope it does the same for all of you.

Sixty-year-old survivor Hiromitsu Shinkawa is rescued nine miles off shore as he floats on his house's roof.

Sixty-year-old survivor Hiromitsu Shinkawa is rescued nine miles off shore as he floats on his house's roof.

A sixty-year-old man has had a miraculous escape after being swept nine miles out to sea by the tsunami in Japan.

Hiromitsu Shinkawa was discovered clinging to the roof of his house two days after the disaster struck, according to officials. He was lifted to safety by a helicopter after being spotted floating on a piece of roof in waters off Fukushima prefecture. The survivor, from the city of Minamisoma, was swept out along with his house after the tsunami tore into Japan’s north-east coast.

Ministry officials said Mr Shinkawa was conscious and in “good condition” after his rescue.

“I ran away after learning that the tsunami was coming,” Shinkawa reportedly told rescuers. “But I turned back to pick up something at home, when I was washed away. I was rescued while I was hanging to the roof from my house.”


For those with current travel plans for Japan in the next few days, please check this site as it has some of the most up to date information I can find: http://www.japan-guide.com/news/0018.html.

This link shows the areas that have been hardest hit to those not really impacted at all by the Earthquake.  Also the airlines are allowing waivers for any change of tickets or for refunds.

It appears the trains are back to normal in Tokyo.  Another article stated that all trains to and from Narita are in operation.

If you are flying, check with your airlines.  Two flights from San Francisco to Narita show they are operating. The 11:36 flight is on-time and the flight after 1pm shows a delay of an hour or so.


As most of you are aware, A magnitude 8.9 earthquake — the biggest in modern Japanese history — slammed the island nation’s eastern coast Friday, unleashing a 23-foot tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland and prompting a “nuclear emergency.”

Tsunami near Sendai Japan

Tsunami near Sendai Japan

We started reaching out to our friends last night at around 11pm when we first heard of this tragedy.  We have not heard yet from Wil Lautenschlager, Matsuura Arishge, Shinji Suzuki, Toru Suzuki, or Yoshi Nakamizu.

If anyone hears from anyone of our Japanese friends, please email us and we will update our blog with that information.  This is the worst earthquake we believe in the history of Japan.  We pray that all of our friends and their families are safe and that they have not experienced any damages to their homes or properties.  KJ and I will continue to pray that God watches over all of them and provides the assistance they need.

Please reach us at samedge@pacbell.net if you make contact with any of our friends in the bonsai or suiseki world and we will update this post.


Sam and KJ


Update: 3/11/2011 at 4:44pm PST from our friend Bill Valavanis

Just heard from Peter Warren:

Shunkaen has escaped relatively easily.  The stone lanterns all fell over smashing a few bonsai.  Apart from a few pots and stands (sadly expensive ones) nothing else was broken.  The museum escaped intact. Nobody was injured.

I haven’t been able to contact Morimae, phones are down/busy.  Kobayashi said that damage was worse up there but was not specific.

I’ll keep you posted.



Update: 3/11/2011 10:11 PST from Sam

I received an email from Wil and he indicates that all are well with he and Mr. Matsuura Arishige.  Their homes were shaken up and a few things had fallen but overall in good shape.


For those of you interested in providing financial assistance here is a link: Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.


Updated: 3/11/2011 11:17pm from Sam

I heard from Yoshi and Maki and they are well but concerned.


Update: 3/12/2011 at 4:04am PST  from Bill Valavanis

Have heard again from Peter Warren and Wil Lautenschlager:

Word from Morimae is…

He and everyone is fine, I think they had some serious breakages but that was not mentioned. He wants you to spread the word to anybody heknows from the stone/bonsai shows.

He thanks you for your concern….

Japan has shifted position by 8 feet.  That is messed up.  I just hope they cool the nuclear reactors down….. Peter

Just got through to both of them now though… lots of broken pots and messed up trees.  shelves gave out and i think there may have been some serious losses in terms  of merchandise, but buildings are intact and no one injured. Wil

And from our friend in Omiya:

The biggest earthquake that I never seen before. Gave us heavy damages. All my family safe and fine. But I can not contact with my many old friends. Ryuzaburo Araya