Sendai is the longest I have ever lived in the same place. It is my home, where I gave birth to my kids, and journeyed with them through kindergarten to high school; where I too grew up in mind and spirit and made so many dear friends. It isn't just the emotion of leaving a city you love it is the emotion of leaving the security of a place that is all you can remember as being what life is and means.
I am surrounded by boxes. Small piles of memories packed into boxes to move to Sakata. Actually I feel again the need to discard possessions and live barely. When i left England decades ago, I left all my material possessions behind, a complete re-birth, so liberating. I'd like to do the same now but the books..I will need...and the practical, essential necessities to keep oneself clean and healthy I cannot afford to re-purchase.
I want to still support Sendai. I plan to continue the 'yakuin' volunteer work for Kokoroya and Dr Odaira's suicide prevention and support work. Not that I did as much as I would have liked time to have allowed, but it is a soul satisfying part of my life I wish to continue. There is also plenty I am in a position to do, in terms of encouraging students to continue supporting restoration efforts, despite living a distance away.
It's a 3 and a half hour drive to west-coast/Japan sea coast Sakata. It's an old port city, steeped in tradition like the Sankyo Storehouse and it is also home to the famous photographer Ken Domon.and his museum.
Population is only 111.477 with extremely low density compared to Sendai where density is high and population now well over a million. It is the city where Okuribito/Departures and Silk were filmed.
I found a little cottage like home just a 10 minute or so walk from the beach. So pretty.It's also 10 minute walk to the University where I start work from April 2nd. My research will be in how we can adapt educational curriculums to be more appropriate for better global interaction/communication and at the same time develop a more eco- friendly style of living in the community. And of course I will continue with my research passion for the serious and ever-growing social problem of hikikomori.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori
Sakata is home to the biggest solar power and wind power installation in the whole of Japan. This is exciting.
I want to learn so much more.