As you’re all probably aware by now, Kumamoto and the surrounding prefectures suffered a series of large earthquakes over the weekend. There have been fatalities, wide spread power and water outages, and collapsed homes.

Technically the shaking from the larger quakes reached all the way out here to San’in region, but I never felt anything. I did, however, take a trip to Kyuushuu a couple weeks ago and had a great time going around Kumamoto and the surrounding areas, and I was very impressed with the Kumamoto Castle series of stone walls, which are now severely damaged. I had a lot of nice little interactions with the people in the city–the people selling snacks, the people I took pictures for under the cherry blossoms and then who wanted to take photos with me, the people who enthusiastically welcomed to me to Japan (and I didn’t have the heart to tell an especially enthusiastic man that I live in Japan), the people who cheerfully gave me directions, the lady who chatted with me on the bus and told me about the local dialect, and even the security guard who greeted me the three times I passed by him. It makes me really sad to know what those people are all going through now.

Drawing Shimanekko giving Kumamoto’s famous mascot Kumamon a hug isn’t going to do much, but it seemed like a good idea when it came to me late Saturday night. Sometimes you have to do something to keep from feeling helpless to help anyone.

Speaking of taking vacation, after getting back from Kyuushuu I’ve been really busy at work, and I don’t have many entries scheduled in advanced right now… ^^; I’m going to take a break from new entries for two or three weeks, and I’ll try to round up some new content after I’m not so drowned in work. I just have to hold out for Golden Week, and then at least there will be peonies at Yuushien again!