Book by Keiko Takahashi
To the Land Beyond
A Message from the Disaster of March 11
There is a place for us to go.
What is the heart and mind we should now seek, the bonds we should build,
and the form a new nation and new civilization should take?
24 additional poems and photographs of life after Beyond the Vast Wasteland.
My mother is still missing from the earthquake. I become uncomfortable when I start to think “How is mother? It must be hard for her.” But I was encouraged by the words in here “Even though time flows/ And seasons go by, / Let us continue to remember.” It made me want to do my best and go forward one step at a time. From the words in each page, I felt the author’s feelings and am filled with gratitude. The connection with people, the bond. Reading the book I felt like saying thank you to many people.
Female, in Miyazaki Prefecture
I am still suddenly pulled back to the past.
“We had so much fun then. There was always laughter in our home.”
The time when I went for a drive with my husband.
Many more happy days would have awaited us in our future!
My grandchildren were just getting to an age where I could have a conversation with them. Our house would have been newly built in May.
Thinking about these, tear flow out of my eyes and I remember the time when I saw my husband’s (dead) body. When I asked him in my heart, “Did you suffer?” I felt pain in my heart. These kinds of feeling continued every day.
Your loved ones and warm family disappear in an instant. I thought that no one could ever understand how I felt. But this book takes in the disaster victim’s feelings and many times I felt that tears were naturally flowing out of my eyes.
Female, in Iwate Prefecture
Last night since it was the anniversary date of the earthquake/tsunami
I wanted to at least look through the book but once I started I read
through it till the end! I was so very, very moved.
Of course I want to take more time to read it slowly and deeply
but my first impression was so moving.
I felt the author's beautiful spirit even through all the pain and suffering
portrayed in the reality of the situation and in our mutual calling.
I felt her message of hope and light amidst and through the pain, suffering,
and devastation of so many people and situations.
The photographs also are so quiet and beautiful along with Sensei's words, and
the English is also so well done.
(Female, in Yokohama)
I have read many expressions of grief, reflection, etc. pertaining to the earthquake and the tsunami. . . . All were written from the heart, many by actual survivors. They all, in their own way, express the grief, resoluteness, despair that the writer feels. However, the poems in To the Land Beyond, at least to me, seem to be more complete expressions of the reality…. Each poem completes a theme in a rather pleasant and smooth way. The themes expressed are very heart-felt and deep. They are the type of writing that takes much repetitive reading to fully appreciate the themes of each poem.
The photographs are also excellent, and add life to each poem. The photographs also help to differentiate one poem from the next. Some are more light-hearted than others; but they all seem to shed some light on the words.
Male, in San Francisco)