Takashi Tsumura@

Takashi Tsumura has researched and practiced Chi-kung since 1964. Struck by Chi-kung's deep spirituality, he organized the Kansai Chi-kung society. He also founded the Kenji Miyazawa Society. He writes on a wide variety of subjects, from politics and economics to food and health.

Among his books are "The Tao of Chi-kung," and "The Ecology of the Air Meridian." He is one of the leaders of the Kobe Healing School. Since the Great Hanshin Earthquake of January 1995, he has been involved in grassroots reconstruction activities. He is the editor of the journal "January 17 Kobe People's Courier," which is devoted to those who suffered in the earthquake. He has also published "Kobe: A Refugee's Diary," his own account of his quake experience.

Why did we interview Tsumura to "sense" Japan?

Tsumura's Activities in Kobe

The Kobe Psychological Trauma Healing School:
A discussion at the opening ceremony
At a primary school:
Volunteer staff receive Chinese healing at a primary school
From "Kobe Refugee Diary"

Walking around Kobe

Tsumura on the Footbridge in Sannomiya
Sannomiya is located in central Kobe.
Heavily damaged tall buildings are still covered with blue plastic sheets because they are under construction.
When he walked around Sannomiya, he saw blue sheets everywhere.
An Old Wall in Nagata,
the Most Damaged Ward in Kobe

The quake did not destroy a concrete wall that was built before World War II. Temporary houses have already been built around the wall where the area was swept by flames.
Citizens of Kobe refer to it as the Kobe Wall and have mounted a campaign to leave the wall as a memorial of the Great Hanshin Earthquake.

Why did we interview with Tsumura to sense Kobe, Japan?

Almost all of the sensorium staff live in Tokyo, or its surrounding areas. None of us were in Kobe when the Great Hanshin Quake occurred. We were shocked, and some of us went to Kobe, or sent something as a way to offer active support. However, we can never have the same experience that people who suffered in the quake and its aftermath.

Mass media reported as much as they could, but the reports focused how much damage and what should be done, with very few reports on the damage to the quality of life. I was thinking that these few reports were simply tearjerkers and lacked realism.

At the end of 1995, we met Tsumura and talked. We felt that we had come into contact with the reality of Kobe for the first time. Tsumura had communicated with various people through his daily activities in Kobe and he recounted what those people who suffered from the quake said. One famous Japanese writer, Rokusuke Ei collected anonymous, ordinary people's voices in his Daiojo (How we die) and we asked Tsumura, "Can you become the Rokusuke Ei of Kobe for us?" He smiled and nodded his acquiescence.
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[Tsumura Interview on the Quake's Aftermath Part 1]
[Tsumura Interview on the Quake's Aftermath Part 2]
[map page of sensing Japan]


The theme of sensorium and texts that relate to sensing Japan are in the library of the linked senses. If you are interested in these texts (some are rather long), please click the text icon or the name of the text.

["earth" A Sensibility for Living in a World in Constant Flux by Shin'ichi Takemura]
["earth" From Kobe to the World by Takashi Tsumura]