Bloody Elbow posted this video on Thursday, but breaking news about Brock Lesnar's illness cast a shadow over everything else on the site. I wanted to give Enson Inoue and Daniel Herbertson's work more exposure.
I still remember the night the 9.0 earthquake hit Japan. I sat at my desk when I decided to check Twitter one last time before I hit my bed.
"Earthquake hits Japan."
I knew I wasn't getting into bed soon.
The power of Twitter shines through during these sorts of breaking events. In the past, one was left at the mercy of a TV news feed. You relied on the TV networks to provide the news. In the case of a late-night story like this, you were often left watching alone, feeling isolated and powerless.
Twitter changed the game. Information is instant now. And while I was still alone at my laptop, watching an English-language feed of Al-Jazeera, I was comforted by the fact that thousands of others were in the same situation as me.
The story captivated me over the next few weeks. I followed Dan and Tony Loiseleur's lives unfold in real-time. I watched videos of devastation that Hollywood movies could recreate visually, but not emotionally. I read reports of power plant failures, of dangerous radiations levels, of government and corporate officials spreading misinformation, if not outright lying to the public.
The news cycle is an unforgiving machine, however, and the situation in Japan slowly slipped from consciousness. As Herbertson notes:
The big problem with charity work for events like the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is that the public forgets and move on. The people who were affected by these disasters will be forever changed. Rebuilding the devastated cities may take years, but it is possible. Recovering from lost family and friends is another matter and they will need all the help they can get for a very long time.
It's understandable. Since the emergency in Japan, we've had three major sporting tournaments, the start of baseball season, tornado disasters, a royal wedding, and the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Shogun vs. Jones, Nogueira vs. Davis, St. Pierre vs. Shields. The UFC bought Strikeforce the very next day.
And we all have the drama of our own lives to deal with.
It's important to have people like Enson and Daniel not only helping people out in times of trouble, but documenting it for the rest of the world.
I implore you to watch the video. I doubt you can get through all fifteen minutes without a strong emotional reaction.
And when you're done with the video, read Daniel's "Yamato-Damashii Diaries" series in its entirety.
[Update] If you want to help Enson's efforts, visit the Strong in Japan website.