Nobou Kano

Interview by Natalie Yemenidjian | Translation by Mayuko Wada

Nobou Kanno outside his home

Nobou Kano, 58, East Sanaya

Nobou just came back to what is his seventh home since the tsunami at the East Sanaya Temporary Housing District in Fukushima, Japan from the hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. Occasionally, he takes the rag wrapped around his neck and dabs the sweat from his forehead as we sit on the floor of a room in the district’s community center.

I had to run away from Namie. I used to live in one big house, now the temporary housing is one small room — so I felt stressed. I have heart disease because of the stress. Before the earthquake, I would work and excercise. Now, I’m like a pig who gets too much food but no exercise.

On that day, I finished work from the salon. I wanted to take a lunch break from noon to 2 p.m. I wanted to prepare the salon. Then, the earthquake hit.

I never knew something like this could happen. We never knew something like this could happen to us. The shake was so big that I couldn’t stand up.

The aftershocks kept happening. I tried to evacuate, but I had to use all of my energy just to stand up. I wasn’t scared, I just focused on standing up.

The tsunami didn’t make a sound.

My house was up on a hill, far from the coast. Two or three drawers fell out. The bathroom tiles have to be fixed. There’s high radiation for now. We can’t live there.