|Repairing Kumamon Castle, part of which collapsed.|
|"Fight on Kumamon, You're Strong, Kyushu!"|
A natural sentiment, I suppose, a human reaction, though not a particularly laudable one. I always worry there's something shamefully egocentric about focusing on your remote connection to some distant disaster: Way to make an immense tragedy all about you, Neil.
|This cartoon hoped for pets to be reunited with their |
families and invoked "the saving grace of Kumamon."
Then I reconsidered. People were dying: 45 dead, more than a thousand injured. The material loss is tremendous—Toyota, which has a factory there, alone will endure $250 million in lost sales due to interruption of its production lines.
So I kept quiet, not wanting to play glib with their tragedy.
|This was captioned "Kumamon, Protect the Children"|
But others must have really needed him. Kumamon was missed. In Kumamon's absence, people across Japan took to social media to express concern both through Kumamon and for him. They wondered where he was. The Japanese embassy in Canada encouraged ex-pats to send messages of support to Kumamon, and noted manga artists lead a campaign of drawing Kumamon to express solidarity and raise money for earthquake recovery efforts. I found them quite touching, and thought I would share a few here.
|A particularly lovely effort from mainland China, whose panda says, "Because we're both bears."|