-- R.G. Menzies
LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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There are still "Samurai" in Japan
Hideaki Akaiwa is one of them, an unassuming hero. When his home town of of Ishinomaki in Japan's Miyagi Prefecture was flooded by the tsunami, he set out with great courage to rescue his wife and mother from the waves. There are several versions of the story in the news so it appears to be a true account. Some versions of the story say that he used scuba gear in his efforts but apparently he only used a wetsuit. He is an experienced surfer. In good Japanese style, he rejects personal publicity and has given only a few monosyllabic replies to questions. I have modified the account below to remove profane language
Hideaki's wife of twenty years was still buried inside the lake somewhere. She hadn't gotten out. She wasn't answering her phone. The water was still rising, the sun was setting, cars and were swooshing past on a river of sea water, and and rescue workers told him there was nothing that could be done - the only thing left was to sit back, wait for the military to arrive, and hope that they can get in there and rescue the survivors before it's too late. With 10,000 citizens of Ishinomaki still missing and unaccounted for, the odds weren't great that Hideaki would ever see his wife again.
For most of us regular folks, this is the sort of that would make us throw up our hands, swear loudly, and resign ourselves to a lifetime of hopeless misery. But Hideaki Akaiwa isn't a regular guy. He's an insane hero, and he wasn't going to sit back and just let his wife die alone, freezing to death in a miserable water-filled tomb. He was going after her. No matter what.
Hideaki wasn't going to let a pair of soul-crushing natural disasters deter him from doing awesome things and saving his family. He dove down into the water in the freezing cold, pitch black rushing current on all sides, and started swimming through the ruins of his former hometown.
Surrounded by incredible hazards on all sides, ranging from obscene currents capable of dislodging houses from their moorings, sharp twisted metal and giant cars careening through the water like toys, he pressed on. Past broken glass, past destroyed houses, past downed power lines arcing with electrical current, through undertow that could have dragged him out to sea never to be heard from again, he searched.
Hideaki maintained his composure and navigated his way through the submerged city, finally tracking down his old house. He quickly swam through to find his totally-freaked-out wife, alone and stranded on the upper level of their house, barely keeping her head above water. He grabbed her tight and dragged her out of the wreckage to safety. She survived.
But Hideaki Akaiwa still wasn't done yet.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what the hell is more intense than face-punching a tsunami and dragging your wife of two decades out of the flooded wreckage of your home, but it gets even better. You see, Hideaki's mother also lived in Ishinomaki, and she was still unaccounted for. I think you all know where this is going.
First, Hideaki searched around the evacuation shelters and other areas, looking for his mom among the ragtag groups of survivors who had been lucky enough to flee to higher ground. She might have escaped, and he needed to find her. Now. He ran through the city like some post-apocalyptic action hero, desperately trying to track her down, but when a couple of days went by without any sign of her, he knew what he had to do. The water had only receded a few inches by this point, the rescue teams weren't working quickly enough for his tastes, and Hideaki Akaiwa once again took matters into his own hands - rushing back into the waterlogged city looking for his mom.
So, once again Hideaki navigated his way through the Atlantean city, picking his way through crumbling wreckage, splintered wood, and shredded metal to find his elderly mother. After another grueling trek, he tracked her down on the upper levels of a house - she'd been stranded there for four days, and would almost certainly have died without the timely aid of her son. He brought her to safety somehow as well, as you might expect at this point.
Now, while most people would have been content in the knowledge that their family was safe, Hideaki Akaiwa isn't the sort of hero who's going to hang up his flippers and quit just because he'd taken care of his own personal business - this guy made an oath to keep going back into the wreckage on his own to find people and help them to safety. Today this 43 year-old Japanese hero rides out every single day, multiple times a day, riding around on a bicycle with his legs wrapped in plastic to keep himself dry. His only equipment - a pocketknife, a canteen, a flashlight, a change of clothes, and a set of aviator sunglasses - packed into a trusty trio of backpacks, he rides out in search of people needing rescue, a modern-day, real-life action hero.
SOURCE. Another account here.
By JR on Friday, March 25, 2011
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