Sunday, June 22, 2008

Two weeks on, life is returning to normal in Akihabara

It was two weeks ago today around this time that Tomohiro Kato (加藤智弘) rammed people walking on the street at Akihabara and proceeded to attack the survivors and onlookers with his knife - an event that left 7 dead in one of the safest cities in the world sending shockwaves through the country. I was at Akihabara yesterday to see how/if things are different two weeks on. The good news is it looks like people have returned (for a few days after the attack the people seemed very hesitant to go to Akihabara) but of course this does not make the event any less painful. The picture is of the intersection that the attack took place in.

The attack took place on and around the big intersection close to the train station as it was one of the few through roads which was open to vehicle traffic around the area (now the whole practice of closing the street to traffic is scrapped). There is now a makeshift memorial close to the intersection. Passing people stop and get in line to pray in front of the memorial. They also leave unopened bottles of drinks (water, coke, tea, etc..) and snacks (chips, and even a mellon) as a part of the tradition. It was such a touching sight with so many people taking the time to pray as they pass by. I kept my prayer very silent and from a relatively far spot as I did not want to interfere.

No comments: