It's never too late to start over. Japan's NHK had a story this past week of one man who was forced to give up his career as a fisherman after suffering a debilitating stroke. But at the age of 90 his rehabilitation led him to an entirely different career track.
On the shores of Okhotsk, I was born and bred.
This song describes a fisherman devoted to his job. This man who wrote lyrics sits on the stage. Seizo Nogami is 100 years old.
He was born in Aomori prefecture, northeastern Japan. When he was 42, he moved to Shiretoko, Hokkaido. He braved the harsh weather there, because the seas were well stocked with fish. For more than half a century, he caught salmon and sea urchins.
The waters around here are so rich in fish. They're like a treasure trove. I never fell behind fishermen from other regions in getting a good catch.
At the age of 90, a stroke forced Nogami to retire. To rehabilitate his right hand affected by the ailment, he began to write Japanese characters.
I was a fisherman, so I first broke down the names of fish.
The therapy worked. Nogami progressed to writing poems about his life as a fisherman. The poem gradually attracted attention. Prominent folk singer Takio Ito offered to put one to music. The poem also describes Nogami's wish to pass down his business to his descendants. That wish has come to pass. He is succeeded by his son, grandsons, and great-grandsons.
We passed down the family business to four generations. Isn't it amazing? Some families have been fishing for three generations, but we are already in the fourth. I want my family to continue to work at sea as long as it holds so many fish. That's what I always feel in my heart. I hope we'll be fishermen for generations.
When the sun sets on the ocean, I want my children and grandchildren to follow in my wake.
Nogami says he wants to keep on writing poems about Shiretoko's beautiful scenery and the joy of fishing.
After careful consideration, we have decided that it is time to make changes in the format of Mosaic: World News from the Middle East. To accommodate this change, we are now extending the current hiatus indefinitely while we retool and do the necessary fund raising to grow and expand the program concept, and to cover our production costs. New reports will no longer be available online or on Link TV. The Mosaic archive of all past shows will remain at LinkTV.org/Mosaic.
Change is never easy. We have heard your thoughts and concerns during this time of transition -- and we share a passion for the legacy of this program and the vision that helped to create it. Mosaic has always been a concrete demonstration of Link TV's core mission, reaching beyond borders and presenting non-mainstream perspectives in the hopes of connecting people and cultures.
In this time of global conflicts, misconceptions, and lack of trustworthy information, we believe a program like Mosaic remains an essential value. We now ask for your support and patience, as we create a new format that will include voices from the region, thoughtful analysis and insight, and a careful examination of social media within the different cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. Our intention is to bring you a program in concert with the news from the region and the new information technologies available to help make sense of a rapidly changing world.
Thank you for all of your support, your honest feedback, and your understanding. We will continue to keep you informed as new plans emerge.
Japan's NHK World NEWSLINE program reported on the two disasters to hit Asia this past week. The first report aired April 24, and covered the latest garment factory collapse in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. The second report LinkAsia covered this week aired April 23, and focused on the response to the earthquake in China's Sichuan province.
The upper part of the commercial building suddenly collapsed during the busy morning period. The structure housed a clothing factory, bank and a shopping center. Many people are feared trapped inside. Workers at the factory were starting their shifts and some shops were already open. More than 100 people are reportedly hurt. Soldiers and citizens are helping with the rescue operation. Local media say a crack was detected in the wall of the building on Tuesday, but people were still allowed to go inside.
The response to the Sichuan earthquake is an important test for China's new president Xi Jinping. Five years ago, the former government was widely criticized for its poor response to an earthquake, which also occurred in Sichuan Province. That quake killed nearly 70,000 people. For more on the Chinese government's response to this latest earthquake, here's NHK.
The quake is the first large natural disaster since President Xi took office last month. He swears that his government will do everything possible to help survivors. Officials are also making sure the public knows about the government's efforts.
Premier Li Keqiang traveled by helicopter to the stricken areas on the day of the quake. He instructed rescuers to do all they could to save lives. His visit was reminiscent of the one by his predecessor Wen Jiabao. The former premier visited Sichuan years ago just hours after another huge quake hit the region. He tried to show the government's readiness to support survivors.
Authorities are highlighting other aspects of the government's response to the latest earthquake. Chinese media have been reporting in detail on the rescue effort. State run tv has broadcast repeated footage of the military's operations along with images of people receiving relief goods. Officials seem to want to show the public that the government's response is going well. An expert in risk management with a government affiliated think tank says China's leaders are paying more attention than ever to disaster response.
The disaster is not the only matter at home that China must address, the country's also struggling with a widening wealth gap and the recent outbreak of a new strain of bird flu. Compared to when the 2008 quake struck, people in China can now share information more quickly. Over 500 million Chinese are said to have internet access. Public discontent can spread in an instant.
A posting on China's version of Twitter is critical of the government's earthquake response. It says officials have failed to make use of lessons from the disaster 5 years ago. Wang says authorities need to quickly share information with the public. He says that's crucial for social stability.
China's leaders were harshly criticized for the slow response to the last earthquake in 2008. People were also angered by regional disparities in reconstruction efforts. Members of President Xi's government are keen to avoid making the same mistakes.