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Vending Machines a Sign for Optimism One Year after Tsunami Devastated Japan

By Peter Brooks

Japanese Tsunamibr>

I’d really recommend watching this BBC news clip about Tsunami devastated Japan from back in March 2012. Not only is it another reminder of the horrendous devastation wrought upon Japan after an earthquake caused a devastating tsunami which struck its north eastern shores on Friday 11th March 2011. I think we will all remember, and will do for years to come, the frightening and horrendous images that began to come in from survivors of the vast wave that caused so much death and destruction and annihilated so many towns and cities. It was the biggest earthquake to ever hit Japan and the most devastating crisis the country had faced since the end of the Second World War when nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But this BBC clip shows there is clearly a light at the end of the tunnel. As the mammoth task of clearing up the wreckage and rebuilding their lives continues one year on, what at first seems a strange and slightly incongruous image, gives cause for quiet optimism and a gradual return to normality for the many hundreds of thousands of Japanese who have been affected by the tsunami.

Vending machines are a huge part of the high tech modern Japanese culture and to see them lined up outside a ruined city that looks like something from a modern disaster movie is both surreal but also reassuring. In a country as idiosyncratic and in love with technology and consumerism as Japan, the all singing all dancing flashing vending machine is perhaps a  modern symbol of their countries economic might and transformation over the last sixty years. To see these beasts arriving in disaster hit zones is a sign that eventually rebuilding will begin and these machines will not look so incongruous.

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