Our Japanese Visitors

About three weeks ago I responded to a call on the Urban Mamas blog for families who were willing to host a Mother and Child (or children) visiting from Japan. Many areas of the country, particularly in the Tohoku region, have been affected by radiation from the leaking nuclear power plant in Fukushima. The effect this has had on the day-to-day lives of people who live in the region is enormous. Playgrounds are empty because parents are asked to keep their children indoors, food that once came from local farmers is now being shipped from across the country, electricity rationing means that air conditioning and elevators are turned off, even in high rise apartments.

But the thing they worry about the most is the health of their children. I can’t imagine a mother who would not want to remove her child from the potentially harmful effects of radiation, even if only for a short time.

And so we put up our hand and were contacted by Mayumi, a young mother with a two year old child who had the means and the motivation to leave. Just for a few months, but enough time to give her daughter the chance to run around outside for the Summer and heal some of the damage that may have already been caused by exposure to radiation.

Mayumi and Karin arrived today after a very long flight and Karin made herself home in no time at all. Thomas has taken her under his wing and Samuel is cautious, but friendly – which is the most we can ask for given he had to give up his bedroom and his space is now being infiltrated by a being of similar size, stature and cuteness.

I will definitely be back to share stories about Mayumi and Karin’s visit and the impact they are already having on our lives. But, for now, I have time to share just a few photos -mainly for Karin’s Daddy who is so far away and undoubtedly already missing his little girl.



  1. Hello,I’m Karin’s papa.
    Ishida family!!! Really Thanks for accepting my wife & my daughter for this time.

    On 311,Our life changed completely.

    I don’t want to part with my wife & Karin,but I think better for Karin to have more time away from the radiation,so I can decided this Wonderful flight.
    I think that I can everyday missing Karin from her leaves to Japan,but I am possible to endure it for Karin.
    After happened earthquake Karin watches Slide or Swing on TV,she said”I want to go to this place”,but I can not able to do.
    I hope this time become a good experience for us,and I want to look Karin’s big smile.
    I hope so that great journey rather than a evacuation!!!

  2. I really hope that Mayumi and Karin will have happy summer with your family in Portland.
    Thank your awesome support, Nicole-san!! Please give our best regards to your families and new members of your family! -Kumi

  3. Nicole – what an amazing thing you are doing and the impact can obviously be felt by the entire family based on Karin’s papa’s post above. Brought tears to my eyes.

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