= Tsukue no shita ni kakurete ne.
= Hide under the table!
As we all know we had a big earthquake in Japan and it took a lot of people’s lives.
My deepest sympathies and prayers goes out to everyone affected by this disaster.
Also thank you so much for all your concern and encouragements. We have received so many warm messages from all over the world. As a Japanese person, I was personally moved to tears to receive your love and support.
For those who live in Japan, there are many helpful sites.
We all worry about the ongoing aftershocks and 放射能 (= houshanou )= radiation leakage problem from the 原子力発電所 (= genshiryoku hatsudensho )= atomic power plants. But 冷静になりましょう！(= “Reisei ni narimashou”) = let’s keep our heads, and not overreact. There too much information out there, and some people are panicking prematurely.
I will make this lesson for everybody who is in Japan or is coming to Japan in the future. Hopefully this will help you stay safe.
Although it is painful for me to make this type of lesson, I think it might be useful in case of emergency.
But the motive of this lesson is not to make you worry. It is to help you deal with any situations calmly in Japanese.
Knowing other languages helps you to enjoy your trips and your life when you travel or stay in another country. At the same time knowing language helps you survive whenever something happens to you.
In other words, if you don’t know the language, there are more chances that you will feel very frightened because you will not know what is happening around you.
There are a lot of sources information in Japanese but you might feel as if there is absolutely no information because a lot of TV news is not bilingual.
First, you need to understand some basic words to help you understand what is being said on TV, the internet and to communicate with the people around you. You need to be able to get the basic information and find out what is happening. And it will be more useful if you can understand Japanese news even if it’s just a few keywords or phrases. And when you don’t know what is happening, you need to be able to ask the people around you quickly in Japanese.
I really hope you don’t need to ever use this lesson now or in future but it’s good to be prepared.
We have a saying 備えあれば憂い無し。= Sonae areba urei nashi.= If you are prepared, you don’t have to worry.
To help you understand Japanese emergency warning on TV or Radio :
As soon as we have an earthquake somewhere in Japan, you will hear/see announcement on TV by 気象庁 = kishouchou = meteorological bureau
•地震情報 = jishin jouhou = earthquake information
•地震速報 = jishin sokuhou = prompt announcement for the earthquake
If you see it on TV, the
= Kinkyuu jishin sokuhou desu.
= This is an emergency earthquake warning.
Ex. ＊時＊分（name of the place) で強い地震がありました。
= ＊ji＊pun/fun,(name of the place) de tsuyoi jishin ga arimashita.
= There was a big earthquake in (name of the place) at (time).
=( time)+ goro,
= around + time
•只今 = tadaima = right now
•先程 = sakihodo = a little while ago
•(place)de jishin ga arimashita.
= There was an earthquake in **
•地震 = jishin = earthquake
•ありました = arimashita = there was/were
= Kakuchi no shindo wa wakari shidai oshirase itashimasu.
= We will announce the seismic intensity scale of each affected area as soon as we know.
•各地=kakuchi = each area
•震度= shindo = Japanese seismic intensity scale
And they will show you the degree of the earthquake of each area
(location) 震度２ = (location) shindo ni = (location) intensity 2
We also describe the seismic intensity with マグニチュード= magunichuudo = magnitude later but it is pretty common to describe the intensity with 震度 = shindo in Japan.
There are 10 different levels.
震度* 弱= shindo ＊jaku= intensity ＊ lower
The literal meaning of 弱= jaku is “weak”
震度* 強= shindo ＊kyou = intensity ＊ upper
The literal meaning of 強= kyou is “strong”
1)Intensity level 0= 震度０= shindo zero
Most people don’t feel any shakes.
2) Intensity level 1=震度１ = shindo ichi
Some people might feel it if you are in the room being quiet
3) Intensity level 2= 震度 2 = shindo ni
Most people in a quiet room can feel.
4) Intensity level 3 =震度 3 = shindo san
Most people in the house feel it.
5) Intensity level 4= 震度4 = shindo yon
Most people get surprised. Hanging objects such as lamps will swing and unstable ornaments in the house might fall.
6) Intensity level 5 lower =震度５弱= shindo go jaku
Most people feel frightened and try to hold onto something to walk.
Most books and dishes fall from cupboards or bookshelves. An unstable brick wall might fall.
7) Intensity level 5 upper =震度５強= shindo go kyou
It is difficult to walk without holding onto something. Unfixed furniture might fall.
8) Intensity level 6 lower =震度6弱= shindo roku jaku
It is difficult to stand. Most unfixed furniture will move or fall. Some doors won’t be able to open (because the frames will be twisted). Tiles on the wall or roof or window glasses might fall. Less earthquake-resistant wooden houses might fall or tilt.
9) Intensity level 6 upper =震度6強= shindo roku kyou
You can’t move without crawling. Sometimes you are knocked down. Most unfixed furniture will move and may fall. More less-earthquake-resistant wooden houses or buildings will incline or collapse. Landslides and cracks in the ground may also occur.
10) Intensity level 7 =震度7 = shindo nana
Even high-earthquake-resistant buildings might occasionally incline.
Many low-earthquake-resistant concrete building will collapse.
You will also see/here,
(location) で地震 強い揺れに警戒
= (location) de jishin. Tsuyoi yure ni keikai.
= There was an earthquake in ~ . Be careful of strong shakes.
•強い = tsuyoi = strong
•揺れ = yure = shake
•警戒 = keikai = alert, warning (verb : 警戒する = keikai suru = to be alert)
= Tsuyoi yure ni keikai shite kudasai.
= Be careful of strong shakes
Note: Many people registered for “the earthquake alert” on their cell phone company.
Softbank, Au, Docomo.
iPhone has an APP called ゆれくる= yurekuru (The literal translation is shaking is coming.)
It is based on information supplied by 気象庁 = kishouchou = meteorological bureau
= shindo 5 jaku ga oyoso juubyougo
= A level 5 lower earthquake is coming within 10 seconds (more or less).
(Notice the icon picture is a なまず= namazu= catfish which are traditionally thought to be able to predict earthquakes.)
After the first announcement of the earthquake. They will soon announce
震源地 = shingenchi= epicenter
Check where it is. Check the Japanese map and make sure which area is affected.
Aftershocks are called
●余震 = yoshin
Ex. 余震がある= yoshin ga aru = there are aftershocks
and if you live on the seacoast, check for tsunami warnings.
After an earthquake, there are often aftershocks so you have to keep alert. They say sometimes aftershocks are bigger than the initial quake.
Then they will announce information about:
If tsunami are not a problem, they will say
= Tsunami no shinpai wa arimasen.
When there is a warning for tsunami, they will announce
= Tsunami keihou ga happyou saremashita.
= They issued a tsunami advisory.
Now remember, in case of tsunami, typhoon ( = 台風 = taifuu), heavy rain ( = 大雨 = ooame), flood ( = 洪水 = kouzui)
there are two types of warnings
*注意報 = chuuihou = advisory
*警報 = keihou = alarm, alert
Note : 警報 = keihou is a stronger warning
(For example in the event of typhoon, if they publish 警報 = keihou for typhoon, Ex. 暴風警報 = boufuu keihou = storm wing warning, children have to stay home not leaving the house.)
= ~ ga happyou saremashita.
= ~ is announced.
= Tsunami keihou ga happyou sarete iru no wa tsugi no engan desu.
= The tsunami warning just announced affects the following seacoasts.
●沿岸 = engan = (sea) coast
In case of event of tsunami, go to a 高台 = takadai = upland, high place, up on hills as fast as you can.
What to do during an earthquake:
I know there are a lot of useful sites — like the ones I mentioned above — but basically 安全確保 = anzen kakuho = to stay safe is key and 火の元に注意= hino monto ni chuui = be sure to turn off the stove, heater or gas.
1) Don’t panic!
2) Protect your head. If you have a bag made of strong material (a cushion or pillow will also work), lift it over the top of your head 10cm away from the top of your head. If at all possible hide under a table until the big shake is over. (like me in the picture)
3) 揺れが静まったら(= Yure ga shizumattara) =When the shakes settle, → Turn off the stove, heater or gas as soon as possible.
4) Open the doors, windows.
5) Don’t use the elevator when you escape.
6) Avoid being close to the building, vending machines, concrete walls, power lines, signs. Try to get into an open area.
Useful Japanese for emergency :
Remember the following words and phrases:
★非常口 = hijouguchi = emergency exit
(If you stay in a hotel, find out where the exits are. )
= Hijouguchi wa doko desuka?
= Where is the emergency exit?
= Kaidan wa doko desuka?
= Where are the stairs?
= Deguchi wa doko desuka?
= Where is the exit?
If you find a fire, you shout
Ex. 火事だ！= kajida! = Fire!!
Note: Emergency phone numbers in Japan
In case of fire or to call ambulance car, we dial 119
= Hai ichiichi kyuu (hyakujyuukyuuban )desu. Kaji desuka? Kyuukyuu desuka?
= Hello, this is 119. Is it a matter of fire or you need an ambulance?
= Jiko ga arimashita.
=There was accident.
= kaji desu
= There is fire
= Kyuubyou desu
=It means someone has “sudden illness”. This is emergency. Someone is really sick! or injured.
= Kyuukyusha onegai shimasu.
= Please send us an ambulance.
= Shoubousha onegai shimasu.
= Please send a firetruck.
They will ask for your location and name. Then they’ll ask you to clearly describe what happened.
= Kaji desu. Naka ni hito ga imasu.
= There is fire! There is someone inside.
= Kega wo shiteimasu.
= I am (or someone is ) injured.
Give a direction 場所は〜です。= Basho wa ~ desu. = It is (location)
If it is a car accident or crime is involved, call 110
It is also called 110番 = hyakutouban
You can ask people around you
= Sumimasen ichiichi kyuu (or hyakujuu kyuuban )ni denwa wo shite kudasai.
= Please call 119 (for the ambulance car or fire car)
= Sumimasen hyakutouban (or keisatsu) ni denwa shite kudasai.
= Please call 110. / Please call the police.
For other warning for emergency
= Get out! (Male speech)
= Get out! (Female speech)
*This is emergency, it doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, just remember if someone says this you have to get out of there!
= Tasukete kudasai!
= Please help me!
If you don’t know what is happening, just grab anybody around you,
= nani ga okita no desuka?
= What happened?
= Doushitara ii desuka?
= What should I do?
= Doko ye ittara iidesuka?
= Where should I go?
If you don’t understand them
= Nihongo ga yoku wakarimasen. Yukkuri hanashite kudasai.
= I don’t understand Japanese well. Please speak slowly.
= Dareka eigo ga wakaru hito wa imasenka?
= Is there anybody who speaks English?
You can ask help saying,
= Komatte imasu. Tasukete kudasai.
= I am in trouble. Please help me.
In some severe case, you may have to evacuate,
= Koko wa kiken desuka?
= Is it safe here?
•危険 = kiken = danger
• 安全 = anzen = safe
Ex. 危険地域 = kiken chiiki = dangerous zone
Ex. 安全地域 = anzen chiiki = safe zone
•避難 = hinan = evacuation
→verb: 避難する =hinan suru = to evacuate
= Tadachi ni hinan shitte kudasai!
= Please evacuate as soon as possible.
緊急避難= kinkyuu hinan = emergency evacuation
Every district has its designated 避難所 = hinanjo = shelter Usually at a school gym or city hall where they can have a lot of people.
= Doko ni hinan shitara iidesuka?
= Where should I evacuate to?
= Hinanjo wa dokoni arimasuka?
= Where is the shelter?
= Eki made douikeba iidesuka?
= How can I get to the station?
= Hinanjo made aruite donogurai desuka?
= How long does it take to get to the shelter from here on foot?
So basically in order to get information, you may have to ask a lot of questions.
How to communicate with people in emergency
=〜wa doko desu ka?
= Where is 〜?
= Koushuudenwa wa doko desuka?
=〜wa doko desu ka?
= Where is 〜?
=〜 wo kashite kudasai.
= May I use 〜
= Denwa wo kashite kudasai.
= May I use your phone?
= 〜 wa doko de kaemasu ka?
= Where can I buy 〜?
= Denchi wa doko de kaemasuka?
= Where can I buy batteries?
= 〜wa dokode moraemasuka?
= Where can I get 〜
(もらえる = moraeru = means to get something for free)
= Mizu wa doko de moraemasu ka?
= Where can I get water?
= (verb) temo(demo) daijoubu desuka?
= Can I / Is it OK/ Is it Safe to verb?
= Suidousui wa nondemo daijoubu desuka?
= Is it OK (safe) to drink tap water?
= Could you give me 〜
= Mizu wo itadakemasu ka?
= Could you give me some water please?
= 〜wo kudasai.
= Give me 〜, please.
= Chizu wo kudasai.
= Give me a map, please.
=〜wo tsukawasete kudasai.
= Let me use 〜 please.
= Toire wo tsukawasete kudasai.
= Please let me use the bathroom.
= 〜sasete kudasai.
= Let me do ~
= Keitai wo juuden sasete kudasai.
= Let me charge my cell phone.
=〜wo sagashite imasu.
= I am looking for 〜
= Aiteiru mise wo sagashite imasu.
= I am looking for an open store.
•開いている = aite iru = open
•閉まっている = shimatte iru = closed
= Tomodachi wo sagashite imasu.
= I am looking for my friend.
= Doko ni ittara kaemasuka?
= Where can I buy it/them?
= Doko de kiitara wakarimasu ka?
= Where can I get the information?
= Dare ni kiitara wakarimasu ka?
= Who should I ask?
Transportation problems : transportation facilities: 交通機関 = koutsuu kikan
During the disaster, a lot of trains, airplanes, subways or buses will stop or reduce the service. A lot of people couldn’t go home and they are called 帰宅困難者 = kitaku konan sha Now I will teach you some of the key words/sentences in order to understand what it is said in the announcement.
•ダイヤが乱れる = daiya ga midareru.
= daiya ga midarete imasu.
= The timetable has been disrupted.
•運転見合わせ = unten miawase = temporally suspended
= jishin no tame zensen de unten wo miawasete imasu.
= Due to the earthquake, all lines have been temporarily suspended.
= Heijou doori untenn shiteimasu.
= to have a normal train (or bus) service
= unten miawase
= the operation was temporarily suspended
= no service, cancellation
= unten saikai
=to restart operations, service resumed
•停電 = teiden = power outage, blackout
•断水= dansui = cuts in water supply
In order to provide electricity supply to the most devastated area 被災地= disaster-affected areas east area of Japan has been doing
•計画停電 = keikaku teiden = planned outage
This is something new and we have never done it in Japan.
= Kono chiku no teiden wa nanji kara nanji made ka shitteitara oshiete kudasai.
= Please tell me if you know from what time until what time the blackout in this area is?
People are trying to do 節電= setsuden = saving electricity
Japan is known as one of 地震大国 = jishin taikoku = the biggest earthquake countries.
After having the big earthquake in Hanshin or Nigata area, people are more prepared for the earthquakes.
: From the picture above:
★防災= bousai = disaster prevention
= Tsukue no shita ni kakurete ne.
= Hide under the table!
Many companies and schools practice 避難訓練= hinan kunren = disaster drills
And many houses or companies prepare
非常袋 = hijoubukuro = emergency bag
•懐中電灯 = kaichuudentou = flashlight
•乾電池 = kandenchi = batteries
•飲料水 = inryousui = drinkable water
•非常食 = hijoushoku = emergency food
•ヘルメット = herumetto = helmets
Many people put a pair of shoes in the bedroom so that they can escape immediately.
And we fix the furniture with a pole,
Recently panicked people hoard food,water, toilet papers, and etc.
買い占め = kaishime = panic purchase, hoarding
It is sad to hear that even people who even live far away try to buy up stuff supplies that they do not really need. This is mostly done out of fear.
There is a kind of internet campaign or movement or operation=作戦=sakusen encouraging people not to hoard supplies. It is called 上島作戦= ueshima sakusen = Operation Ueshima.
上島=Ueshima is a name of a member of a comedy trio, ダチョウ倶楽部=Dacho Club and someone named this operation using their a gag line, 「どうぞどうぞ」 = Please go ahead!
So if you see a hash tag #ueshima that means they support “No hoarding!”
And if you see a hash tag #yashima that is from ヤシマ作戦= yashima sakusen = Operation Yashima which support saving energy and it originally came from Evangelion.
Last but not least, a lot of people asked me how to encourage their Japanese friends. It is not a specific lesson but check my 労る= itawaru lesson. I will add a little bit here.
If you want to ask if someone is OK or not,
= daijoubu desuka?
= Jishin ga arimashitaga daijoubu deshitaka?
= There was an earthquake. Are you OK?
= Gokaoku wa minasan buji deshitaka?
= Is everybody in your family all right?
If you want to show your sympathy, you say
= Kokoro yori omimai moushiagemasu.
= I would like to express my deepest sympathies.
And if you find out everybody is OK and want to express your relief, you say
無事でよかった！(with someone close to you)
= Buji de yokatta
= I am glad you are safe.
= Gobuji de hontou ni yokattadesu.
= I am glad you are OK.
To be relieved in Japanese is
•安心する= anshin suru
•ほっとする =hotto suru
I’m relieved to hear you are OK.
= Buji to kiki anshin shimashita.
or Ex. 無事と聞きほっとしました。
= Buji to kiki ni hotto shimashita.
Your cheering of
がんばって日本 = ganbatte nihon(nippon) = Hang in there, Japan
pray for Japan = 日本の為に祈る = nihon no tame ni inoru
reaches to Japanese hearts.
Thank you and ありがとう！= arigatou
Please keep us sending positive thoughts. You are all wonderful and I love you all!
マギー先生より= Maggie Sensei yori =From Maggie Sensei
This is マギー作戦 = Maggie sakusen = Operation Maggie
=Anshin shite kuraseru utsukushii kuni nihon ga mata genki ni naru koto wo shinjite kudasai.
= Please believe that beautiful Japan where we can live safely will be healthy again.