Typhoons, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Oh My!

The coming of the typhoon season in Japan has reminded me of all of the hurricane experiences I’ve had in my youth- despite the genuine destruction these masses of nature can wreak, the nostalgia brings some amount of comfort- maybe because if it’s a choice between typhoon or earthquake, I’d choose typhoon!

Tomorrow, work is going to be canceled because of a large typhoon heading up the coast of Japan that is slotted to hit Osaka (and therefore, most likely, Kyoto). The Town Mouse and I plan to curl up in the comfort of our home, but the prospect of it has reminded me of two or three hurricane and flood experiences I had back in the days of my childhood among the magnolia and pine trees.

In particular, I remember when I was in sixth grade in Junior High, and a large scale tornado hit my small town. The power went out, the generators didn’t turn on, and my school principal had to run to every room telling everyone to get under their desks. Of course, hurricanes happened all the time around our area, so no one took it seriously, but when the tornado actually hit, we were instantly under our desks. I remember looking out the window and seeing one of those large trash dumpsters rocking on one leg as if it were full of helium. Apparently we were quite lucky too- our bus driver was on the road when the storm hit, and all of the buses windows were blown out. She had minor injuries all along the arm she used to protect herself during the blast.

The tornado had also been slotted to hit all of the major buildings in our town, but managed to jump over every school in its path, leaving them unharmed, before completely desecrating the post office, court house and several small businesses. My school’s gymnasium was repurposed as a place to dry out and reorganize all of the criminal records for several weeks while they replaced the roof on the court house. Our post office became a network of temporary buildings.

That was just one of the memories that I was reminded of as this weather has started to hit Kyoto. It’s strange, to feel a sort of pleasant nostalgia now despite the genuine misfortune association with those memories and the present... I wonder if there’s a better word than “nostalgia” for it...