12/30/2011, 00.00
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"Tsunami Bibles" help Japan to understand the tragedy

3 thousand copies of the Bible translated in the local dialect which survived the tidal wave that enveloped the country on March 11,are back on sale. They give an answer to those who suffered and will help the publishing house back on its feet.
Tokyo (AsiaNews) - Thousands of Bibles that survived the tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11, 2011, are back on sale. The sacred text, buyers say, "helps to give an answer to the worst tragedy of the last 10 years." And the fact that they are the only survivors of a publishing house swept away by the sea makes them even more valuable.

60% of Ofunato, Iwate province, was destroyed by the tsunami provoked by an earthquake and which caused a leak in the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Here Dr. Haratsugu Yamaura lived for decades, a Catholic of 71, who since retiring has undertaken to translate the Bible into Kesen-go, the dialect spoken in the regions of north-eastern coast of Japan.

After seeing the destruction of Ofunato – which Dr. Yamaura calls "the worst crisis since World War II - Catholics have asked the doctor,"Kamisamansuu, kamisamansuu, nashite oreadogoo, misute yaryashitare? ". This is a passage from Matthew 27:46 and translated into their dialect: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?". But now the miracle of the Bible is giving an answer.

The texts were in fact printed by E. Pix, a small local publisher. Three days after the assault of the anomalous wave Masaya Kumagai, publisher and president of the group, returned to his publishing house: among the rubble he found 3 thousand copies still in good condition, which he carried out to dry in the sun. Now, thanks to the proceeds of sales, he thinks he can revive E. Pix.

At first, the publisher wanted to sell them at a discount, given the damage. But Masahiro Kudo, deputy director of the Miura Ayako Literature Museum Foundation [a Japanese writer known for her works on Christian themes] insisted to buy at full price: "They are very precious copies. They demonstrate the love of God for the survivors. "

Driven by word of mouth, Kumagai has started selling them online. Mizue Takahashi, a 70 year old resident in Tokyo, bought one: "The copy was still damp when I received it. It helped me to understand the tsunami and to provide answers for the pain it has caused to our country. " With the growing number of buyers, the publisher was able to pay salaries despite the drama. Now he hopes to rebuild his business.
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