The devastating earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan on March 11 has already killed thousands of people, and the full effects have yet to play out. The long-term damage to human health from radiation leaks at the Fukishima nuclear power plants will take years, perhaps decades, to manifest.
I feel this tragedy deeply. Since my first visit to Japan as a teenager in 1959, I have felt a powerful connection to its culture, aesthetics and people. In the years since, I have been back more times than I can recall. As much as I enjoy the vibrant cacophony of modern, urban Japan, I am particularly drawn to its venues of timeless serenity.
I am encouraged that the hallmarks of the Japanese character - a reverence for hard work, family, tradition and beauty - will ultimately bring that great nation back from the horror that now engulfs it. Please do what you can to help by donating at the American Red Cross website.
In the meantime, here are some photos of trips I have been fortunate enough to make to Japan in recent years: Shrines and Serenity in Japan