What can we do, for one who has suffered so much?

What can we say, to one whose tears never cease?

We would do anything within our power. So that once again, we could laugh together.

Just as people feel this way throughout Japan, throughout the world, so do we feel.

If scholarship is what builds the future, now above all is the time to believe in that strength.

The science of reconstruction — renaissance for the tomorrow that is certain to come.

The University of Tokyo is now learning to walk a new road, hand in hand with those in the disaster area.


Osamu Shimizu

I have prepared seven issues of Tansei since taking over as editor, but this issue has been the most difficult yet.

As a public relations magazine, Tansei provides society with information about the academic activities and operations of the University of Tokyo (Todai). But we cannot ignore the disastrous earthquake of March 11.

Unlike the mass media which would approach the earthquake from the perspective of the ensuing suffering, it is our duty to convey to society the relationship between the earthquake and the University of Tokyo. To clarify that relationship has meant a deep consideration of the fundamental question "What can universities do for the disaster area?" After much deliberation, with the tone set by the president's message "Live. But not alone" and under the title of "Renaissance," we have brought together a special issue centered on the academic fields that will support relief and reconstruction.

I traveled to the affected area three times. The cover photos of each section, "Eyes to the future," are portraits of some of the people from Otsuchi and Ishinomaki that I met on those occasions.

Photos of Ikuko Akazaki-san and others from Otsuchi were taken on July 30. Everyone had just moved from evacuation centers to temporary housing, and had just resumed for the moment their daily life.

Photos of Yuya Kimura-san and others from the Kinoya and Ishinomaki Seafood were taken on August 4. At the time of the photo, they were gathering and cleaning the canned foods that had been washed away in the tsunami. When I asked Kimura-san, stacking up the canned goods in the skeleton that was all that remained of the factory, "Are you going to sell these?" he replied with a grin "I'm donating them to our supporters."

And then there is the photo for this section. In the photo are fishermen from Ogatsu ward in Ishinomaki. They had lost their boats, their houses, even their driving licenses, yet together they had formed an unlimited partnership called "OH Guts" and, while still living in temporary accommodation, were preparing to begin fish farming.

The eyes of the victims of this disaster are turning towards a new source of light. Having reached this final proofreading, I find my thoughts turning to the future relationship between Todai and the disaster area.

About Tansei

Tansei is the magazine of the University of Tokyo. The school color of the University of Tokyo is light blue (tansei in Japanese). It was first used in a rowing regatta between the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University in 1920. The choice of light blue or dark blue was decided by drawing lots. Kyoto drew dark blue and Tokyo light blue, and these have been the two universities' respective colors ever since.