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Japan Book Club: The Big Wave – Part 2

August 4, 2011

For this section, read The Big Wave up to the lines “Yes,” his father replied, “I have always wanted another son, and Jiya will be that son.  As soon as he knows that this is his home, then we must help him to understand what has happened.” 

In my book, that is on page 24 and there’s a small break after the paragraph.  After you’ve read continue on to the assignment below. 

In The Big Wave,  we just saw Jiya watch his entire village swept away by a tsunami.  It’s hard to imagine what he felt as he saw everything he knew and loved be destroyed.  Since the author of this book doesn’t let us into Jiya’s mind, spend a little time looking for interviews and stories from survivors of the 2011 Japan tsunami or the 2004 Indonesian tsunami and read their descriptions of the wave, the destruction, the feelings they had, and the aftermath.  Reading what they say will help you get inside Jiya’s mind.

Once you’ve read an article, compare what you learned from your research to what you heard in The Big Wave.  Tell us what the sounds, smells, and feelings were in both the novel and the real thing.  Tell us what both tsunami’s looked like.  Be sure to include a link to your article so other students can read your article too.

Be sure to type out your answers in complete sentences.  Be sure to back up your ideas with some examples, evidence, or proof.  Be sure to check back and see what other people say too.  Be sure to comment on what they say. 

Every student in our Japan group is required to participate.  You must comment on this post with your thoughts (probably a good paragraph or two – maybe more), then, come back and comment on what other people have said – you are required to make an effort to keep the conversation going by replying to at least 2 other students (more than just “I agree” or “you are right.” Give them reasons why you agree/disagree or what they said that was meaningful – make this a discussion). 

The next book we’ll read as a group will be The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Basho (you can try to get a copy if you want, but I can email everyone an online copy for free when it’s time.  After that, we’ll read The Old Man Mad About Drawing by Francois Place (so start to try and get yourself a copy of that one soon). 

100 Comments leave one →
  1. Ben Trouvais permalink
    August 4, 2011 6:29 pm

    Throughout the entire article that I found, survivors were talking about how huge and overwhelming the wave was. Most describe coming back at a later time, seeing their neighborhood in ruins and many of their friends and neighbors dead. In the book, Jiya gazes upon the coastal town wash away into the ocean. From my understanding, not many man- made structures were left standing. This is true with the 2011 tsunami. The initial wave wiped out most of the structures leaving only foundations and some furnature. After awhile, the sights that Jiya sees becomes too much for him to bare and he passes out. In the articles that I read, some coulden’t look back at the destruction because it was too much for them, like Jiya. In the book, Kino could see the houses and bodies floating down into the depths of the ocean. In the article section “Running From the Office,” the man returns to the sight to see bodies and debris wash into the ocean, just like in the book. From the articles that desribed before the tsunami, it seemed that they mostly saw it coming. This is like the book because the town began to evacuate before the wave hit.

    • Blair Tuider permalink
      August 5, 2011 10:16 am

      You are right, most of the things that happened in the 2011 tsunami, also happened in the book. For some, it was hard to see the destruction and damage that happened in the tsunami, just like Jiya who passed out when he saw his villiage taken away. It was also hard for Jiya to look at the empty beach after the earthquake and tsunami. Also people were trying to evacuate in the book and in real life. In the book, mostly children evacutated, but in real life almost everyone tryed to evacuate.

      • Sydney Bebar permalink
        August 5, 2011 3:11 pm

        You are both right, but along with the book and the real thing being alike, there were a bunch of differences. Nobody really wanted to stay and protect their boat, everybody just wanted to get out. Not bothering with homes, families fled just trying to protect themselves, loved ones, and sometimes just friends. You were considered lucky to have a complete stranger help you, that would put their life in danger just to try and save someone they barely or don’t know at all.

      • January 3, 2012 4:19 pm

        Guess that just means that tsunamis are still the same basic things. Shows us the olden days and the article shows us today. They both tried to evcuate people and for those who pasted out… When they woke up, things were very different.

    • Drew Burjek permalink
      August 6, 2011 10:02 pm

      Nice job describing the articles and how they compare with the book. And it is very sad that everything they had just washed away. People were saying they were lucky in that article that you read because everybody in their town would help each other. Store owners would sell all that they had on stands for a small price, and sometimes even give out free stuff. As others would be cleaning up neighbors yards. People would also go around wishing hope to everybody they knew, which would still be helpful.

    • Ms. Filetti permalink
      August 8, 2011 9:20 am


      Great connections between the article and the story. These young boys had to watch as their world was turned upside down and there was nothing they could do about it. How would you react if you were in their situation? Could you ever imagine that?

      Ms. Filetti

    • Bobby cortesi permalink
      August 8, 2011 3:29 pm

      ben- I totally agree with the connections you made between the the book and real life situations because they both have something to do with the other. In the book there is a tsunami and in real life there was a tsunami its as simple as that along with the situation the characters and people in japan were forced into and the damage of it all. if i personally was in the situation i would have reacted the same way jiya did because its a life changing experience and i just could live like that or think to imagine it happening. Could you?

    • Mrs. Harig permalink
      August 9, 2011 3:13 pm

      Ben- did your article discuss anything about a warning system that was used? You made some great connections between your article and the story.

    • Cj Moody permalink
      October 27, 2011 7:34 pm

      The people in the article were just like jiya.. Seeing Your neighborhood ib ruins and dead bodies everywhere whould be a horrible and life changing experience

      • Kevin Wilson permalink
        January 4, 2012 10:13 am

        i agree that would be a life changing experience. it would also be horrible to see those things

  2. Ben Trouvais permalink
    August 4, 2011 6:30 pm

    The article that I found can be found at

    • Kevin Wilson permalink
      January 4, 2012 10:10 am

      that was a good website. i read some of the articals and they were very interesting.

  3. Blair Tuider permalink
    August 5, 2011 10:07 am

    In the article I read, I found out that people were terified just like the characters in the book.
    In the article people described how they felt during the tsunami, one man says he thought ” things were coming to an end”… ” it was simply terifying”. This relates to Jiya because while he was watching his villiage being taken away he was also terifyed and passed out. The article states that a woman who lives in Tokyo was’nt scared at all in the begining of the earthquake she was calm. She did say the tsunami was” … quite scary” , but her and her family were ok. Jiya was calm around others, but while alone he was crying, and depressed. Most peole in the article say they were calm but terifyed later on in the disaster. It was hard for some to see the damage done, just lke Jiya who thought it was hard to look at the beach were his family and neighbors lived. It was mentiond in the articail that many were found dead, some were missing and there was much destruction. This also happend in the book where there was destruction on the shores and remains in the ocean. You can find this article at

    • Mark Burjek permalink
      August 6, 2011 10:57 pm

      I’d hate to be in the situation where you look back at your town and see everything completely in ruins. Jiya and the real people of Japan will always have that image in their minds, and I would never be able to live with that.

    • Ms. Filetti permalink
      August 8, 2011 9:35 am

      Great job focusing in on how the people felt. I have never been in a natural disaster, but I have family members that were in the tornado in Plainfield a few years back. They said that during the actual tornado they were not scared because their adrenalin took over. Once things were said and done and they looked at the damage, they broke down. To them, it didn’t seem real until they saw that their home that was half gone and their family photos were scattered around the block. It was then that they realized their world was turned upside down.

    • August 8, 2011 10:16 am

      If you think about it, your looking at (for some people) Years and Decades of hard work and within hours, it’s all gone. I understand, that we shouldn’t live our lives in fear, but for these kids, it’s probably really hard not to.

    • Nate Zurawski permalink
      February 19, 2012 11:54 am

      It would be terrible to look back where you used to live and all you would see is dead bodies, and torn down houses. You would probably start to cry because that could’ve been you.

    • Tyler Pearson permalink
      February 19, 2012 1:56 pm

      I agree Blair. I’ve been in some natual disaters before and all i can say is to stay calm when it comes to fight or flight disasters. If these guys could stay calm while almost all of their things could simply be washed away, my hat’s off to them.

  4. Sydney Bebar permalink
    August 5, 2011 3:07 pm

    In my article, the man, Rick, just described almost exactly what the author did. The man said that him and his wife were sitting on top of a large hill. This relates to the book because when Jiya was forced to leave his family, he joined Kino and his family on the top of a hill. Rick also explained how his wife could not stand to watch the destruction anymore and walked back a little farther to their hotel, she stayed outside so Rick could see her. This relates to Jiya because when he couldn’t stand the pain of watching everything he passed out, this spared him from any horrible sights, most likely saving him from even more harsh memories. Also, Rick spoke of the aftermath of the tsunami. He stated, “After about three hours – the waves stopped coming over the edge. Yet – everyone sat paralyzed. All assumed it was a trick – and no one dared to go back down – for fear that another tsumami would come back, gobbliing them up like little wooden boats.” This shows that even though the worst of it was done, everyone was still scared that the waves would come back. This is similar to the book because after the big wave left, nobody was sure if it was going to return once again, or just leave them in peace. You can locate my article at

    • Ben Trouvais permalink
      August 7, 2011 8:12 pm

      The fact that the man in your article had the same thing happen to him in the book is very interesting. It’s almost like this sort of thing has happened over the years and one knows what to expect out of the kind of destruction like this. I think its strange how nearly everything in the book can line up to one survivor’s story or another’s.

    • Mrs. Harig permalink
      August 9, 2011 3:17 pm

      Sydney- You found some great connections here. It has got be difficult for them to conceptualize what they just witnessed. Trying to process the destruction that just took place had to leave them in fear and speechless.

  5. Bobby cortesi permalink
    August 5, 2011 7:38 pm

    In the article i read trough I found that many people did not want to return to their hometown. One mother whose 3-month old daughter was swept away right through the mothers hands and plans to move away from her hometown. Some cities along the coast were so badly damaged they can not make a permanent home as they did before. Many survivors returned to look at the ruins of there homes and communities. An elderly man’s mother was washed away and killed by a 30 ft wave and no longer wants to live in the place his mother was killed and also moved away. Many people became angry, sad, depressed, homeless, and scared from the loss of there whole way of life but could not give up hope just like the families in “the Big Wave” do. The book seems to reflect what happened to japan this previous year other then the scale of damage and the earthquake.
    Even though the Japanese had many tragic losses they still keep hope and fight through their frightful and unimaginable passed.
    here is my article:

    • Drew Burjek permalink
      August 6, 2011 10:13 pm

      You are right, the book seems to be the same as the recent disaster in Japan. Also because you write about how people still keep hope and fight through the worst that can happen. People returned to look at the ruins, but remember, it is very traumatizing and most people didn’t want to go back to the bad memories.

    • Persephone Allee permalink
      August 7, 2011 3:04 pm

      Personally, I wouldn’t want to return to where it all happened, at least not immediatly. The memories would bring pain and sorrow and after what they went through it is understandable. Many people were left, as you said, homeless so there was no point in returning. After they recover though I’m sure things would be different. Hope and happiness will return and life will one day go back to what it use to be.

    • Lyssette Bedolla permalink
      August 7, 2011 6:50 pm

      Some people can not bare the truth so they walk away from it. I do not think I could go back to the same place my baby was swept away from my hands.

    • Ms. Filetti permalink
      August 8, 2011 9:38 am

      I could really understand where they are coming from. I think it would be difficult to return after a natural disaster if I lost someone really important to me. Material things like your home, car, clothes, furniture, etc. can all be replaced, but if someone dies, returning would only be a constant reminder.

    • August 8, 2011 10:19 am

      The problem is, Lysette, how can you run away from the truth when you see it all around, especially during a natural disaster.

      • August 8, 2011 2:54 pm

        If i lost someone close to me, i would find myself living FOR them. If they aren’t around anymore, then i will have to life my life to the fullest, for both of us. Not returning would be like your trying to forget all of the memories you had their, including them. I guess that’s just how i see it, but i think it would be better to take the things that happen in your life, good and bad, and turn them into inspiration in your life.

    • Kamil Czaplinski permalink
      August 8, 2011 6:26 pm

      I don’t blame the people in the article to not want to go back to their hometown. There is nothing to go back to other than the remains of buildings, dead bodies, and scary thoughts. You have put so much work, effort and money into what had just disappeared in a couple of minuets.

      • Meghan Moreno permalink
        August 8, 2011 10:29 pm

        I would be scared to go back too. It would just make me more sad. I would want to forget about everything that happened. I would keep everyone that i knew and loved in memory though.

    • Alyssa Gue permalink
      August 10, 2011 6:48 pm

      I would be terrified to go back as well, having to watch everything you had wash away and people you care about die obviously wouldn’t be easy. It would seem easier to not return, to not have to see the aftermath of something so tragic. But, I would still try to live my life not forgetting memories of loved ones cherishing that I remember.

  6. Drew Burjek permalink
    August 6, 2011 9:49 pm

    The article I found on mentioned how many people were not very scared at the beginning of the tsunami/earthquake, as many other people said they were scared, because humans are naturally scared. People thought that it would soon be over. Unfortunately, to them, it seemed like forever until it ended. Andy Clark had lived in Japan for twenty years and said the he had encountered many earth quakes and was used to them, but this one, “shook with much ferocity, I thought things were coming to an end. It was simply terrifying.” Matt Alt, a citizen in Tokyo, said the the tsunami, “was larger than everyone expected and longer than everyone expected.”
    The characters in “The Big Wave” acted relatively the same as citizens in Japan. Jiya was terrified, and like him, many real people will be traumatized and have anxiety for the rest of their life, especially if they lost their family. But, being worried will just make it worst. It is like when somebody you know dies, You cant keep that kicking you when your down your whole life, you learn to cope with problems. My article:

    • Mark Burjek permalink
      August 6, 2011 11:00 pm

      I agree bro, most of these people probably did not expect this, since they were used to it and all. But the event that occurred completely left the entire country shell-shocked, and the same situation must have occurred for Jiya and his village.

    • Ben Trouvais permalink
      August 7, 2011 8:19 pm

      I agree with you when you say that everything came unexpected. But what we need to keep in mind is that life goes on. Even though that everything has been wiped out, the Japanese people and Jiya need to cope and get back to living life. Jiya must be afraid, but as you said, being afraid just makes it worse.

    • Bobby cortesi permalink
      August 8, 2011 3:31 pm

      drew- I can imagine they’d be scared wouldn’t you be scared if a tsunami came and washed away your family, friends, and all your belongings? Also i do like that quotes you explained and show from your article.

    • Mrs. Harig permalink
      August 9, 2011 3:26 pm

      Drew- That is interesting that some people said that they weren’t scared. I can’t imagine not having any fear when something like that is approaching. Again, good connections made to the reactions of the witnesses.

    • Nate Zurawski permalink
      February 19, 2012 11:50 am

      Drew, what you said in the end about not being worried or sad when someone dies is very true. Most likely, the people who wept for the lost had anxiety for the rest of their lives. But the people like Kino’s father who learned to cope very quickly had better lives after the tsunami.

  7. nate zurawski permalink
    August 6, 2011 10:51 pm

    In my article the woman heard announcements on loudspeakers telling people what to do. when the water rose to where she was she was swept around so much she doesn’t even remember how she was. Within 24 hours the smell of dead people and gross water went all around the area of the tsunami. In the book Kino sees the water rising up to his house slowly, but sinks back into the sea. I imagined that it smelled like sea salt and corpses. and he was very scared. My article is:

    • Persephone Allee permalink
      August 7, 2011 2:58 pm

      In my article, the woman also heard announcements and she was swept up by the tsunami. She was stuck in the building and the water continued to rise up to 10cm from the ceiling. The dozen people around her huddled together and there was also corpses floating around. I can’t even imagine swimming for 24 hours, inside or outside. I guess with the proper motivation (lie trying to save your life) it’s possible but I know I would never be able to do that.

    • Kayla Besterfield permalink
      August 8, 2011 11:47 pm

      i do agree with the smell. That is exactly how I imagined it would be too. I looked it up and it had mentioned it mostly reeked like debris from all of the fires they had.

  8. Mark Burjek permalink
    August 6, 2011 10:53 pm

    My article, found here:, definitely opened my eyes a bit more. I hadn’t realized the pain these people have been going through, and it seems like it was a horrible experience. They all describe how huge and goliath-like the wave was, seeing it swoop in and literally demolish everything. Once it hit them, they were probably blinded momentarily, and while they tried to survive they looked around and saw everything gone. I’d imagine screaming and crying everywhere, and everything in a complete mess. They also explain the feeling afterwards when they realized their family members were gone, which was the same case for Jiya. Even though he was barely conscious, he had that huge pain in his chest knowing that his family, friends, and everything else that mattered to him had been completely washed away. One lady was scared to see her town afterwards, and when Jiya wakes up he will more than likely feel the same. All in all, this terrifying experience will always haunt the characters in the book and in real life.

    • Lyssette Bedolla permalink
      August 7, 2011 6:47 pm

      Jiya is in shock and most people were in japan right after the Tsunami. They were living the same way for a long time and one wave obliterated that way in a matter of minutes.

    • August 8, 2011 2:50 pm

      I don’t think anyone would be able to come out of this event without having some type of loss. It is so hard to believe that so many people died in the events that happened on that day. The radiation and overall damage will take years to repair.

    • Giavonna Peaden permalink
      August 9, 2011 5:26 pm

      I’m sure anyone coming out of this disaster alive, definately has traumatizing memories that they will keep with them forever. In just a simple little event, many people can die, and it is very sad. Jiya had to live with these traumas.

      • Jessica Sherwin permalink
        August 10, 2011 3:14 pm

        Giavonna— I agree with you on how they will have “traumatizing memories” their whole life, but, in my opinion, I think that it may help Jiya and remind him that even though his parents and brother are gone, they can be with him and watch over him. Jiya could also remember that his father wanted him to live FOR them when their gone. Memories can show pain, mistakes, sorrow, happiness, etc. Jiya could look back with feeling of pain that traumatized him, but also slight happiness that he was able to live for his family.

  9. Persephone Allee permalink
    August 7, 2011 8:59 am

    In the article I found, Takako Suzuki tells of her struggle to survive when the tsunami hit. She sought shelter in the 3rd floor of the civic center after hearing the broadcasts. She remembers the rumbling sound in which it hit the building. The water was black and was rising. The force of the water swept her into a room where it rose only 10cm from the ceiling. At first she was disoriented from the constant abuse from the waves but when she realized where she was it was a fight to survive. It was cold and you could feel the building shake from the aftershocks. Out of the 100 people who sought refuge there, only 11 people survived. She returned to her 3 children after 24 hours and was happy to find them unharmed.
    In the book, Kino’s father stayed up that night when it looked like
    storms would hit. The ground trembled from small earthquakes. No boats were on the water and there was no wind that would blow through the sky. The ground was hot and the sea looked like oil was had been poured on the surface. It was such color from the sky. When Jiya made it up to Kino, the wind became violent and the “silver-green” wave rose and grew into a tsunami. It “groaned” when water crahed into the land below. It “sighed” when everything was swept away. Then there was silence.
    From these two points of view (inside and outside of the tsunami) there are many similar things. In both the water was dark and made violent sounds when it hit. Everyone knew the extreme danger of what happened and were very shaken up after the fact. This sort of thing was very uncommon and it left major damage. There were only a few survivors in both but now they must try there best to help others. My article:

  10. Lyssette Bedolla permalink
    August 7, 2011 7:34 pm

    Since the book did not describe what Jiya thought about the tsunami I choose my article:
    on what children like Jiya felt about the tragedy that hit Japan. (there will be a special on tonight August, 07 8:00 pm on nickelodeon if you want to know more about how the tsunami affected the children of Japan. If you miss it due to how late notice my post was follow the link to the website and watch the episode online.)

    Similar to what happen in the book a twelve year old girl named Kanako talked about how there homes were just washed away by a single wave. In another story a girl named Momoka, says she was most worried about the future. Jiya, who just witness his home and family obliterated probably does feel the same because he is a young boy who only knows little on how to care for himself. Most of all I believe Jiya wishes the Tsunami never happened. Many of the children that went through this wish they could go back to there home one last time.

    • Annie Harb permalink
      August 10, 2011 6:18 pm

      I see what you mean. If my house was taken down by a tornado or some tradgey that could happen here I know I would do almost anything to be able to see my house one more time.

  11. August 8, 2011 10:06 am

    My article is:

    In the article I found was an interview with a mother named Sachi. At the time of the earthquake, her daughter, Kouka, was having a nap. Sachi took Kouka right away and ran outside. She saw how quickly the ocean was rising and realized she wouldn’t survive if she stayed in the spot she was in so she ran up a hill and, kind of similar to Jiya and Kino, watched her home washed away by the tsunami.

    Based on the two scenarios, I can tell that you can see the destruction of homes and building washed away by a single wave. You can feel the frightened tremble, as well as the buildings and homes fall.

  12. August 8, 2011 12:02 pm

    in the article that i read was about two men who had planned a trip to Sri Lanka. it was 9:15 a.m when they woke up and they heard a big loud noise, hey looked out the window form their hotel and they saw a big wave crash into houses and buildings. they heard screaming and shouting. they pulled on some shorts and a shirt. they were going to abandon their room and found a group of people taking shelter. they werent struck by water because the second level was high enough that the water wouldnt reach to that level.
    they said that they had felt fairly traumatized because of what they had seen. they saw childrens bodies being swept away by water, and they didnt know what to do. they wanted to help other people but they didnt know how.
    Jiya probably felt the same way about his family. he probably wanted to help save them because like he said he didnt want to survive alone. i would feel the same way because that is very hard for someone to survive without a family.

    • August 8, 2011 2:35 pm

      I can really feel for how Jiya felt after literally seeing his family and village perish before him. Everything you ever knew, the places that hold precious memories, gone in seconds. So, I agree with how you say that he was traumatized after the events, I would have been too! I hope that we can all come together and support Japan as the regain themselves after such tragic and damaging events.

    • Sydney Bebar permalink
      August 8, 2011 2:36 pm

      Yes that is right. A lot of the same events happened in Japan as in the book. Everyones thoughts were just to put on clothes and get to safety. Also, it is the same because everyone wanted to help people but also didn’t want to be put in any more danger, or in any more paths of destruction.

    • Elise Vice permalink
      August 9, 2011 2:45 pm

      I understand everything that the men were thinking, about not knowing what to do. I would be in too much of a shock to do much of anything. I also agree with you on what Jiya was probably thinking… Life is bearable with the love and support of a family, but without, you have no stability. Things like that may have been going through his mind, and he could’nt concentrate and how he could save them, but only how he wanted to.

  13. August 8, 2011 2:47 pm

    I spent about an hour, looking through different accounts and eyewitness stories, and find it both upsetting and somewhat reassuring. There was one that i read of a two-month-old infant that survived and is currently being looked after by her aunt in the Rikuzentakata Gymnasium shelter. It seems that the mother did not survive the devastating tsunami. This small child had so little time with her mother, and was torn away from her in moments. The was Jiya was torn from everything he knew and loved, was heartbreaking. As with the way many others in Japan currently are left without family, friends, and even homes, Jiya suffered a large blow to his heart. I do not think that Kino and his family will ever be able to replace his, and the hole in his heart is very saddening. I know that if my family was taken from me, i would be devastated and hurt, even more so if i had to watch as it happened.

    • Kamil Czaplinski permalink
      August 8, 2011 5:44 pm

      I must agree it would be VERY sad to even lose a friend, let alone your family, especially if you’re a child. You would have no where to go, and you would always have that “hole” in your heart, as well as a hole in your family.

    • Jake Fabian permalink
      August 9, 2011 9:21 am

      i agree with jackie, to witness something so terrible, i wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it.

    • Elise Vice permalink
      August 9, 2011 2:48 pm

      Knowing that these things happen to real people, like us, is horrible. No one deserves being literally ripped apart from everything they once knew, and have to somehow re-create their lives for one small piece of normal. You cannot forget these things, as much as you may try…

  14. Kamil Czaplinski permalink
    August 8, 2011 5:32 pm

    My article is about, a man named Ari Afrizil who was currently working at a construction site, at the time of the tsunami. When the waves came and hit, he grabbed onto a board, and slowly began to drift away towards sea. While at sea he found a small broken boat. After a couple of days he finally found a much larger fishing ship. Soon after a cargo ship spotted him, and picked him up. He survived 2 weeks out in the open water by himself.
    Jiya and Ari went through a very similar thing. Ari watched as him and his co-workers were being swept away by the tsunami. Similarly, Jiya watched as his family, and entire village got swept away by he waves. Both Jiya and Ari could only think about their family, and what had happened to them. As everybody would, they both hoped for the best.
    Reading through atleast 20 other articles, aswell as this one, I realized and could get a much better visualization of the tragedy, and what Jiya is going through at the moment in the book.
    The link to my article is:

    • Mrs. Harig permalink
      August 9, 2011 5:11 pm

      Kamil- That is a very interesting story that you found. What other information was provided about Ari and his 2 weeks at sea? What do you think he needed to do to be able to survive his circumstances?

  15. Jacob Kosinski permalink
    August 8, 2011 9:07 pm

    The article I read was about a woman who is an an American teacher. she was in the staff room when the earthquake. She and three other people huddled for cover.After a while, they went outside, and the teachers tried to comfort the students. This is like how Kino’s dad helped comfort Kino during and after the tsunami.

    The teacher learned afterwords that a good friend that she went on vacation died on her bike in the tsunami, and also a few other people she knew. Like how many people iin Kino’s village lost their friends.

    There are a few ways the diaster experience in The Big Wave and in the article I read are similiar. First, everyone relied on each other to get them through it. Also, the grown-ups suported and cared for the children, like the Old Gentlemen.

    But their are alsoways the situations are different.I think the children in The Big Wave were more afraid than those in the article because they experienced a tsunami firsthand. The parents in The Big Wave were probably less scared than those in my article because they have learned not to fear death.

    From these experiences I have learned you can think you are ready for a diaster like an earthquake or a tsunami, but you will never be ready for someone close to you dying.
    My article is at

    • Annie Harb permalink
      August 10, 2011 6:17 pm

      I agree. Becuase Jiya didn’t really understand what kind of impact a tsunami would have on his life and wasn’t really worried about them. It was Kino seemed more alert and a little more afraid of them.

  16. Shane Chetney permalink
    August 8, 2011 9:27 pm

    In the article I read the person talked about sitting on top of a hill watching the destrucion down below. The people were terrified because they believed the waves would continue to come back into the evening. This relates to “the Big Wave” because Rick, the person in my article, sat at the top of the hill just like Jiya, Kino, and Kino’s father. All four of them watched the tsunami get closer and closer and cause complete and total destruction of the town. In both the article and the book people were racing to higher ground to seek protection from the massive waves. In the article for some of the people the devastation was so severe they could not bare to even look at it. This relates to the book because Jiya passed out at the sight of seeing his entire home and family swept away. I can only imagine that the feelings, thoughts and visions Jiya and the people in real life experienced will stay with them forever.

    • Mrs. Harig permalink
      August 9, 2011 5:14 pm

      Shane- Did Rick see his home swept away or was this just a location that he was at while the tsunami hit? What was Rick’s reaction to the devastation that he saw? You are right that this is something that will stay with these people forever.

  17. Zach Ciko permalink
    August 8, 2011 9:40 pm

    In the article i read was about a man Jin Sato a mayor of a fishing port. He was just finishing givinig a speech when he suddenly saw a giant wave went over the horizion making it a big rush to escape the peir with very few minutes to spare so they could survive. In seconds thousands were consumed by the ocean and was discribed as “beyond anything we could’ve ever imagine. Almost like scenes from an apoctyliptic movie watching your town dissapering into the water. Along with freinds and neighbors drowning tramatizing the other survivors.

    I choose this article after viewing several others because i thought this was the most comparable to the book because Jiya watched his loved ones dissapear right before his eyes knowing they were all gone forever and you watched the whole thing happen. It is devastating yet you have to move on.

    My article:

  18. Meghan Moreno permalink
    August 8, 2011 10:26 pm

    The article I read was about a woman named Harumi Watanabe. When the tsunami hit, she closed her shop and headed home to try to rescue her very old parents. There wasn’t anytime to save them though. She ran into the house and held their hands in the living room as the wave crushed and swept away her elderly parents. Harumi Watanabe survived, but just barely. She stood on the furniture but there was still only an inch of space at the top of the ceiling where she could breathe. She almost drown in her own living room. This is similar to Jiya’s story because he stood and watched his home and family get crushed by the massive wave. Although his family died, he survived. Just like Harumi Watanabe situation. He couldn’t help or save his family. He had to watch them die. :/

    • Mrs. Harig permalink
      August 9, 2011 5:16 pm

      Meghan- That had to be a terrible position for Harumi to be in. What do you think you would have done if you were in Harumi’s shoes? Would you have raced home to try and save them or headed to safety because disaster was eminent? It is quite eerie how similar these 2 stories are.

  19. Kayla Besterfield permalink
    August 8, 2011 11:40 pm

    In the article I read on, it mentioned, “waves from the tsunami could be so high that they could stretch over the entire islands of the pacific.” This tells me that this was most likely the largest tsunami that has ever been in history. I would never be able to imagine what all of these people in Japan had to go through during and even after the earthquake and tsunami happened. It was an awful tradgety. Then, in the book, it had kept saying that the waves grew bigger and bigger and bigger and kept stretching over the whole land of Japan. This to me says that the person who wrote the article that I read had the same idea about the Japanese tsunami. They both had said that it was one of the largest in history. Also, in the book it had said, “the village was covored in deep swirling waters and was green laced with fierce white foam.” This tells me that people could even discribe what this incredible big wave looked like and they had enough time to watch the wave come through th big city. They could look at the wave and discribe what it looked like while it was tearing through all of the houses and buildings in the huge city of Japan. I couldnt even imagine what it had smelled like after all of those fires and salt water in the area.These are some things that the people of Japan had to go through in the tradgec event of the tsunami.

  20. Jake Fabian permalink
    August 9, 2011 9:18 am

    In The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck, Jiya’s village got swept away to sea by a tsunami. Everything he loved including his family was now gone to never be seen again. As Kino and Jiya watched the sea get a hideous red green color, they became very scared. The sky then turned black and Jiya’s feelings overcame himself as the wave rose and demolished everything in its path. Jiya collapsed unconscious from the sight and the overwhelming truth that his family was dead. Kino did the only thing he could; he sympathized with Jiya and felt for him. Kino himself started crying as the they clutched Kino’s father.

    From reading the articles I know how Watanabe, a shop owner in Japan, felt as she saw her parents swept away. She was consumed in anger and sorrow as she witnessed this gruesome act of nature. She experienced the awful feeling of seeing someone die as her parents and the rest of the village was wiped out by the initial wave. From what I took from both readings, this was a somewhat similar occurrence of an incident.

    The link to my article is:

    • Giavonna Peaden permalink
      August 9, 2011 5:24 pm

      Jiya had no choice but to leave his family behind. Just as Watanabe had to. Jake is right, the tsunami is a gruesome nature, and it destroys anything. Jiya and Harumi must have had teh same emotions, knowing that they would never see their parents again.

      • Alyssa Gue permalink
        August 10, 2011 6:57 pm

        You are both correct, natural disasters destroy anything in their path. Also how Jiya and Harumi were both forced to save themselves and leave their families, no matter how difficult it must have been

        • Tyler Webber permalink
          August 14, 2011 8:46 pm

          I agree with you alyssa . Natural disasters cannot be controlled .

    • Jacob Kosinski permalink
      November 15, 2011 5:32 pm

      Its interesting how in your article, the shopowner was angry that the tsunami happene.This is different than the reactions of people in other articles. It shows that people can have different emotions from the same experience.

  21. Elise Vice permalink
    August 9, 2011 3:20 pm

    The article I read was about a 60 year old man named Hiromitsu Shinkawa. He was found 10 miles out at sea clinging on to a piece of roof, torn from his now destroyed house. When he saw the giant wave approaching, he ran into his house to grab a few items he wanted to save. It was a horrible mistake, the wave hit and pushed him out to sea. He was found holding onto a piece of roof that saved his life with one hand, and holding a self made red flag with the other. He has been out at sea for two days. He returned home to find his wife missing. I believe this relates to Jiya because his life was practically taken from him. His family was gone, and though he was much older; I’m sure he felt the same pain as Jiya. The article is at this link —>

    • Cj Moody permalink
      October 27, 2011 7:23 pm

      Many people were swung out to sea and many died. Its actually pretty terrifying for everyone.. Even some of america.. I like how you described the persons reaction

    • Yazmine Thomas permalink
      November 5, 2011 11:14 pm

      Ya but atleast jiya had someone to help him almost like another family to help. But your right they probably felt around the same, seeming that he is far older than jiya.

  22. Giavonna Peaden permalink
    August 9, 2011 5:22 pm

    In the article I read, Harumi Watanabe, owned a shop in a coastal town. The day of the earthquake and tsunami, she had to leave her shop to evacuate. Harumi evacuated to her parents home. Her parents were very old, and she was trying to get them into the car to keep them safe, but they were so old that they couldnt get into the car in time. So her only option was to get them back into their house, where they would all sit in the living room while the tsunami hit. When the water hit the house, the family was separated. Her parents were washed away in the ferocious water, as she barely kept herself alive, by standing on things in the home. She stated that she thought she was going to die. This story is much like “The Big Wave.” Jiya’s parents were swept away in the water, just like Harumi’s parents. Jiya had no choice but to leave his family behind to save his self. Harumi had to save herself also, leaving behind her parents. The tsunami ripped both Harumi, and Jiya’s homes apart.
    \You can find my article here: under the story titled- “‘The Tsunami Just Swept My Parents Away”

    • Tyler Pearson permalink
      August 12, 2011 9:57 am

      Giavonna, this story is very well related to the tsunami that killed Jiya’s parents.They are basically like you said. Harumi and Jiya both lost their parents, and yet they came over it and went on with their daily lives. Your article was really good.

    • Zach CIko permalink
      January 3, 2012 7:59 pm

      I think it is remarkable that he survived by clinging to a piece of his roof…

  23. Jessica Sherwin permalink
    August 10, 2011 2:23 pm

    The article I read was about a woman named Takako Suzuki who was in a civic center when the tsunami smashed through the building. She watched as black water swallowed people all around. Unlike in “The Big Wave”, there was no sound as the water went through the windows and bringing her and a dozen people to a room flooded with water 5 inches from the ceiling. Suzuki might not have watched outside and seen the wave strike like Jiya, Kino and Kino’s father had, but her home was also untouched just like Kino’s since it was on a higher ground. Though Takako Suzuki hadn’t watch as the tsunami hit, she was able to feel the same feeling of sorrow and pain of others death and relieve of being able to see her children similar to how Jiya felt of losing his parents but maybe relieved to be able to fufill his father’s wish of “living after them.”

  24. Annie Harb permalink
    August 10, 2011 6:14 pm

    I got my article from:
    What I read both terrified and disturbed me. I didn’t want to even think about what I would do in a situation like that. The woman was at her work building with her teenage daughter when the tsunami hit. They were on the third floor and a slew of water and debris hit them. The wave carried her over one thousand feet away from the building. She kept trying to get to the surface but the water and debris kept shifting her and moving her away from the surface. She said it looked like a giant sand dune was heading toward the building. In the novel Jiya said that from a distance it looked like a gaint line was heading toward the island. A man who’s house was crushed by the tsunami said that the water was ice cold. He survived the tsunami with a few brusises and bumps. He knew he needed to stay alive for his family, they were his fighting drive to live. Just like even though Jiya realized that even though his family is dead that they’ll always be in his heart. So the mental veiw of a tsunami along with a physical one.

    • Jessica Sherwin permalink
      August 12, 2011 9:24 pm

      As you said that a man lives on for his family. This reminds me that I think that’s how Jiya will live on since his father told him to, “Live after them.” and will also be his will to move on.

  25. Alyssa Gue permalink
    August 10, 2011 6:53 pm

    The article I found was a man named Hiromitsu Shinkawa’s story. He had seen the tsnumai coming and tried to retrieve his belongings from his house, but his house was destroyed leaving him stranded in the ocean on what was his roof. He was stranded for two days, and was sure that was the last day of his life, but it wasn’t, however his wife has still not been found. This reminds me of Jiya, for everything he had was swept away, inlcuding his family. How he was forced to leave his family to save himself, not knowing if he’d ever see them again, which is how Hiromistu must have felt not knowing if he’d ever see his wife, or if he’d live another day, again.

  26. Tyler Pearson permalink
    August 12, 2011 9:51 am

    In this one article, I read the story about a 60 -year old man who’s initials will only be revealed. H.S (as he will be named) Saw the upcoming wave and went home to get his belongings. Before he knew it, the tsunami swept both him and his house were swept out to sea. From his description, he saw no boats or planes at all. He thought that day was his last day on earth.He was later rescued from ten miles form land by waving a homemade red flag. this article really allowed me to understand the hopless feeling jiya probably had when his family was swept away. But when Kino’s family had him as an adopted son, the feeling of gratitude probably swept him like the tsunami over the beaches of japan. This was most likely the same feeling H.S had when that boat noticed his flag. H.S’ story can be found at

    • Zach CIko permalink
      January 3, 2012 8:00 pm

      Wow it is rembarkable how they spotted that red flag from ten miles away…

  27. Hannah Schram permalink
    August 14, 2011 3:18 pm

    The article I read was about a woman named Harumi Watanabe. As soon as the earthquake hit Japan, she drove to her elderly parents before the tsunami hit. Since her parents were too weak to get to the car, it was too late for them to get to safety. As the tsunami hit, they all got seperated even though they were holding hands tightly. Watanabe stood on the furniture, but barely survived. The water came up to her neck and she only had about an inch of air between the water and the ceiling to breathe. This relates to Jiya’s situation because when the tsunami hit, he watched his own family and home vanish. Although he survived, he still lost his family and couldnt help or save them just like Harumi Watanabe.

    My article can be found at:

  28. Tyler Webber permalink
    August 14, 2011 8:43 pm

    Ther article that I found was about a woman and her grandson . Their families beleived that they were dead but later found that they werent . The woman had suffered from hypothermia and she had been trapped under a peice of furniture and was not able to free herself . The grandson how ever was able to climb onto the roof and call for help . The two survived for a week on yoghurt and other scraps of food salvaged from a refrigerator . The two survivors said that the streets were flooded and all houses were destroyed . In the book this seems simmilar, but since they were up a mountian the water couldnt do as much distruction to their houses and other land marks . Both included feirce wind .

    Link to the article ;

  29. August 19, 2011 3:45 pm

    The article I found was talking all the different feelings of the survivors. What The people smelt was fish and plants because the when the sea hit it ripped the plants out of the ground and all over and fish everywhere on the land. The sound were babies cry, families crying and the sound of waves and water everywhere. The feeling of everyone was they were in shock from the situation and they feared that it would happen again and about the electrical things, but the worst thing they feared was death and night. they feared death and night because they didn’t want to die and they feared it would happen again at night. What happened to Indonesia compared to Jiya’s village is different but also simliar. Jiya’s village lost everything . It’s different because most of the village was gone in The Big Wave and Indonesia only lost a little of their city. Here is the link to my article

  30. Cj Moody permalink
    October 27, 2011 7:13 pm

    In the article i read everyone was terrified just like the people in the book were. Also they were so shocked when it hit. She said she only saw black water hit and pretty much suck everyone around her into it. “Black water broke into the building through the windows with a rumbling noise, and I was just helplessly tossed around by the water. I don’t even remember how I was swept along.”This natural disaster was such a suprise that she didnt even know what to say. But they should have been ready for something this serious.. If they would have known they would have been way better. Also she was exactly like jiya when he saw his town swept away.. She was really shocked. I would be scred too! Thats so crazy how fast it can happen.

    The link to article:

    • January 3, 2012 4:15 pm

      Things can just happen in the blink of an eye. One second everythings normal and the next, everythings gone.

  31. Yazmine Thomas permalink
    November 5, 2011 11:08 pm

    Feelings: My article i read many survivors felt and were in shock , in the book jiya was ovisouly in shock he faint after watching that huge wave pratically swallow his family and all the vlillage people he knew.

    Smells: Decaying plantlife that has washed ashore,fishes from the sea ,and oil and gasoline .

    Sight: from the picture i saw it looked mostly like major damage.

    In the story it didnt really tell us what jiya smelt or what kinos family smelt ,but it did say …the wave swept back again , ebbing into the ocean, taking every thing with it , trees and stone and houses, wich gave me a really clear picture of how it looked

  32. January 3, 2012 4:09 pm

    In both the big wave and the articles, there is a feeling of shockedness, susprised, and unknowing that come after the tsunami has stolen things you loved and destoried not just your friend’s house, but your neighboors and your house. The tsunami roars as it runs acrossed the land. It falls and slambs into the the ground carelessly, eating up anything that there. Afterwards, you are left there standing in aw. You don’t know what to do. There’s the cruches and crumbles of building that barely are staying intack. As the days go on, the dead bodies strart to decay and the place begans to smell like nastyness. Death and drity water is the only thing that you can smell.

  33. January 4, 2012 10:03 am

    all the people that i read about were scared for their family. one man his wife was missing when he was found and he started to cry because he was sad and scared for her. i couldn’t even a magen how Jiya he lost hi hole family let alone one person. both jiya and this man wished they could have their family back. i can’t blame them i would to. i probibly would have gone out looking for my family my self if they had gone missing in a tsunami.

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