518Fukushima one month onBMJ Group blogs [http://blogs.bmj.com/]Ryuki KASSAIProfessor and Chair Department of Community and Family MedicineFukushima Medical University27 Apr, 11 by BMJ Group Ironically, the annual sakura (cherry flowers) season has just come to Fukushima when one month has passed since the first earthquake and tsunami hit us. Fukushima is famous for its sakura; we have the 1000-year-old Takizakura (cascade sakura), one of the three best cherry trees of Japan, and the Hanamiyama (cherry-blossom viewing hills) wholly covered by the blossoms. Cherry trees are in full bloom everywhere in mid and east Fukushima. Beautiful, yet not many people seem to drink sake, sing songs, or dance under the blossoms this year. It is difficult for us to decide between the two options this year – to celebrate the season, or not. Sakura is the most spiritual flower for the Japanese. A few of you may recall that a sakura tree with drifting blossoms on the wind was used as the background of the last battle scene in the movie The Last Samurai, which implies the crowning glory, that is the "perfect (migoto-na)" death as the samurai. We continue to be hit by large aftershocks day after day, night after night. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, as of 3 pm on 22 April, there have been 429 aftershocks with a magnitude of 5.0 and above, 74 registering 6.0 and higher and five at the 7.0 level or higher since the first one. We still do not have any positive reports that the Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) nuclear power plant is settled. One month is long enough that people despair when the situation does not seem to improve as they had expected. Let me take one of the most tragic examples. After being destroyed by the first earthquake on 11 March, the waterworks department had worked hard to restore 97% of the water supply in Iwaki City. However, the aftershock of magnitude 7.0 smashed most of it again on 11 April, exactly one month later. Not only the workers in the waterworks department of the city but also many citizens of Iwaki City felt as if they had worked in vain, like Sisyphus. On 4 April I was standing in the ruins of the tsunami-hit community in Minami-Soma City looking out at the horizon of the Pacific. A nursing home was in front of me. Broken chairs, tables, beds, cabinets, wheelchairs, bookshelves, and many other things were scattered with tons of mud and debris everywhere. Badly damaged cars were rolled over in the yard and were even inside the building, which had no intact doors or windows. There was no evidence of life, but a local policeman said that more than 1,000 people were still missing from that city alone. According to a National Police Agency tally at 3 pm on 22 April, 14,172 people were killed and 12,392 were missing by the Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake. In Fukushima Prefecture, 1,432 people were killed, and 1,835 are missing. According to the Anti-Disaster Headquarters of the Fukushima Prefecture government, 25,936 people from Fukushima are living in evacuation shelters within the prefecture, and 29,833, outside the prefecture. Since 4 April, I have been working as a leader of the teams whose mission is to find, visit and take care of the people who cannot move by themselves and still live at home in the zone between