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(NECN: Scot Yount) - No matter how many times you have seen them, the images are still numbing. Lives ripped apart and washed into oblivion.
Half a world away, Japanese Americans have held their breath in front of the flickering TV pictures of a disaster that looks like a movie, waiting to hear, waiting to see, whether or not their friends, family and loved ones made it through.
Berklee College of Music Professor Tomo Fujita is one of those Japanese Americans.
"I am still in shock," he said.
Fujita's wife Beth first got the news about her husband's home country shortly after the quake rattled the earth and sent that tsunami out to pummel everything in its path. His family lives in Kyoto.
"I was up earlier than he was," she said. "I was trying to get an idea of where Kyoto is...I was really worried you need to call your mother and you couldn't get through...and that made me more worried."
Eventually they were able to get through to find that everyone is okay. But, Tomo, whose birthday is on 9/11, said the pictures on the TV made him feel something he hadn't since the terrorist attacks.
"The same feeling I felt, even my parents okay… almost a movie I could not believe, you know."
Tomo was recently touring in Japan. He played in an area that suffered some of the devastation.
There's one thing they're both concerned about, on top of the devastation. Those are donations. They warn people to be careful about what charities they give to, because there will definitely be some scams out there.
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