Toshi Sato's mother found

On Wednesday morning, just hours after we went to press with the story of Now & Zen owner Toshi Sato's wait for word of the fate of his mother and other relatives, who'd been living in the family's home town of Kesennuma on the Northern coast of Japan, which was devastated by the tsunami, his sister telephoned with important news. She'd found their 75-year old mother alone in her house– shaken, but unharmed.

His sister had had trouble reaching Kesennuma because of washed-out roads, no electricity, and limited gas supplies.

"It was wonderful news," says Sato.

His mother's house was severely damaged, he says, and she will be going to live with his sister farther south.

"My sister says you can't breathe in the town," because, he says, of the stench of the mud, debris, and bodies.

"My mother was very lucky," he adds.

Indeed, given what the photos and videos of the damage that Kesennuma suffered show, it's a wonder anyone survived. Sadly, Sato reports that a cousin, as well as one of his mother's neighbors, did not.


This is wonderful news at a time of great loss. May you know that our thoughts are with you, your family and country. I wish you all the best with your new restaurant.

wonderful news indeed. My heart goes out to all who are still searching for their loved ones.