Alumna Recalls Time at Stonehill During Kobe Earthquake

January 23, 2015


Miyuki Takamatsu ’97

When a massive earthquake devastated Kobe, the heart of Japan’s second largest urban area, in January, 1995, Miyuki Takamatsu ’97 was a sophomore at Stonehill. With power out in Kobe, she could not contact her family and was understandably anxious about them trapped in the chaos thousands of miles away.

Recently, on the 20th anniversary of that natural disaster, which caused widespread death and destruction, Takamatsu contacted Stonehill to express her gratitude for how the College supported her during that difficult time. The international studies major, who lost friends in the disaster, wrote:

“I couldn't reach my family for a couple of days because the phone lines were shut down. However, Stonehill held a special mass for the people in Kobe while I was deciding whether to go back to Japan. I was very surprised and grateful to see how quick my Stonehill friends, dorm mates and professors showed their sympathy and understanding for what my family and I were going through at that time. Luckily, my family was safe, and I didn't need to go back to Japan. Twenty years later, I want to thank Stonehill for providing such care to me and the other Japanese students who were there at that time.”

Today, Takamatsu lives in Tokyo and owns her own production company, Free Stone Productions.