Kobe Earthquake:more miraculous experiences
by Michiko Ishikawa


The earthquake that struck Kobe, Japan, at 5.45 am on 17 January this year killed more than 5,000 people. The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun subsequently reported on the "peaceful faces"; of the victims and other extraordinary phenomena, as detailed in the June 1995 issue of Share International. The SI report was published in relation to an answer given by Benjamin Creme to a question in the March 1995 issue of the magazine: " ... As the disaster took place and for many days afterwards, Maitreya spent much time in Kobe saving many people from death or greater injury and easing the passing of the dying.";

During Benjamin Creme's annual lecture tour of Japan in May, we learned about the amazing experiences of Kobe/Osaka Transmission Meditation group members during and after the earthquake. This article is based on interviews with them.

At the time of the earthquake, Setsuko Hara lived in the Higashi Nada area of Kobe, one of the city's most severely damaged areas, with the second largest death toll. Her two-storey apartment building totally collapsed from the tremor.

On the morning of the earthquake, she woke up before her alarm rang. As she turned over on her stomach to reach for the alarm clock above her bed, she felt a thunderous roar coming from the depths of the earth into her abdomen. She thought it must be an earthquake and pulled the blanket over her head and held her breath. Suddenly, she had a sensation of falling into an indescribable state of mind. "I found myself surrounded by a soft round sphere and gently floating, bouncing up and down like a ball. I felt so good and peaceful. I did not hear any sound nor feel any shock."; When she came to, she heard her husband's voice calling her: "Are you all right?";

Her husband had been sleeping in the next room, when half the building was instantly blown away -- walls, roof, and all. He slid across the floor on his futon bed, which enabled him to come to her room. She got up with her blanket wrapped around her head and followed her husband.

"It was still dark. All I could see was my husband's feet. I followed him while constantly calling, "Maitreya, Maitreya'. There was a round glow of light moving in front of me as if to light my way. I was dragging my blanket, climbing out of the window onto the roof of an adjacent garage, yet my blanket didn't get caught in the broken windows or debris. I was vaguely thinking how strange it was that I could climb over a second storey apartment window to the outside.";

She later discovered that the window frame from her apartment had become a bridge between her building and the roof of a collapsed garage next door. "I felt I was protected and was glad that I was doing Transmission Meditation,"; she said.

Asako Aoyama lives in the Takarazuka area of Kobe with her husband and son. Her 42-unit apartment building was half-destroyed. Two similar buildings on either side of her apartment were totally destroyed, with severe cracks everywhere.

"On that morning, I woke up suddenly. Usually, I never wake up that early. As I stayed awake in bed, a few seconds later I heard a roar and saw chests of drawers falling towards me."; In her bedroom, several quite heavy chests of drawers were placed against the entire length of a wall. Each drawer was filled with clothes. On top of the chests, there were several statues of the Buddha and Bodhisattva. One of them weighed about 30 kilograms. There were also various Japanese dolls encased in glass cases, framed photographs of Maitreya and Sai Baba, and many other items piled almost to the ceiling. She and her husband were sleeping on the tatami floor in front of the chests of drawers.

"I was watching the shadows of the chests of drawers falling over me as if in slow motion. I had no sense of fear. I watched them falling to about a 60 degree angle. After that, I do not remember anything. When I came to, I found myself under the chests of drawers but felt no weight. My head was not covered by the blanket; it was totally exposed, and yet I was not hurt at all."; She called out to her husband who was sleeping in a futon next to her. She had to call him several times before she heard his reply: "I am all right.";

They pushed away the chests which fell on top of them, and slipped out from under them without any problem. "When you think about it, it was strange that we could push those chests up so easily. It would normally take three or four men to move those chests filled with clothes.";

Before they went outside, they had to look for her husband's asthma medicine. " I searched for his medicine in the dark, on my hands and knees, all over the room which was covered with broken pieces of glass. Everything in sight was broken. A cabinet filled with china and glassware in an adjacent room tumbled over twice, and the china was broken to pieces. I was walking over the broken glass and china with my bare feet, with my mind focused only on finding his medicine."; She went downstairs to her son's room and found him safe in the midst of fallen objects.

They went outside for a while, but came back into the apartment with shoes on this time. When she saw the tremendous mess, all she could think of was to clean up. She grabbed garbage bags and began scraping everything into them with her bare hands. They cleaned up most of the large mess in about three hours and were able to sleep at home on the first night. Everybody else in the neighbourhood had taken refuge in emergency shelters. She and her family were the only people who stayed in the apartment building that night. "None of us was hurt at all, not even a tiny scratch. After all that cleaning and walking around with bare hands and feet, I didn't even have a tiny piece of glass stuck in my hands. I did not have any sense of fear. Although there was a series of aftershocks, we never thought about leaving the apartment. It was so strange. I still don't have any sense of fear. I am so glad I am involved in this work. My husband does not complain any more about my involvement.";

Hiroshi Tonomoto lives in Ashiya, a heavily damaged old suburban town near Kobe: "I woke up early in the morning and felt rather uneasy, so I got up to go to the bathroom. As I came out, the house began to shake. Since the bathroom is the safest part of the house during an earthquake, I stayed there for a while. The shaking became very severe and I felt the house tilt by about 45 degrees. After I went to check the safety of my wife and son who were downstairs, I came back up to my room. I noticed that a large television set which had been on a desk had fallen on my bed on the tatami floor. If I had not gone to the bathroom, my head would have been under the television.";

Mr Tonomoto then went around the house checking the damage. A few books and files had fallen off the shelf. A television had fallen from the desk but was not broken. "The house shook so hard that I was sure it was badly damaged. But nothing was broken, not even a plate or a glass. I believe that I and my whole family were protected.";

Hiroshi Tonomoto immediately began helping others -- putting out fires, cooking emergency food, organizing various practical, creative community help projects. He is still busy as never before, helping earthquake survivors, especially the elderly.

A Wesak miracle

After a long Transmission Meditation on the day of the Wesak Festival in Tokyo, one of the members, Atsuko Hosobuchi, who is 36 years old, approached me with a worried expression and said: "I am afraid my right ear has gone bad. During the Transmission, I felt a faint ringing in my left ear which suddenly cleared but my right ear began to feel unclear, as if covered. I am worried because I can only use my right ear. I don't have an eardrum in my left ear so it cannot hear";. She explained that she had suffered from a chronic ear infection since childhood, which had destroyed the bones around the eardrum. Seven years ago, surgery had involved the removal of the eardrum altogether. She could hear nothing in that ear.

On hearing her story, Mr Creme lightly clicked his fingers near her left ear. She could hear this slight sound perfectly!

When I telephoned her three weeks later to get details of her story, she was no longer as nervous as before, knowing she could use her left ear if she tried. I sensed her hesitation and mental conditioning that she could not use her left ear. I asked her to switch the telephone receiver to her left ear. She could hear me, rather low at first, then slowly more comfortably. For the rest of the telephone interview she kept the receiver at her left ear. She had no trouble at all in hearing me. It was the first time she had used her left ear for the telephone. When Mr Creme was asked what had happened in this case, his Master lightly said: "Just another of Maitreya's miracles.";

( published July-August 1995 )

The Peaceful Dead

Kobe Earthquake

In the March 1995 issue of Share International questions and answers section it was asked if Maitreya could have prevented the earthquake in Kobe, Japan, in January 1995. Benjamin Creme responded: "Some degree of intervention by Maitreya was possible under karmic law. Otherwise, the earthquake would have been even more destructive -- 8 or even higher, instead of 7.2 as it was, on the Richter scale. As the disaster took place and for many days afterwards, Maitreya spent much time in Kobe saving many people from death or greater injury and easing the passing of the dying."

The earthquake that hit Kobe, Japan, in January 1995 killed more than 5,000 people. According to an article in the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, 26 coroners and doctors examined the victims' bodies day and night for three days. Professor Wakasugi of Osaka University medical school examined about 150 bodies. The earthquake victims were mostly crushed to death. He said: "I did not see expressions of struggle on the faces of the dead. Perhaps many people lost consciousness at the moment the house fell on them." He found some consolation from the victims' "peaceful faces".

According to a housewife living in the Higashi Nada area of Kobe, who had to sit with her mother's body for five nights waiting her turn for cremation: "I was unable to cross her hands on her chest because the bones of her fingers and hands were broken, but her face was very peaceful, as if she were smiling."

Mr Nishimura of Kobe University, who examined the dead for a couple of days almost without sleep, realized that there was something common to all the victims. The decomposition of the bodies was very fast, as if it were summer time, even though air temperatures were sub-zero. He wondered if something took place because of pressure which caused the bodies to create heat, or if heat was created at the time the buildings collapsed to create a summer-like atmosphere under the rubble.

"What happened in the rubble? Even if you ask, the dead do not speak," the article stated. (Source Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan)

Readers may remember the peaceful expressions recorded on the faces of the many victims of the Tiananmen Square, Beijing, massacre, when Maitreya eased the passing of the students.

Later, the Chinese poet Li Shizeng, who took part in the demonstrations in the centre of Beijing, wrote an article in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad describing the events: "I saw peace and resignation on the faces of those being hit by bullets; I did not hear one person scream.";

(report from Share International, June 1995)








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