Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.361

on September 24, 2011

Since the earthquake in Japan, the power companies had requested their customers to save on electricity, as the supply was short. Companies, offices and homes alike had been willing to comply with the request for half a year. It had been a stressful time for me because I had never had any intention of complying with such a ridiculous request. Before the earthquake, the power companies had repeated the nuclear power plant would never fail no matter what happened, which I’d never believed. And after the earthquake, they made their customers pay the price for their own debacle. I had no idea why people and stores obediently turned off the lights at nighttime although saving the power was meaningless except for the peak hours of demand. In my apartment building, one of two elevators, a Jacuzzi and a sauna in the spa had been stopped, and the lights in and outside the building had been limited. Other residents had voluntarily turned off the lights in the communal spaces such as the spa. I’d been fed up with a dark, gloomy atmosphere created by unnecessary effort. Two weeks ago, that annoying request from the power companies finally got lifted. The elevator, the Jacuzzi, the sauna and the lights all came back on. The spa resumed being operated in the morning hours as well. I was so glad everything got back to normal. But I noticed that not everybody felt that way. In the lobby, one of the residents was asking to turn off some of the lights. In the spa, some residents still turned off the lights eagerly. On TV, people were talking how united they had felt while saving on electricity as if they wanted to do that again. Now I found out what all the fuss was about. Japanese people were saving the power not because the power companies asked them to. It was because they liked to do the same thing at the same time all together, and, simply liked to turn off the lights…


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