Thu, Apr 04, 2013 - Page 10 News List

Haunted by trauma, tsunami survivors in Japan turn to exorcists
創傷揮之不去 日本海嘯倖存者求助驅魔師

An elderly couple walk hand-in-hand after offering a prayer in northern Japan on March 11 for victims killed by the tsunami two years ago.

Photo: EPA

The tsunami that engulfed northeastern Japan two years ago has left some survivors believing they are seeing ghosts.

In a society wary of admitting to mental problems, many are turning to exorcists for help.

Tales of spectral figures lined up at shops where now there is only rubble are what psychiatrists say is a reaction to fear after the March 11, 2011, disaster in which nearly 19,000 people were killed.

“The places where people say they see ghosts are largely those areas completely swept away by the tsunami,” said Keizo Hara, a psychiatrist in the city of Ishinomaki, one of the areas worst hit by the waves touched off by an offshore earthquake.

“We think phenomena like ghost sightings are perhaps a mental projection of the terror and worries associated with those places.”

Hara said post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might only now be emerging in many people, and the country could be facing a wave of stress-related problems.

In some places destroyed by the tsunami, people have reported seeing ghostly apparitions queuing outside supermarkets which are now only rubble. Taxi drivers said they avoided the worst-hit districts for fear of picking up phantom passengers.











1. haunted adj.

受到折磨的;鬧鬼的 (shou4 dao4 zhe2 mo2 de5; nao4 gui3 de5)

例: The old castle is said to be haunted.


2. wary adj.

小心的;警戒的 (xiao3 xin1 de5; jing3 jie4 de5)

例: He was wary of telling state secrets.


3. apparition n.

幽靈 (you1 ling2)

例: Ghosts and apparitions are common creatures in ballet, such as Giselle and La Sylphide.


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