Can’t believe I missed this story. Just learned about it, because yesterday Time Magazine named Minamisoma Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai one of the most influential people of 2011. After viewing the youtube video below, I can see why.
Here’s the set-up: you’ve got a frustrated mayor, his city in ruins in the aftermath of a 20-meter tsunami; now 2 weeks have passed (the video was made on 3/24), the town is running short on supplies with no help in sight. So the mayor takes matters into his own hands. He makes a youtube video and appeals to the world for help while shaming his government (and the media) in the process.
This 11-minute clip will bring tears to your eyes.(Don’t worry, it’s got English subtitles.)
Sakurai san is a leader in the true sense of the word: he was decisive, fearlessly took his own government to task, refused to be a victim, and ultimately brought his message directly to the people. Check it out:
Copyright © Tim Sullivan 2011