Sep 26


Thanks to Andy Anderson, father of Taylor Anderson, for sharing this information:

  • Translations of various Japanese newspaper articles, provided by a friend for the Andersons:


Daily Yomiuri

An American Teacher Falls Victim to the Tsunami

Our Daughter’s Best-Loved Books to Her Students

Family of the Deceased Donates to Ishinomaki

The family of Taylor Anderson (then 24), an American woman engaged in English language instruction at elementary schools in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture before falling victim to the tsunami, visited Mangokuura Elementary School in Ishinomaki on the sixth and presented the school with 40 books. Anderson’s father, Andy (54) addressed 60 students saying, “Find your dreams and live. That is what my daughter did.”

The woman of whom he spoke was Virginia-native assistant language teacher Taylor Anderson. Anderson came to Japan in 2008 and taught English at elementary schools in Ishinomaki City. On the day of the earthquake, she watched over the school children from Mangokuura Elementary to see that they had evacuated before heading back for home. She was swallowed up by the tsunami waves.

Donated on the sixth was a collection dubbed “Taylor’s Library,” 40 volumes in total. Anderson’s personal favorites were included in the collection, which was purchased using money from a fund established by the surviving parents and Anderson’s alma mater.

At the dedication ceremony held at Mangokuura Elementary, Andy shared memories from Taylor’s childhood. “Once she started reading, she wouldn’t stop. She read and expanded her imagination.” He also shared the power of reading that brought her dream of becoming a bridge connecting Japan and America to fruition.

Kaito Hikiji (12), a student representative who expressed thanks to Andy and family in English, said, “Ms. Anderson told us about Harry Potter, and it was easy to feel close to her. We will think of these books as Ms. Anderson and treat them with care.”

The family plans to donate books in succession to each of the six schools at which Anderson taught.


(Not sure which publication this is from.)

“Find your dreams and live.”

An Expression of Love through Books

Surviving Family of the American ALT who Fell Victim to the Earthquake Disaster Donates Picture Books

The family of Taylor Anderson (then 24, U.S.), the Ishinomaki City assistant language teacher (ALT) who perished in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, donated books Anderson read as a child to a local elementary school as “Taylor’s Library” on the sixth of this month.

In attendance at the dedication ceremony held at Mangokuura Elementary School in Ishinomaki City were 64 sixth-grade students (then fifth graders) who had class with Anderson on the day of the earthquake. Father Andy (53) greeted them saying, “It will make us so happy if you will read these books, find your dreams, and live on.”

“Ms. Anderson was nice. I want to read these books with care,” said Moeka Abe (12), a student of Anderson’s.

Donated were approximately 40 volumes comprising children’s literature and picture books newly-purchased by Andy and family. The books are now kept on a bookshelf built by local carpenter Shinichi Endo, who currently resides in temporary housing in Higashi Matsushima City. Endou lost his three children to the tsunami. His eldest son and second daughter were both students of Anderson.

“I built the bookshelf while picturing Ms. Anderson’s cheerful spirit. I felt that this job was my opportunity to start looking forward in life,” he explained.

Anderson first came to Japan in 2008. Besides Mangoku Elementary, she instructed students in English at one kindergarten and a total of six elementary and junior high schools in Ishinomaki City. “Taylor’s Library” will also be donated to these institutions.

On the day of the earthquake, Anderson saw that the students from Mangoku Elementary evacuated to nearby Mangoku Junior High and was on her way home on her bicycle when she was swept away by the tsunami.


Asahi Shimbun

Students of our Daughter: Learn English through Books

“She loved to read as a child. I hope that you will all find your dreams in these books, too.” On the sixth, the family of Taylor Anderson (then 24), the American assistant language teacher who passed away in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture on the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake, visited Mangokuura Elementary School where their daughter had taught and presented the school with 40 English-language books and a bookshelf. They have named it “Taylor’s Library.”

On the day of the earthquake, Anderson, along with other faculty, saw that the children had evacuated, and upon parting with them was hit by the tsunami.

“Had she lived, she would have been working for the people of Ishinomaki.” Anderson’s father, Andy (53), who resides in the state of Virginia, decided to donate books to the kindergarten and elementary and junior high schools—seven institutions in total—where his daughter taught.

The students who had class with Anderson on that fateful day greeted Andy and his wife, Jean (53), in English, saying, “Taylor’s class was fun. It made us like English.” Jean shared that her heart was warmed at the chance to stand in the place where her daughter once stood.


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