When news of Japan’s earthquake hit, my first thought was of my friend Shoko Saito. I’ve known her for a few years while she was living in Portland, studying design and laughing at my mangled efforts to rekindle my high school Japanese lessons. After surviving the earthquake and the anxiety that gripped her for days, sleeping with clothes and shoes on at night in case fleeing was necessary, she decided to get to work for her country. Saito took the crafty skills she...

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