We were delighted to welcome author Julian Sedgwick to school yesterday to talk to pupils in year 9 about his acclaimed novel Tsunami Girl and his latest novel 100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café.

Tsunami Girl follows Yūki Hara Jones, a quarter Japanese girl, growing up in the UK. Troubled at school she travels to stay on the Fukushima coast with her Japanese grandfather, arriving on the eve of the March 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, tsunami and radiation disaster.

Julian’s talk centred on overcoming difficulty and terrible tragedy. Julian took our pupils back to 11th March 2011, describing what it felt like for the pupils at Ukedo Elementary School when the earthquake happened. The author described how the earthquake was so powerful it shifted the earth on its axis. Julian explained how the pupils and staff escaped from the imminent tsunami which followed and showed us a video and told us a personal account of someone who escaped the incoming water. Julian recounted how, following the melt down of the three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant due to the tsunami, people were evacuated to a place of safety, unaware that they would never return to their homes.

It was fascinating to watch a video and hear Julian’s account of how got permission to walk through a deserted town in Fukushima and how, in some part, it inspired his book 100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café.

Julian’s talk was really engaging and inspiring, at the end he took questions from pupils and staff and signed copies of both books in the library. Some pupils also had the opportunity to take part in a writing workshop with Julian.

Thank you to Julian for joining us. If you would like to find out more about Julian Sedgwick and his work as a writer go to https://www.juliansedgwick.co.uk/