At long last, I actually have something to say. Of course, that event could have been inspired by sunnier circumstances; but the situation could also have been significantly more dire.
At 2.07 PM today, Kurayoshi was hit with a 6.6 magnitude quake. Here at the TPIEF Main Office, the building shook to a fair extent, and books fell from the shelves. There was a bit of a rumbling sound. The cleaning crew were in the midst of shampooing the carpets at the time. I think we were all a bit unsure what to do. I sat and waited for a few seconds, wondering if the tremors would increase or subside, and sought that progress for some clue as to whether I should run outside to escape the collapsing building, or perhaps take shelter under a table.
When it was over, I noticed some of my coworkers huddling under a table. One of them said she'd never experienced a quake of this intensity before. Sometimes I forget how rare it is that we feel them in Tottori.
Of course, my first experience of an earthquake was disconcerting. Growing up as I did in New York, I'd always held the belief that the earth is not something that moves. I'd always taken it for granted that it would remain immobile under my feet. Not long after I moved to California, I discovered that this is not the case.
Then, seven years in California prepared me for Japan. I've now lived in four different prefectures, and Tottori has always seemed the most immobile.
I can be faulted for not reacting quickly enough. My wife, apparently, was much more reflexive: She grabbed the cat and tossed her into the carrying case, ready to bolt out the door. I expect that cat was absolutely traumatised, but she's a freak anyway.
At this point, though, there's not much news from Kurayoshi. Our branch office there contacted us by mobile telephone, as power lines and telephone lines are both down at the moment. According to Twitter, our primary news source, tens of thousands are without power, but we haven't had any updates on injuries or architectural damage.