oh cool! i just experienced my first Japanese earthquake. i was sitting on my bed writing emails when it felt like something downstairs rumbled most unjarringly for about 1-2 seconds. It was actually completely underwhelming for an earthquake. the bed frame make some rattling sound, but it honestly so mild that it seemed like somebody moving something heavy or fiddling with a jammed door in the apartment below me. I thought nothing of it. Then i got a bunch of IMs on gmail from people around the prefecture saying "OMG DUDE DID YOU FEEL THAT EARTHQUAKE" haha. that wasnt so bad. apparently theyre extremely mild in my region.
On a related note, i have been trying to figure out since i got here why there is this thick tape criss-crossing most people's windows. It looks like packaging tape and people stretch it across their windows in asterisks, corner to corner, side to side. I havent been able to figure out why until a couple days ago, it occured to me that it is probably an earthquake-preparedness thing. If a window breaks, that tape would prevent shards of glass from being flung all over the place.
first earthquake! welcome to Japan!