Granta has published Haruki Murakami's non-fiction account of his walk through Kobe, two years after a devastating earthquake. Like much of Murakami's writing, it's simple, directly, and beautiful:
The old stone bridge across the pond where I used to catch shrimp as a child (using a simple technique: I would tie a string around an empty bottle, put in noodle powder as bait, lower it into the water and the shrimp would go into the bottle and then I would pull it up) had collapsed and remained that way. The water in the pond was dark and muddy and turtles of indiscriminate ages lay sprawled on dry rocks, basking in the sun, their minds no doubt bereft of any thoughts. Terrible destruction was in evidence all around, as if the area was some ancient ruins. Only the deep woods were the same as I remembered from childhood, dark and still, beyond time.