The parents of Taylor Anderson – the woman who is believed to be the first confirmed American victim of the massive earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan – plan to help the people living in the region where Taylor died.
Taylor, 24, taught English in the coastal town of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture under the auspices of the Japan Exchange Teaching program (JET).
The U.S. embassy in Tokyo notified Taylor’s parents of their daughter’s death on Monday.
Taylor's father and her boyfriend, James, are in Japan now.
Speaking on CBS TV from the family’s hometown of Midlothian, Va., Taylor's mother, Jean Anderson, said her husband and James will visit Ishinomaki, go through her belongings, and donate whatever they can to local population.
Most of the knick-knack things that she collected during her time in Japan and her travels, we're going to probably bring home, said Taylor’s sister, Julz.
Explaining Taylor’s work in Japan, her mother said that [Taylor] was a teacher for older adults. They had a club called the Kiwi club. They were older Japanese people who wanted to learn conversational English. And she would meet with them once a month, and they would go over phrases, catch phrases, she taught them a lot of American ways, or explained American ways, and when I met her students, they loved her. They had just warm, kind things to say about her. And they even said she was their favorite teacher. And she connected to them. I was very proud of her.
Jean Anderson earlier said her daughter was last seen just after the earthquake struck riding her bike away from an Ishinomaki elementary school after making sure parents picked up their children. A devastating tsunami struck shortly after the quake.
Taylor, who apparently harbored a lifelong passion for Japan, studied the Japanese language in junior high school. She moved there overseas after graduating from Randolph-Macon College in 2008.
She taught in eight schools in Ishinomaki.
She was scheduled to return to the United States in August.