Taylor Anderson died doing what she loved most–teaching. The Richmond, Virginia native is the first confirmed American to have died in the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Anderson went to Japan because she loved the culture. She also loved children. So it was only natural for her to became a teacher in Japan. She was last seen just prior to the tsunami; leaving the school where she taught. She stayed longer than she should have in order to make sure all of her students were safe.
Anderson’s family and friends say that she was a strong woman, confident and curious. It was this curiosity combined with her confidence that empowered her to take a teaching position in Japan. Others remember her as being religious, down to earth and easy going. She loved English and literature and excelled in these subjects in high school.
She graduated from Randolph Macon College in 2008. Shortly afterward, she was accepted into the Japanese Exchange Teaching Program. She taught English in eight different elementary schools in Ishinomaki, a coastal town about 240 miles from Tokyo. On her days off, she took excursions around the country, taking in the scenery, culture and (most of all) getting to know the people. She had many friends in Japan who are stunned at the news of her death. She planned to return to her home in Virginia after the school year ended in August.
Two other American teachers were found safe but Taylor Anderson remained missing for ten days. Her friends and family, both in the US and in Japan, posted pictures on facebook and other social networking sites in hopes of finding the missing woman. Today, the family was notified by officials that her body had been found. The family are currently traveling to Japan to make arrangements.
Meanwhile, students at Randolph Macon College are placing memorial ribbons around campus. They plan on having a memorial service when school resumes after spring break. Officials from the U.S. State Department said that they have no real way of knowing exactly how many Americans may be missing in Japan because US citizens are not required to notify any Federal agency before traveling out of the country.

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