Polyphony Digital Employees Unharmed by Japanese Earthquakes

March 11th, 2011 by Jordan Greer

As you’ve probably heard by now, Japan was rocked by a large earthquake and tsunami early this morning. Understandably, I’ve received questions from many other fans concerned about the safety of Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital. Fortunately, Kazunori tweeted not long after the event to report no major damage or significant injuries at either of the company’s studios.

Although things reportedly got pretty scary in Tokyo where Polyphony is headquartered (check out this amazing video of swaying skyscrapers in the city), most of the severe devastation is concentrated in northern Japan. GTPlanet’s thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people during this difficult time.

To help with the relief efforts, you can text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to instantly donate $10 to the American Red Cross.

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  1. Mar. 12, 10:08am

    With the Nuclear Plant now, they have another issue, the Radioactivity…

    Hope they get rid of this problem soon, or more people can suffer…

    • Mar. 12, 1:24pm

      yes, Japan really got a bad weekend… 3 huge disasters in same time.. But I heard in news today they are holding strong and going back to normal, metro is working again and people are running (sport) at the morning like everyday normal stuff.. Japanise people are very tough! From what I saw in my news channel all are working hard to keep the place clean and safe! Nuclear Plant is what they cant deal with at the moment.. hope they will anytime soon, this is so dangerous and unhealthy for Japanese people! Sad! :( and this “radioactive wave” can easily fly by wind “very, very far” Even to US and Europe, it all depends on mother nature now. In which direction wind will blow, and when it rains, this is the important part…. :( North pacific ocean is now, where the wind is blowing.. so its literally going towards hawaii…… just saw weather news (they talked about that)

  2. Mar. 12, 9:31am

    When I first heard of this, well I didn’t think of PD because I was tired, and I had forgotten PD was in Japan. And I knew that that was the least if japans problems.

  3. Mar. 12, 7:58am

    It was sad to watch all this unfold,even with the early warnings it still wasnt enough,but the japanese people are very strong and smart people (they build with stand earthquakes)my heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones,and glad that the PD team is fine and i pray that there families are all safe

    • Mar. 12, 9:32am

      The Hawaiians and West Oast Americans/Canadians got early earnings, Japan didn’t.

  4. Mar. 12, 6:03am

    There are a lot more people in Japan then some computer game developers. I feel for EVERYONE in Japan, a few computer geeks are not headline news.

  5. Mar. 12, 5:12am

    I am amazed by how well the country held up to this quake! The 6TH LARGEST QUAKE EVER!!! And the casualties are relatively small. But I’m Praying for the country and its people.

  6. Mar. 12, 3:48am
    – SZRT Ice –

    My apologies on behalf of the few ignorant people here on GT Planet, wich represent a large part of the fanbase. We appreciate you Kaz, PD, and I personally love Japan in general. I’ve been a fan of martial arts, the culture, food, the history, tradition, music, movies, some actors, and many other things that have derived from Japan since I was a child, and have dreamed of living there. It is a very beautiful place, with awesome people and culture. Alot comes from Japan that has had an effect, and has an effect on the entire world. They are part of an intrigual balance that helps keep this world together, an important part of the body that we call earth (As is every nation). It is inevitable, that as things go wrong in one place, other places are affected. We need to support Japan through this difficult time. As one hand washes the other, so to, should we support our family in need. There are many that need to get over their box. Appearance is nothing. Love is everything. And we of this world are all family. And earth is our home. This concept may be too big for many to understand. I hope some day, we all do… Sooner than later…

    • Mar. 12, 4:07am

      Agreed :)

    • Mar. 12, 4:36am

      Martial arts’ origin is in China, not Japan.(No offence, I just want people don’t mix up chinese and japanese. btw I love Japan more than China[even if I’m Chinese who lives in Hong Kong])

      I’m glad that PD and Vocaloid are safe, but to those victims, I wish them rest in peace…

  7. Mar. 12, 3:30am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Japan, hopefully you will be able to recover soon, RIP to those who were less fortunate

  8. Mar. 12, 3:28am

    If you guy’s didn’t already know, an explosion was heard outside the plant minutes ago. White smoke and shaking has rattled the region and a meltdown is becoming more likely.

    I hope for the sake of Japan and it’s citizens that they are able to prevent such a catastrophe.

  9. Mar. 12, 2:53am

    Thank god.

  10. Mar. 12, 2:05am

    So very saddening to see things like this happen..but we have no control over situations like this unfortunately :\ so I mourn for those who have lost something or someone to this incident but we have to be strong together!! Majority of the world has your support Japan so know that you’re not alone in this!! You can recover quickly. :D

    RIP to the victims of this tragedy..I pray for more survivors!!

  11. Mar. 12, 1:54am

    Good to hear they alright

  12. Mar. 12, 12:59am

    It was just a general statement at no one in particular.

  13. Mar. 12, 12:33am

    If any of you actually want to put the controller down and do something useful or helpful you can either make a donation or volunteer to your local red cross office. The money they receive will go to international relief. It makes me sick to see the people joking about this. I hope you never have to deal with reality like this, but you need to wake up.

  14. Mar. 11, 11:30pm

    Those vids from Japan are horrific. My first thought (as some d-bags were accusing people of in this thread), WAS NOT of PD, GT5, Sony, or Kaz– but after the initial shock wore off a little I did wonder about those things.

    It’s human nature to draw a personal connection to a tragedy like this, so if you’re gonna call people names, judge them, and then demean them for asking a simple question, FU and the high horse you rode in on!

    And yes, it does look like Dec. 21, 2012 in Japan, even though I don’t believe in that crap. I bet the people affected by this quake/tsunami/hisht-storm feel like it’s the end of the world and for many of them it was. Pray for the survivors.

  15. Mar. 11, 8:06pm

    I’m gonna hit a tsunami with brass knuckles

  16. Mar. 11, 7:59pm

    Having lived in Tokyo for several years, I know the Japanese will respond in full-force with orderly and precious recovery effort and return to business as usual as soon as possible.

    • Mar. 12, 9:28am

      And the American military is already helping out

  17. Mar. 11, 7:49pm

    More and more stuff looks like from that 2012 movie

  18. Mar. 11, 7:45pm

    My onkel is general secretary in danish redcross, I think thats pretty cool. :)

  19. Mar. 11, 7:00pm

    Get well soon Japan!!

    [ironic mode on]
    This is Mitsubishi’s fault, thay said that the EVO X is the last, the earth answered…
    [ironic mode off]

  20. Mar. 11, 6:40pm

    This is sad, I hope all the people in need gets help really soon.

  21. Mar. 11, 6:07pm

    MrDinosaw94 has nailed it with his post. Even thought I may enjoy Gran Turismo a lot, I realize that in the end, the world does not revolve around it and Polyphony Studio. Stuff like this are important in where it can negatively affect out economy in where we live, whenever slightly or significantly.

    Based on the death toll, I’m worried that it’ll surpass the one in the 1995 Kobe earthquake.

  22. Mar. 11, 6:05pm

    I saw it earlier today on the news… but I didn’t pay much attention…thought it was just a big earthquake, not a national tragedy….

    My best wishes to all Japan and all the families of the victims… May them Rest in peace… Such a wonderful country, I hope they can get back from this soon :)

  23. Mar. 11, 5:56pm

    it was 4 mrDinosaw94

  24. Mar. 11, 5:55pm

    I guess I wasn’t the only one to tweet Kaz and his colleagues a wish of safety this morning.

  25. Mar. 11, 5:52pm

    i’m agree with you!
    But for some-people here, life is a joke…

  26. Mar. 11, 5:16pm

    This is the first time I am hearing of this. Then again I woke up just now and the first thing I usually do is check GTP.

  27. Mar. 11, 4:51pm

    After sending a flurry of emails to my uncle who lives in japan (but later i found out he left the day before to visit family in germany) Wheather or not PD was in trouble was the first thng i checked

  28. Mar. 11, 4:48pm

    Phew, at least they’re okay, but R.I.P. to all who have died, and best of luck to all who are alive

  29. Mar. 11, 4:03pm

    I was listening to the news while playing last night. I instantly turned off the PS3, and watched all I could on a 24 hr news channel. I can only wish, that all those affected get back on their feet, quickly and with as little cleanup as possible

    The family’s of the deceased get all of my thoughts. It is a terrifying reality, that bad things happen to good people and natural disasters do occur. All you can do is mourn the dead and try to move on.

    To PD and Kaz, while I’m glad you and the studio are okay, I can’t think about that as the 1000+ unlucky souls get my full attention. I don’t believe Australia has sent any aid yet, and I am yet to see a donation line on TV. As soon as I do I will give what I can to get this beautiful country back on it’s feet.

    GTP members, Please, focus on the horror of this occasion. Forget about Gran Turismo for a second and ask yourself this. If you’re city was devastated by a disaster that killed over a thousand people, would you be worried about your job?

    This is no time for GT jokes or racial slurs.

    • Mar. 12, 3:25am
      – SZRT Ice –

      @ MrD’94: I concur completely. My prayers go out to Japan, and the world as a whole. Regardless of what part of the Earth you are from, we are all inhabitants of this world. We all call this place home. God bless Japan, and people all over the world dealing with tragedy, and hard times. This should not be overlooked or taken for granted. Love one another while we can, because it could easily be you in this situation. Peace & Love people…

      God bless…
      ~ Ice ~

    • Mar. 12, 4:02am

      you two have summed it up perfectly :)

  30. Mar. 11, 3:46pm

    As many have said before me, my thoughts go out to the people who have been affected and RIP to all the people who have been killed.

  31. Mar. 11, 3:22pm

    Prayers for Japan. my [Japanese] grandparents live there, hope they are all right as I can’t get in touch with them.

    As for PD, thank god the staff are safe.

    RIP for the less fortunate.

    • Mar. 11, 3:35pm

      Well, fortunately Japan is so earthquake conscious that they have a lot of safeguards in place. I’ll keep your family, as well as the country in my prayers.

    • Mar. 11, 4:54pm

      @KFM i agree completly. Its a little ironic for me at leaset because in my science class at school we are learning about the earthquake in Kobe (’95) and the safeguards that were put up after it. all very interesting stuff.

  32. Mar. 11, 3:14pm

    I saw a parking lot full of the same kind of cars and when the sunami came through I thought it was a new video for the “we love cars” commercial. It look so wild w/ all 50+ of the same color and model of car swept away and they all tumbled around like toys….. WOW

  33. Mar. 11, 3:07pm

    Hope and best wishes to Japan! I saw pictures in news.. all cars floating around in big wave, never seen something that big and powerfull. Hope There will be no aftershock.

    PS. first thing went into my head, “Is polyphony digital headquarters ok…?” It’s nice to hear some good news!

  34. Mar. 11, 3:05pm

    Between 8.9 and 8.4 watching the news feed from last night as its not only japan affected with tsuami warnings issued for russia taiwan hawaii, darn even us down here in kiwiland got a warning, it seems as if most of the damage was done by the wave rather than the quake

    Hopes and prayers go to those in the Sentai region where it hit the hardest

  35. Mar. 11, 3:03pm

    Feels nice to know PD and KAz are fine, I was expecting to see the entire headquarters underwater. Wishes and prayers to the Japanese people.

  36. Mar. 11, 2:35pm

    our prayers with the Japanese people.
    Stay the best as you are.

    • Mar. 11, 6:07pm

      Sure they will :) Hope they can recover from this tragedy soon :)

  37. Mar. 11, 2:32pm


  38. Mar. 11, 2:28pm

    Phew, Thank god. Emagine that. No granturismo 6. That would read about an 8.9, on my this sucks ameter. Only messing. Hope Japan recover quick from this disaster.

  39. Mar. 11, 2:18pm

    Best wishes to all the Japanese people! The images of the tsunami and quake are just insane!!!

  40. Mar. 11, 2:18pm

    Glad to hear no bad news @ PD, although in this situation it really is people that matter, not cars. Hope they find many more survivors. May this give more strength to the Japanese people.

  41. Mar. 11, 2:15pm
    Jorge Rostro

    wooo! thank goodness everyone at PD is alright. I do feel, however, deep distress concerning everyone else, specially in the northern region of Japan.
    My best wishes for them and everyone else affected, and also for tuning houses, like Amuse, Mine’s, and NISMO. I hope they keep running smoothly so they can keep producing the best cars from Japan!

  42. Mar. 11, 2:14pm

    To be honest I didn’t even thought about PD when I saw the news. I really hope casualties are as low as possible but seeing the images would be almost a miracle. Days like this should not exist.

    Be strong,friends!

    • Mar. 12, 9:24am

      Oh man I would swim, yes, swim over the pacific ocean (or Atlantic then cross Europe because I’m closer to Atlantic ocean), and make it come out, or just steal 10 copies and send them to my friends

  43. Mar. 11, 2:02pm
    Ken Barth

    All the best for people of Japan affected.

    Kinda lame that some people’s first thought is about the safety of a a video game company and designer!

    • Mar. 11, 3:11pm

      agree. but for me PD and GT is that what attached me to Japan in the first place. Anyway, Japan will suffer some bad times next days, so will PD, I wish best to all of them, and hope help is on the way from US, Europe and all other who can hepl!

    • Mar. 12, 10:09am

      Well, this IS a GT news site, not the BBC. And Jordan did say he sent his thoughts and prayers to all the people of Japan. But maybe you were referring to people’s comments. In that case, my apologies.

  44. Mar. 11, 2:00pm

    I am glad they are ok , my heart and prayers go out to the people of Japan during this horrfic time, Mother nature can be so cruel and heartless.

  45. Mar. 11, 1:54pm

    My hopes and prayers go out to all the Japanese people and their families affected by this disaster.

  46. Mar. 11, 1:52pm

    deam man stupid mother earth you almost harmed polyphony and almost killed kazanouri yamaumichi stupid ass mother earth think what you do (so do it in holland b***h)

    • Mar. 11, 2:17pm
      Jorge Rostro

      yeah! stupid earth! I swear if Kazunori-San dies I’m gonna rip you a new one!!!

  47. Mar. 11, 1:38pm

    A huge earthquake. Thank god Japan is adapted to earthquakes. Let’s hope the Tsunamis don’t devastate Japan…

    • Mar. 11, 1:44pm

      They did. Watch the news, you’ll see entire towns washed away.

  48. Mar. 11, 1:30pm

    How can every person who purchased a GT game, get together, and form Kaz’ GT humanitarian relief aid in Japan?

  49. Mar. 11, 1:29pm

    Jesus… Was it really almost at 9 magnitude? Deepest sympathies to the people of Japan and lots of hope that they recover quickly and easily.

  50. Mar. 11, 1:23pm

    Not to be the bringer of bad news, but over 1000 people are reported dead. All my prayers go out to the whole of Japan

  51. Mar. 11, 1:21pm

    thank god for that!

  52. Mar. 11, 1:15pm

    One disaster after another, crazy world. Best of luck to all those in Japan coping with this horrific event.

  53. Mar. 11, 1:14pm

    Saw some videos of the damage on youtube and its just awful.. I hope too many people weren’t hurt.

    I heard there is also a nuclear power station under emergency at the moment.. o_o

  54. Mar. 11, 1:12pm

    Nice to know

  55. Mar. 11, 1:12pm

    Phew, I’m glad Kaz is alright. I hope they can recover quickly. I watched a whole bunch of videos on that today, it looked horrible :(

  56. Mar. 11, 1:12pm

    Phew. I will keep the people of Japan in my prayers. I also wonder if Kaz’s Ford GTs survived…

    • Mar. 11, 2:56pm

      All of luck right now. If it was in any other country, the disaster would be much bigger.

    • Mar. 12, 3:42am

      What about now when the nuclear reactor blowed up? :S

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