I recently visited several areas of the Miyagi coastline decimated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. This is what I saw.
In 2008, Polish photographer Arkadiusz Podniesinski travelled to Chernobl for the first time to document the aftermath of the Ukranian nuclear disaster. He would return multiple times, filming two documentaies in the process.
With more than 20 years having passed since the Chernobl incident and Podniesinski’s first trip to the site, the tragedy must have seemed like a relic of the past, but then came the 2011 tsunami that struck Japan and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear crisis. More than four years later, access to much of Fukushima is still restricted due to dangerous amounts of radiation, but Podniesinski recently traveled to the affected area and brought back haunting images that drive home how abruptly the end of life as residents knew it came, and how many sings of the devastation still remain.
Following the events of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, radiologists in Japan have been closely observing the area for potential changes. A new report by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences now suggests that the fir trees in Fukushima may be exhibiting strange growth patterns, with the radiation from the disaster being named as a possible factor.
2015 has been a good year for lovers of Japanese art in Boston. The city’s phenomenal Museum of Fine Arts has hosted not just one, but three special exhibitions of Japanese art so far this year, along with its newly restored Japanese garden outside. The most hyped of all of these is an exhibition dedicated solely to Katsushika Hokusai, one of the most important ukiyo-e painters and printmakers of the Edo period who’s best known as the creator of The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
Besides the Hokusai collection, the museum is also hosting a particularly powerful exhibit displaying the work of 17 photographers in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku triple disasters, along with a lighthearted exhibit showcasing prints of some whimsical Japanese toys and games. As all three of the exhibitions are preparing to wind down within the next few weeks after hosting thousands of visitors over the past months, we thought we’d take a moment to share some of their highlights with you!
Four years on, the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis that befell Japan’s Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 have very little effect on the day-to-day lives of most people in the country. The rolling blackouts have stopped. Batteries and bottled water are once again readily available. Trains are running, and whole cities aren’t spending hours walking home from work or school.
But while a return to normalcy is a desirable, and ultimately necessary, part of recovery, it’s also important to remember what happened. To stem the forgetfulness that often accompanies the later stages of coping with tragedy, on March 11 Yahoo! Japan will be making a donation to the Tohoku recovery efforts for every person that searches for “3.11” through the company’s search engine.
Prolific Japanese actor Ken Watanabe may have achieved stardom both domestically and internationally, but to the residents of a small city in northern Japan, he’s also known for his heart of gold.
Kesennuma (気仙沼), Miyagi Prefecture is one of several coastal cities that was ravaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In the aftermath of the disaster, Watanabe helped build (and now manages) a combined cafe-shop in Kesennuma in an effort to provide economic relief to the locals. Most inspiring, however, is his unwavering dedication to the venture–somehow, despite his busy filming and PR schedule in both Japan and Hollywood, he still finds the time to fax a handwritten letter to the cafe every single day!
Join our ace Japanese reporters Mr. Sato and Yoshio on their recent trip up north to visit this hidden gem of northern Japan.
This coming spring will mark four years since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. While that’s not nearly long enough for the those who experienced the tragedy first-hand to forget about the destruction, sadness, and fear, some politicians are concerned that in time memories will fade, which is why a bill is being introduced in the Japanese Diet to establish March 11 as an official day of remembrance of the disaster.
Aaron Porter is a man on a mission. Giving up drinking in 1998 and smoking two years later, he took up running. Before he knew it, his new hobby had become his life’s passion, and he began taking part in marathons, half-marathons and ultra-marathons, running thousands of miles in a single year. Running, Aaron notes, was his recovery.
Now, though, he wants to help others recover. With the goal of running the entire length of Japan, from Kyushu to Hokkaido, Aaron is aiming to raise as much money and awareness for tsunami relief as he can. To do this, however, he needs sponsorship. Which is where you come in.
It shouldn’t be hard to remember the sheer force that a tsunami can unleash on land. And with the recent quakes in Chile, many parts of the world wonder if another is not too far away. But there’s an important thing about a tsunami that is not often discussed, and that’s how big it has to be to jeopardize your life.
Recently a Twitter user posted a photo of this safety poster which has caused those who saw it to wish it was seen all over the country. You might be able to understand this graphic which shows the water level versus the probability of death without understanding the Japanese, but let’s look at it a little more closely.
It’s always nice to be number one for something, even if it is number one in the “cities where the earth is most likely to kill you” ranking. That’s why we’re proud to announce that Tokyo and Yokohama were declared the cities at highest risk of natural disaster by Zurich-based Swiss Reinsurance (Swiss Re) in a 2013 study, whose findings were recently announced.
Three years ago, Japan’s northeastern region was devastated by a triple disaster of a Magnitude 9.0 earthquake, an ensuing tsunami that wiped away whole towns and caused the meltdown of a nuclear power plant. Affected deeply by the tragedy, Japan has since rallied together as a country to support those who lost loved ones, livelihoods and homes.
Last week, as a part of remembering the three years that have passed since the disaster, famed German camera maker Leica gave a high-end camera worth 1,200,000 yen (US$12,000) to a high school student whose community was devastated by the tsunami. Initially touched by the show of support, Japanese netizens began a heated conversation online about whether the very generous gift was a heart-felt present or just a PR stunt for the well-known camera maker.
A special message is being displayed on Tokyo Tower in memory of those lost during the March 11, 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami, as well as to promote a sense of unity across the country.
‘I wonder if you’ll have a grandchild when you get this letter?’ These are the words written by a woman 10 years ago, before she lost her life in the March 2011 tsunami. Her mother and father were shocked to find the letter containing them arrive in the mail this January. While there was no Hollywood movie ending where their beloved daughter turned up alive and well, the letter has at least given them a chance to hear some of the things she never had the chance to tell them in life.
On 11 March, 2011 Hiroki Takai was studying at a university in Vancouver. Instead of feeling helpless at the steadily flowing images of destruction in the media following the Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami, he quickly took action and gathered other Japanese students to raise money for their homeland. Thanks to the students’ efforts and the generosity of the people of Vancouver the “Japan Love Project” managed to raise CAN$320,000 (US$288,000) in aid.
Now, with the 3-year anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake approaching, Takai wanted to pay the kindness of the Canadians back. As a part of the International Volunteer University Student Association (IVUSA) he asked for a team to travel to the West coast of Canada to help clean up the still-increasing driftage that is washing up on its shores. Headed by fourth-year Ritsumeikan University student Yusuke Oike, a crew of 70 students answered the call.
Compared to older forms of media such as books and movies, the video game industry is still somewhat wet behind the ears. But as technology advances and developers become increasingly able to realise their creative visions without having to rein in their imaginations due to hardware limitations, we are finally reaching the point where games are able to not just entertain but challenge us both intellectually and viscerally, creating emotive experiences and acting as vehicles for genuinely engaging tales.
9.03m does precisely that. Developed by independent Scottish game studio Space Budgie, the game, whose proceeds go towards those affected by the disaster, stands as a memorial to the victims of the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, questing players with gathering the possessions of those lost in the tsunami, which have been carried across the ocean from Japan to America, with each object telling the story of a lost soul.
At once heartrending and beautiful, this is a title that deserves the attention of not just every gamer but every person with access to a PC.
It’s been three years since the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster swallowed up whole cities and caused one of the worst nuclear power disasters in history. For much of the world the devastating event is a distant memory – except for people in California who, for some reason, to this day think swimming in the ocean is going to give them three eyes or four boobs or something.
But for many living near the crippled Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant, like the inmates at a Kagoshima City prison located within the nuclear evacuation zone, the Tohoku earthquake and the persistent effects of the subsequent nuclear disaster altered their lives forever; so says a former inmate who is formally suing TEPCO for emotional distress.
Located right in the middle of Seoul’s central Jung District, the grassy lawns of Seoul Plaza provide residents and visitors alike with a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Korean capital.
Of course, the tranquility of your surroundings is heavily influenced by which way you’re facing, so if you’re really looking to relax, you might want to take a seat on the grass with your back to the building that looks like a colossal, deadly tidal wave about to crash down on you.
Earlier this year, we brought you videos shot by those who fled the wall of water that the March 11, 2011 earthquake brought to Northeastern Japan. As shocking as they were, most – thankfully – were taken from relatively far away by the towns’ residents once they had reached comparative safety. The following footage taken in Iwate Prefecture, however, was recorded right where the tsunami hit by security and roadside cameras.
The footage shows the awesome, raw power of the tsunami, and gets much more up close and personal than anyone would every hope to. We should warn you that some readers may find the following images disturbing.