title:Contemplations of the Heart Toward the Deceased
name:Shuzo Shikano(Kyodo News)


11 months since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Hiromi Miura has come to talk to her missing husband amongst the ruins of the disaster prevention agency building in Minamisanriku village in Miyagi Prefecture. Her husband, who was a town official, continually called out for an emergency evacuation through the disaster prevention radio, on the day of the tsunami. Ever since the earthquake, she regularly visits this building to talk to her husband about her day. She says in a tearful voice:”My feelings remain the same ever since March 11th. My sadness only increases.”


A bonfire held at Okawa Prefectural Primary School in Ishinomaki, where many teachers and students became victims of the tsunami. On this day, many parents and guardians gathered to throw the victim’s mementos into the bonfire. I felt their “will” as survivors.


A year later from the earthquake, Tomoaki Miura visits Hajikami (Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture) where his home used to be before it was swept away by the tsunami. He talks about how he lost his father that day. “The scenery has changed completely. The roads are gone.” He says while staring into the ocean. His tired 2 year old daughter leans into his chest.


A police officer with a bouquet in his hand stands amidst the once residential area of Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, that was swept away by the tsunami. Half a year has passed, and the police officer who used to work at the police station in this area, has not been found.


Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture: a village set as a caution zone due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The area is filled with cherry blossom trees blooming with brilliantly colored cherry blossom petals, just as it does every year. Not one resident is to be seen. Only a temporarily present journalist in protective clothing. The silence of the village, and the blooming cherry blossoms were unforgettable.