Embracing the Memories of that Day
photo by Shuzo Shikano(Kyodo News)


Okawa Primary School in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture: Where many teachers and children were swept away by the tsunami. A woman stands before a connecting corridor that was toppled down by the tsunami.


Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture: 2 years and 9 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Workers at the rubble disposal observe a moment of silence at 2:45pm, the time when the earthquake struck that day.


Urashima Primary School in Kesennuma-shi, Miyagi, was further depopulated due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and had to be shut down. A campus-cleanup was held as an expression of gratitude toward the school, and reunited locals and teachers shed tears as they reflected on refugee life.


Residents temporarily return to the “Caution Zone” (then) in Namiecho, Fukushima, to pay their respects at a cenotaph. Their prayer was for the repose of the soul of someone they had known.


Attendants at the memorial service held at the Disaster Prevention Building, say a prayer of repose for the deceased souls, and observe a moment of silence.

2 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. At Yuriage Secondary School, greatly damaged by the tsunami, a bereaved woman weeps as she clings onto a cenotaph bearing a child’s name.


2 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. A man visits the sea in memory of a woman who was taken by the tsunami. His sons were so loved by her. They all wave in unison toward the sea – “We’ll come back again.”


A father raises a portrait of a child victim of the tsunami at the memorial service held at Yuriage Secondary School.


A “MovingTanabata (Star) Festival” held at Rikuzentakada City, Iwate – a city that was greatly damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The parked festival car adorned with tanabata decorations stood out on the road where a bustling town used to be.


Many still reside in temporary housing located within the access-permitted district of Ishinomaki City, Miyagi.


Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant during sunset, seen from above the sea, off the coast of Ookumamachi, Fukushima. A fisherman, who has self-abstained from fishing for 2 years uttered, “this used to be a good fishing place for young lancefish and icefish.”