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Kesennuma: Life After the Tsunami

My Scholarship entry - A 'place' I have visited

The March 2011 Pacific Coast Earthquake and Tsunami was truly devastating. I recently got to visit areas in the Miyagi province ruined by the disaster, like Kesennuma. When this ship loomed out of the dusk as we drove through the devastated city, I could do nothing but gasp and a cold feeling washed over me. Asking to stop the car, I got out and noticed the ship completely blocked off an entire side road, lying across it like an eerie blockade, surrounded by a makeshift shrine with flowers. I couldn’t grasp the sheer vastness of it but my Japanese colleague explained it had been one of many, many ships, some even bigger, that had been catapulted inland with the almighty tsunami. The rest were removed eventually, but this one remains as a memorial, a decision that has divided local residents: some feel it is a poignant reminder of all those that lost their lives, others feel it is too painful to see it everyday.

JAPAN | Friday, 11 January 2013 | Views [746] | View Larger Image

The March 2011 Pacific Coast Earthquake and Tsunami was truly devastating. I recently got to visit areas in the Miyagi province ruined by the disaster, like Kesennuma. When this ship loomed out of the dusk as we drove through the devastated city, I could do nothing but gasp and a cold feeling washed over me. Asking to stop the car, I got out and noticed the ship completely blocked off an entire side road, lying across it like an eerie blockade, surrounded by a makeshift shrine with flowers. I couldn’t grasp the sheer vastness of it but my Japanese colleague explained it had been one of many, many ships, some even bigger, that had been catapulted inland with the almighty tsunami. The rest were removed eventually, but this one remains as a memorial, a decision that has divided local residents: some feel it is a poignant reminder of all those that lost their lives, others feel it is too painful to see it everyday.

Tags: japan, kesennuma, tsunami

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