Photos Archive

  • Some 50 days after the disaster, I traveled through some of the worst-affected areas of the Tōhoku coast. I was not sure whether I would find any evidence of spring here at all, after the tsunami ripped away the rich topsoil and dumped seawater and mud across wide stretches of the coast. I encountered a scarred landscape that looked as barren and desolate as ever, but here and there small flowers were starting to bloom amid the desolation, and there were signs of new life springing up amid the wreckage. 

Photos: Kawai Satoshi

    Spring Blooms in the Disaster Areas

    Some 50 days after the disaster, I traveled through some of the worst-affected areas of the Tōhoku coast. I was not sure whether I would find any evidence of spring here at all, after the tsunami ripped away the rich topsoil and dumped seawater and mud across wide stretches of the coast. I encountered a scarred landscape that looked as barren and desolate as ever, but here and there small flowers were starting to bloom amid the desolation, and there were signs of new life springing up amid the wreckage. Photos: Kawai Satoshi

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  • Almost three months on from the horrors of March 11, the focus of support operations in disaster areas across Tōhoku was shifting from emergency relief to helping with reconstruction efforts. Volunteers are a vital part of this process; helping the disaster areas to move on from the disaster will require plenty of labor.

From June 3 to 5 the Nippon Foundation’s student volunteer center, Gakuvo, dispatched its sixth group of volunteers to help with the work of removing sludge and debris. This series of photos follows the group at work with other volunteers in the area.

The group was a joint undertaking between Gakuvo and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Along with 30 Japanese student volunteers, 70 ASEAN participants helped with debris removal and other work around evacuation shelters. Among them were 25 students from 10 ASEAN countries including Indonesia and Thailand, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, and ASEAN staff.

Photos: Kawamoto Seiya

    Let’s Volunteer! Following a Team of Student Volunteers in the Field

    Almost three months on from the horrors of March 11, the focus of support operations in disaster areas across Tōhoku was shifting from emergency relief to helping with reconstruction efforts. Volunteers are a vital part of this process; helping the disaster areas to move on from the disaster will require plenty of labor. From June 3 to 5 the Nippon Foundation’s student volunteer center, Gakuvo, dispatched its sixth group of volunteers to help with the work of removing sludge and debris. This series of photos follows the group at work with other volunteers in the area. The group was a joint undertaking between Gakuvo and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Along with 30 Japanese student volunteers, 70 ASEAN participants helped with debris removal and other work around evacuation shelters. Among them were 25 students from 10 ASEAN countries including Indonesia and Thailand, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, and ASEAN staff. Photos: Kawamoto Seiya

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  • Taken in late April, this series of photos shows some of the hardest-hit disaster areas around 40 days after the earthquake and tsunami. Starting in the city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, the photographer headed south along the Sanriku Coast, before moving on to the cities of Ishinomaki and Sendai, staying as close to the coast as possible. By late April, the situation on the ground was beginning to improve. Efforts to remove the ubiquitous sludge and debris  were well under way, and the prospect that vital utilities would soon be restored was on the horizon. But with aftershocks and mudslides still continuing, and a constant threat of flooding brought on by land subsidence, the mood remained somber and fearful. Of the countless wounds that scar the ravaged landscape, no two look quite the same. A world of devastation and sadness stretches as far as the eye can see. 

Photos: Kuyama Shiromasa

    Scars of Devastation

    Taken in late April, this series of photos shows some of the hardest-hit disaster areas around 40 days after the earthquake and tsunami. Starting in the city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, the photographer headed south along the Sanriku Coast, before moving on to the cities of Ishinomaki and Sendai, staying as close to the coast as possible. By late April, the situation on the ground was beginning to improve. Efforts to remove the ubiquitous sludge and debris were well under way, and the prospect that vital utilities would soon be restored was on the horizon. But with aftershocks and mudslides still continuing, and a constant threat of flooding brought on by land subsidence, the mood remained somber and fearful. Of the countless wounds that scar the ravaged landscape, no two look quite the same. A world of devastation and sadness stretches as far as the eye can see. Photos: Kuyama Shiromasa

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  • “Walking” to Recovery A Community in Mourning Turns to Face the Future

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  • <em>Kahoku Shimpō</em> is a regional newspaper that covers the Tōhoku area. Shortly after the disaster, the company rushed out a special collection of photographs under the title “3:11—The Day the Tsunami Struck.” Here we introduce a selection of some of the most memorable shots from the collection, all of them characterized by an intimate familiarity with places and communities that only a local paper can provide.

Photographs courtesy of <em>Kahoku Shimpō</em>.

    A Local Newspaper’s View of the Disaster

    Kahoku Shimpō is a regional newspaper that covers the Tōhoku area. Shortly after the disaster, the company rushed out a special collection of photographs under the title “3:11—The Day the Tsunami Struck.” Here we introduce a selection of some of the most memorable shots from the collection, all of them characterized by an intimate familiarity with places and communities that only a local paper can provide. Photographs courtesy of Kahoku Shimpō.

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  • Photos taken nearly a month after the earthquake and tsunami show rebuilding efforts underway in Miyagi Prefecture, beginning with the removal of sludge and debris. Public facilities are being rebuilt and the first steps taken toward a return to normalcy. But the mood in the disaster areas remains anxious, as people worry about aftershocks and deal with inundation caused by subsidence and other problems.

Photographer: Shoe Press magazine

    One Step at a Time Coastal Areas Begin to Rebuild

    Photos taken nearly a month after the earthquake and tsunami show rebuilding efforts underway in Miyagi Prefecture, beginning with the removal of sludge and debris. Public facilities are being rebuilt and the first steps taken toward a return to normalcy. But the mood in the disaster areas remains anxious, as people worry about aftershocks and deal with inundation caused by subsidence and other problems. Photographer: Shoe Press magazine

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  • The Tokushukai Medical Aid Team (TMAT) was dispatched immediately after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami to assist people in the affected areas. The TMAT members, who included doctors, nurses, rescuers, pharmacists, and physical therapists, provided medical services to people in need at evacuation centers, hospitals, clinics, isolated residences, and other places.


Photographer: Tokushū Shimbun

    Medical Assistance in the Disaster Zone

    The Tokushukai Medical Aid Team (TMAT) was dispatched immediately after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami to assist people in the affected areas. The TMAT members, who included doctors, nurses, rescuers, pharmacists, and physical therapists, provided medical services to people in need at evacuation centers, hospitals, clinics, isolated residences, and other places. Photographer: Tokushū Shimbun

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  • At 2:46 pm on March 11, 2011 a huge magnitude 9.0 earthquake—one of the largest ever recorded—struck northeastern Japan. The earthquake and the tsunami that followed devastated vast swathes of the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan. The terror of those who witnessed the disaster can hardly be imagined. 

Photos by Kawai Satoshi

    After the Tsunami: Pictures of a Ravaged Coastline

    At 2:46 pm on March 11, 2011 a huge magnitude 9.0 earthquake—one of the largest ever recorded—struck northeastern Japan. The earthquake and the tsunami that followed devastated vast swathes of the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan. The terror of those who witnessed the disaster can hardly be imagined. Photos by Kawai Satoshi

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  • Dwelling excessively on the suffering and devastation caused by the disaster threatens to hinder vital efforts to rebuild shattered communities. A smile is the first step toward coming to terms with the overwhelming reality of what happened. Many people lost everything in the disaster—homes and families included. The remarkable fortitude of the local people shines through in these images of smiling faces amid the wreckage.

Photos by Kawai Satoshi

    Smiles Amid the Wreckage

    Dwelling excessively on the suffering and devastation caused by the disaster threatens to hinder vital efforts to rebuild shattered communities. A smile is the first step toward coming to terms with the overwhelming reality of what happened. Many people lost everything in the disaster—homes and families included. The remarkable fortitude of the local people shines through in these images of smiling faces amid the wreckage. Photos by Kawai Satoshi

    Continue Reading...