Building tells tragic tale of Great East Japan Earthquake
  • Saturday, March 23, 2019
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Building tells tragic tale of Great East Japan Earthquake

  • JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI

    Ruins of a building that survived the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake in Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture.

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Tokyo >> The ruins of a solitary commercial building remain in a flatland in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, as a stark reminder of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the massive tsunami that struck the area about eight years ago on March 11, 2011.

Access to the area surrounding the building is prohibited due to construction work, though media paid a visit to the area Feb. 25 to see the reconstruction work underway.

Behind the building, the elevated ground has been prepared as a new central district for the city, and restaurants and a business complex houses various shops that are already open.

Yuichi Yonezawa, a 54-year-old man who serves as a storyteller of the tragic incident, miraculously escaped the tsunami by making his way up to the roof of the building. A blue signboard is visible on the rooftop indicating how high the tsunami rose.

“I want to preserve the building as a silent storyteller of sorts,” Yonezawa said. True to his wishes, the building continues to remind people what happened that day.

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