2011 Tohoku Earthquake

NHK slips touching hidden message into TV listings on March 11

A subtle way to let certain people know they’re still on your mind.

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Video highlights remarkable recoveries of towns destroyed by the 3.11 Tsunami seven years later

Chris Broad’s look at the towns of Onagawa and Kesennuma are an inspiration.

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Moving video commemorates anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan

The tear-jerking video encourages viewers to “Search for 3.11” on the anniversary to help support reconstruction in the region.

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Shin Godzilla trailer released, hits very close to home【Video】

This retelling of the classic tokusatsu tale looks to be surprisingly fresh and nostalgic all at the same time.

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Five years on, Google Maps updates images of areas affected by 2011 earthquake and tsunami

Google Maps gives the world an opportunity to see how far the people of Tohoku have come since a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami turned their lives upside-down.

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LoCoS: The universal language we’ll be using by 2065, according to legendary Japanese designer

Yukio Ota is a legendary graphic designer in Japan. As the creator of the green “running man” pictogram that features on the nation’s emergency exit signs which have since spread to Europe, Canada and the Asia-Pacific, Ota is a frontrunner when it comes to developing images that convey a thousand words.

Now the designer of the exit sign is making headlines for his long-term project that aims to have the world using a universal language by 2065. Called the Lovers’ Communication System, or LoCoS, the standardised system based on pictographs has the power to overcome language barriers and revolutionise the world of communication as we know it.

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Tokyo schoolgirls invent eco and cost-friendly portable toilet for disaster relief【Video】

Although we explored public restrooms the world over in a previous article, we left out the fact that many refugees, natural disaster survivors, and other displaced people have no access to the modern plumbing many of us take for granted. For those living in areas where public toilets are unavailable, a trip to the bathroom is at best a chore, and at worst a major sanitary concern.

Luckily technological advances are being made in order to help remedy these problems, and so far 2015 has been a promising year in that regard. UK researchers and volunteers were able to successfully create an urine-powered outhouse, while over in Japan a high school girls’ volunteer club recently came up with a new economic and hygienic portable toilet option.

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Over 150 whales found beached in Ibaraki, same thing happened before 2011 Tohoku earthquake

A little over four years ago, a week before the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, 50 melon-headed whales were found beached in Ibaraki Prefecture, only about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the earthquake’s epicenter.

Now the same omen of bad things to come has happened again. On April 9, about 150 melon-headed whales were found beached in Ibaraki Prefecture. As emergency teams race to save the whales, one thought is sitting in the back of their minds: is this foreshadowing another giant earthquake?

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One man’s mission to record the stories of Tohoku survivors “revisited” by lost loved ones

What happens after we die? Is it possible to communicate with loved ones after they are gone? And if not, how can we explain the stories of those who claim to have done so? These questions are pertinent to the work of journalist Shuji Okuno, who researches the yūrei banashi, or ghost stories, of relatives bereaved by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Over 18,000 people were killed in the disaster in March 2011, most by drowning; including 2,601 bodies that were never recovered. Okuno has been researching and recording the stories of Tohoku people bereaved by the disaster who say they were visited by the spirits of their deceased family members, often at the exact moment of their passing.

But reporting on ghost sightings in a disaster zone is controversial work. In an interview with Tohoku-area newspaper Kahoku Shimpo this week, Okuno spoke about the stories he has uncovered and the criticism he continues to face.

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First nuclear power plant set to restart in Japan after 2011 meltdown

Against much public backlash, two reactors at a nuclear power plant in Sendai are scheduled to be restarted. These will be the first to restart operations after all the country’s nuclear plants were shut down indefinitely following the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011. 

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Japanese scientist predicts another major earthquake in Japan by 2017

According to Japanese scientists, Japan might be in for another big one.

Dr. Masaaki Kimura, a seismologist who reportedly predicted the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, recently appeared on Japanese TV to share his theory about the next major earthquake to strike Japan. Based on his estimates, the quake will occur by 2017 and will be of similar magnitude to 2011’s. Similarly, astronomer Yoshio Kushida continues to insist that a big quake is not too far away. Keep reading to find out more about their respective theories and which specific areas of Japan they’ve got on the radar.

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Tweeters urge Japanese to donate to Serbian flood relief as repayment for Tōhoku support

Japan is no stranger to natural disasters, and the world rose up in support after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011 left thousands dead and millions homeless. Now it’s time for Japanese people to repay that kindness by supporting one of their greatest benefactors through their own period of crisis.

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Kit Kat aims to bring train travelers back to Tōhoku with ticket biscuit

Japan probably has the world’s largest and most bizarre selection of Kit Kat flavours on offer, but this latest release is about more than just tickling your tastebuds. Nestle Japan is offering a specially-packaged version of their classic biscuit to help recovery in areas destroyed by the devastating tsunami of March 2011.

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Grab some tissues: Beloved cat lost in Tohoku disaster comes home over three years later

The Tohoku disaster of March, 2011 continues to impact the daily lives of the people of the region even to this day. We have no doubt that its effects will linger in Japan for decades to come, so it’s easy to see why nearly every story related to the disaster leaves us teary-eyed. This story will also likely have you reaching for the tissues, but at least they’ll be happy tears.

On Friday last week, one elderly couple in Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture was reunited with the beloved cat they’d lost in the 3/11 disaster — just over three years since the adorable feline went missing and was presumed dead.

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Spooky shots of the abandoned Fukushima disaster area taken with a drone

Japanese aerial photography company HEXaMedia flew a drone equipped with cameras through Tomioka, Japan, the largely abandoned town that played host to the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.

It edited together a number of spooky shots into a 7-minute video that you can watch here. Check out the most stunning shots in the gallery below.

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Boat believed to be debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami drifts all the way to Washington

A small boat thought to have journeyed across the Pacific Ocean from Japan after the March 2011 tsunami has washed up in Washington this week. The boat, which is encrusted with unusual-looking barnacles, is believed to have travelled an incredible 6,500 kilometres (4,559 miles) across the ocean in the three years since the tsunami and earthquake disaster struck east Japan.

State officials are checking the boat, which drifted ashore in Ocean Shores on Monday, to confirm its origin. It’s the second boat to wash ashore in Washington state in two weeks.

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Off-road bikes added to Japan’s disaster relief arsenal

In light of emergency vehicles being unable to reach victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has announced the addition of 10 off-road bikes to their force.

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Yahoo! Japan donates 5x projected amount to Tohoku after unexpected number of people participate

In tribute of the third anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake on 11 March, Yahoo! Japan held a charity drive pledging 10 yen (US$0.10) for every person who entered “3.11” into their search engine.

Relying on the data that Japan’s most used search engine was privy to, they hypothesized that a maximum of 5 million yen ($48,000) from 500,000 unique IP addresses would be generated and set a limit at that amount. Boy, were they wrong.

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Anger as kids share photos of themselves “praying” for victims of Tohoku earthquake and tsunami

As you’re probably already aware, Tuesday this week marked the third anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, a day on which tens of thousands of people lost their lives and many more were displaced, never able to return to their homes. At 14:46 local time, the exact moment the quake struck three years ago, people across the country stopped to take part in nationwide silent prayer, or mokutou in Japanese.

Teens across the land also took a moment to pay their respects that day, although the actions of a few were perhaps a little misguided. Soon after the moment of silence, photos emerged online showing kids “praying” inside purikura sticker photo booths, which were quickly shared and “favourited”.

Netizens reacted angrily to the images, calling them disrespectful and deploring how the smartphone generation feels the need to broadcast almost everything they do.

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Several Tokyo train lines were momentarily shut down today in honor of Tohoku Earthquake victims

Tokyu Corporation, which runs train lines in the Tokyo Area, announced earlier that at around 2:44 p.m. today all of its trains would stop as part of a training drill to simulate the emergency situation that occurred three years ago today in much of Eastern Japan. It also announced on Twitter that Tokyo’s subway lines run by Toei and Tokyo Metro would stop at this time out of respect for those who suffered during the Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011.

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