Written by Karina Sujatmiko, Okumura Lab D1
In July, at Okumura-Zemi the students heard story about Great East Japan Earthquake told by a survivor named Abe-san. He lived in Ogatsu, a town located outside the city of Ishinomaki in northern Tohoku. Abe-san told the whole story about how he and his family evacuated, survived and live the post-disaster life. He also explained the relocation and reconstruction of Ogatsu town.
In July 30, on a nice sunny day I had the opportunity visited Ogatsu town along with Koshiyama-sensei, Okumura-sensei, and Liz-sensei from Tohoku University. It’s been 9 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake happened. Heard Abe-san story and seen the before and after photograph give a point of reference, but standing in the newly reconstructed town and seen the tall seawall creating a far exceed experience to understand how massive the disaster was. We went uphill to see the new reconstruction of the old village where Abe-san lived before the disaster. Standing in the high height I could see a calm and beautiful Ogatsu Bay. It hard to imagine that a devastated tsunami was once came and obliterated the whole town.
I didn’t see many people around Ogatsu town, I heard the population is shrinking and many of them moved out. I know it is hard for people to stay because of the disruption of their business and public facility. However, saw Ogatsu Bay crowded by lines of scallop and oyster farming, I wish people can return to their hometown and revive Ogatsu town.