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3/11 and the Aftermath (Photos)
Looking Back on the Disaster’s Impact
March 11, 2011, was a day that stunned Japan and the entire world. These images of the aftermath provide an important reminder of how much rebuilding work remains to be done.

At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster struck, unleashing an enormous tsunami that devastated huge stretches of the Pacific coast, from the Tōhoku region in the north to the Kantō region near Tokyo.

The horrible moment when the tsunami swept over the coast . . . the gradual realization of the full extent of the destruction . . . a crushing sense of despair . . . followed by the rising determination of people in the disaster areas to rebuild their lives, and even some smiles amid the hardship . . .

Some two months after the disaster, several photographers documented the damage. Their photographs, presented in this slideshow, give us a chance to look back on this unprecedented disaster.

The year 2011 is now drawing to an end. The disaster that struck Tōhoku in March was on a scale believed to occur once a millennium. In many places, the huge piles of debris and rubble shown in the photos still remain.

Whole towns have been flattened by the tsunami. There are still no clear blueprints on how to restore these communities. To spur these vital rebuilding efforts, it is vital that people outside the disaster areas do not forget the scenes of devastation from that terrible day.

(Photographs by Kahoku Shimpō, Tokushū Shimbun, Kawai Satoshi, Shoe Press, Kuyama Shiromasa, Matsuda Tadao)

Further slide shows featuring photos taken after the March 11 disaster can be accessed at

Kahoku Shimpō: A Local Newspaper’s View of the Disaster
Tokushū ShimbunMedical Assistance in the Disaster Zone
Kawai Satoshi: After the Tsunami: Pictures of a Ravaged Coastline | Smiles Amid the Wreckage | Spring Blooms in the Disaster Areas
Shoe PressOne Step at a Time: Coastal Areas Begin to Rebuild
Kuyama Shiromasa: Scars of Devastation
Matsuda Tadao: “Walking” to Recovery: A Community in Mourning Turns to Face the Future

  • [2011.11.01]
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