10 Years On: Man to Open Aquarium with Memory of Friend Lost in Tsunami

Society Culture

Fukui, March 9 (Jiji Press)--Toshiyuki Tanaka, 42, is preparing to open a small aquarium featuring jellyfish in the central Japan city of Fukui in August, inspired by a friend who lost her life in a tsunami from the March 2011 powerful earthquake, which struck northeastern Japan.

With his proposal to convert a disused community center near the Sea of Japan coast into an aquarium accepted by the Fukui municipal government in February, Tanaka is now raising some 15 million yen needed to open the facility through crowdfunding and other means. He hopes the aquarium will attract 30,000 visitors in the first year.

He plans to exhibit jellyfish in a fantasy-like atmosphere with lighting and give visitors the opportunity to taste jellyfish in collaboration with a chef. Local marine creatures will also be displayed, to raise interest in the local community.

"I'm finally at the starting line," Tanaka said.

Tanaka, who has carried an illustrated encyclopedia of animals with him since his childhood, started to work at a local post office after graduating from high school in Fukui Prefecture. When he was 24, however, he moved to Tokyo to pursue his dream of getting a job involving living things.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press