10 Years On: Festivals Keeping Evacuee's Ties with Hometown Alive

Society Lifestyle

Sendai, Miyagi Pref., March 12 (Jiji Press)--Despite losing his family and home to the massive tsunami 10 years ago, Umeo Naganuma is maintaining his connections with his hometown through traditional festivals.

"I've spent the last 10 years doing all I can for my hometown," Naganuma, 70, from the Nagatsura district of Ishinomaki, a Pacific coastal city in Miyagi Prefecture, said.

Naganuma, who currently lives in the prefectural capital of Sendai, said he was preparing for life after retirement when the disaster struck. He had called Nagatsura, with its calm inlets and lush pine groves, home for 60 years.

But the March 11 earthquake-triggered tsunami swallowed up the district, taking the lives of over 100 people and leaving the area saturated with water for about four years, prompting the local government to declare it a disaster danger zone and rendering it uninhabitable.

Naganuma rushed from his workplace in the neighboring town of Onagawa to a designated evacuation center in Ishinomaki and learned that his home had been swept away, with his wife and parents still inside.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press