Some 50 days after the disaster, I traveled through some of the worst-affected areas of the Tōhoku coast. I was not sure whether I would find any evidence of spring here at all, after the tsunami ripped away the rich topsoil and dumped seawater and mud across wide stretches of the coast. I encountered a scarred landscape that looked as barren and desolate as ever, but here and there small flowers were starting to bloom amid the desolation, and there were signs of new life springing up amid the wreckage.

Photos: Kawai Satoshi