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What the Tsunami Left Behind
Published: March 8, 2013


Near the apartment building, yellow excavators work through mounds of debris-filled soil, clearing the grounds for new construction. As the region’s massive clean up races along with characteristic Japanese efficiency, the local governments face the sensitive challenge of deciding what if any items should be preserved as memorials of the tragedy. It is proving to be a testing process, particularly in the northern area’s conservative culture that reveres consensus.

Much of the opposition, understandably, comes from residents near the edifices who say they don’t need any more reminders of their losses. Japan doesn’t have a strong tradition of saving buildings, either, in part due to its historical use of wood as opposed to stone in construction. A major exception is the lone building that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima whose steel dome top has become a globally recognized symbol of the reality of nuclear warfare. Opponents also worry that the costs to maintain memorials will divert funds from reconstruction projects.

村上隆や東 浩紀さんの試みも紹介されています。

The artist Takashi Murakami started a conservation project after he noticed how quickly wreckage was disappearing while he was delivering relief goods just after the quake. “The ship on top of the roof, the twisted road signs, would be there one week and gone the next,” he said. Murakami began collecting whatever he could fit in his car — so far about 100 items, such as oil drums, fire extinguishers and street signs. The cultural critic Hiroki Azuma formed a group to explore making the decommissioned nuclear reactor in Fukushima Prefecture an educational tourist destination.

Miyagi Prefecture issued preservation guidelines for its cities. The buildings should have helped save lives or have the potential to educate future generations on disaster prevention. They must meet safety standards and not disrupt reconstruction plans. Rikuzentakata, located in neighboring Iwate Prefecture, decided not to conserve any buildings where people died; a stance that some say defeats the purpose of having the memorials enlighten viewers on the scale of the tsunami.

最後にもってきたのは保存処理を施された奇跡の一本松“miracle pine tree”の紹介でした。

In time for next week’s second anniversary, Rikuzentakata officials erected a restored version of what is popularly called the “miracle pine tree,” a single tree that remained standing after waves took out the rest of the shoreline forest. The 27-meter-high tree died last year after its roots rotted from exposure to seawater, but it has been hollowed out and filled with carbon fiber and adorned with replicated branches and leaves. The new tree won’t speak to the frailty of people in the face of natural calamities, but the city hopes the majestic replica will be an encouraging symbol of recovery.


奇跡の松 囲む復興軌跡 国立追悼施設を整備
2013年3月5日 朝刊
 政府は、東日本大震災で壊滅的な被害を受けた岩手県陸前高田市で、大津波に耐え残った「奇跡の一本松」一帯に国立の犠牲者追悼施設を整備する方向で検討を始めた。一本松は震災後に枯れたが、保存処理後にモニュメントとして現地に再建する作業が大詰めを迎えている。政府は原爆被爆地の広島、長崎の事例などを参考に施設の内容を検討し、震災の記憶を伝承する拠点に位置付けたい考えだ。 (中根政人)

Facing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the TsunamiFacing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami
Gretel Ehrlich


PBSニューズアワーでは、被災地を訪れた回想録Facing the Waveという本を書かれた紀行作家のGretel Ehrlichを招いて話を聞いていました。

Watch Reflections on the Japanese Tsunami, Two Years Later on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Sonali Deraniyagala



The Tsunami Killed Her Family. She Tells of What Came Next.
‘Wave,’ by Sonali Deraniyagala
Published: March 5, 2013

Before long they and their two young sons were running. There was no time to warn her parents, staying in the same hotel. The four of them made it into a Jeep, and were driving away, when the tsunami overtook them.

Her husband died in the churning water. So did their sons, ages 5 and 7. So, it happens, did her parents. The Jeep turned over on Ms. Deraniyagala, nearly crushing and drowning her. She survived, miraculously, by clinging to a tree limb.

“Wave” is a granular, tactile working through of grief, regret and survivor’s guilt. It maintains a tight focus. Don’t arrive here looking for statistics and a journalistic overview of the tsunami. This book contains nothing about tectonic plates, the pressure per inch of water or the numbers of the dead.


Her slim book moves forward in time, about a year per chapter. It intimately circles the question all memoirs of grief must pose, one that she puts this way: “Who am I now?”

Ms. Deraniyagala’s great realization, a full seven years after the tsunami, is not that her grief has diminished. It remains raw to the touch. Even the sound of footsteps in the apartment above hers makes her think that her boys are still playing upstairs. “Then I have to accept,” she writes, “that I don’t have them.”

Her great realization, she says, is that “I can only recover myself when I keep them near. If I distance myself from them, and their absence, I am fractured. I am left feeling I’ve blundered into a stranger’s life.”

最後に語っている忘れようとするのではなく、忘れないようにすることで立ち直れる(I can only recover myself when I keep them near.)という点は、NPRで話されていたことにもつながります。悲しみが癒えることはないが、家族について書くことで忘れずにいることができ、家族を取り戻すことができるというのです。

'Wave' Tells A True Story Of Survival And Loss In The 2004 Tsunami
March 05, 2013 3:40 AM

"I'm more and more and more able to hold them both, [to] stand here on my own and then hold the feeling of us, more than the memory of us even — the images and the feeling of us being together by that river. It's another vista," she says. "I'm always kind of straddling two worlds."

Deraniyagala says there is no resolution to the grief she feels. But in writing about her family she feels she has memorialized them, and in a way that has brought them back to life again.

Exclusive First Read: 'Wave' By Sonali Deraniyagala
February 19, 2013 7:00 AM

亡くなった方々のためにもどのように記憶していくのか、2年経った今これらの本を買って自分なりに考えてみたいと思います。ということでLean inは買わないことに決定です(笑)