Japan’s Tohoku Earthquake: Five Years Later

It’s been five years since Japan was devastated by a historic magnitude 9.0 earthquake. The Tohoku earthquake, the largest in the country’s history, produced incredible damage including a tsunami that caused a level seven nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

As the anniversary of this tragic event approaches, many of those whose lives were impacted by the earthquake are still dealing with the after effect. The Matsuokoshima is known as one of the three most beautiful bays in Japan and it is also an area that suffered very serious damage as a result of the tsunami.

Kunio Sakurai, a leader of local civil government in the area as well as the owner of the owner of the Ootakamori Sightseeing Hotel recalled how the disaster impacted his business.

“I’ve been running a family hotel here for 50 years” said Sakurai. “When the tsunami happened, the upper and central Bay Area was severely damaged. Though my hotel was lucky enough to survive. My customer number drops to minus.”

Many people where not as fortunate as Mr. Sakurai, losing their family members and homes in the tsunami. All together over 15,000 lives were lost in the devastation. About half of the population in the upper bay has left the area for good, and it is now the responsibility of the government to buy new land to rebuild the area, which has not been easy.

While many local residents have moved to other cities in search of jobs, Mr. Sakurai intends to stay and restart his hotel business.

“There’s less people here now. But I want to restart my hotel business and I must work hard for the sake of myself and the people who died in the tsunami” he says.

People like Mr. Sakurai continue to protect this place that has been their home for many years, and many are hoping they will recover from the earthquake as soon as possible.



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