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Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Good Morning!  This morning I want to tell you a bit about Ishinomaki.  The two towns Alex and I visited were Ishinomaki and Kamaishi.  Tomorrow I'll post pictures from Kamaishi.  These towns are very close to the Sendai area that was on the news so much.

We delivered the knitted items to a gentleman named Fumito Suzuki.  He told us his story of the day of the tsunami-riding his mo-ped to try to warn people and almost getting swept away himself by the giant wave.  He said when he finally escaped, he looked back and saw people being washed from cars and being swept away.

He opened up his home to over 40 people after the disaster.  That was amazing when you think about how small most Japanese homes are.  He spends his days trying to help the many, many people still in shelters.  He is a photographer by trade, but feels bad about charging people in these difficult days so he is working mostly for free.  Fumito is an amazing man who is just trying to get by, day to day and help those who lost everything.  He feels guilty and humbled by turn to still have his home and possessions so does whatever he can for others.

Here are a few pictures of Ishinomaki.  I'll let them speak for themselves.  As I said yesterday.  All were taken from the car as we drove through.  I didn't want to seem to exploit the people any further by stopping to walk around.

This is a huge pile of debris that has been collected.  You can see how much has already been done in the cleanup by this pile.  But you can see by the pictures, how much still needs to be done.

This is the hospital that so many of you probably saw on the news.  It looks fairly good from this angle, but the first 3 floors are destroyed.  Windows gone, equipment gone.  Patients were floating out the broken windows.  The hospital is just 2 blocks from the ocean and they had virtually no time to react.


These pictures don't begin to show the absolute devastation.  Blocks and blocks of flattened areas with no buildings at all.  These used to be bustling towns where people lived and worked in the same buildings.  There was no dicrimination in the damage.  Well-to-do and poor people alike lost everything and now have to begin again.  After the typhoon last week, it was another large blow to the area.

Tomorrow I'll show you a few pictures of Kamaishi.  Thank you again for your help.




  1. It's devastating. My heart aches for the people who lost loved ones, homes and just about everything else.

  2. It's a little ironic that I'm watching some shows on PBS right now about the tsunami... posted about your photos on my facebook page!