Tōhoku 2.0

Near Watari (Japan), September 10th 2018. Even though an ordinance dating back to the immediate earthquake aftermath still forbids bathing in the ocean along the coast of Tohoku, a man swims close the newly build seawall near the town of Watari.

[ONGOING PROJECT]
The region at the turn of a decade after the tsunami

On 11 March 2011, Japan’s Tōhoku region was hit by the strongest earthquake of the century, followed by a devastating tsunami and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear accident. This triple disaster killed more than 18,000 people on the spot, erased entire cities, heavily damaged the region’s agriculture and economy. As of 2019, approximately 30,000 people are still hosted in temporary prefabricated homes, and some areas surrounding the Fukushima power plant remain a no-go zone due to the radiation hazard.

Tokyo's government responded promptly to the disaster, and has implemented numerous reconstruction projects in the area. Some of these projects, though, have been criticized by locals for their environmental impact and for being at odds with the region’s traditional lifestyle. One of the most discussed projects is the giant seawall built along the entire coast of Tōhoku to protect the region from possible future tsunamis.

At the turn of a decade after the triple disaster, Tōhoku faces another challenge: finding a balance between rebuilding infrastructure and reconstructing the community.



Project in collaboration with Orizzontinternazionali.

error: All images on this website are copyrighted © 2020 Marco Panzetti