Here are some photos from that book
When I went with my brother Darrell to Japan in May of 2010, we visited a place near where he was stationed back in the 1950s, the town of Matsushima. I had been there in 2007, took a lot of pictures, and made a little picture book from them, with comments in English and Japanese (mostly for practice). In 2010, with Darrell’s help I took more pictures, this time with a nice DSLR camera. I took some pictures of places I had been, mainly because I wanted better quality versions, but I also took some from places I hadn’t been the first time. We had a great time, did a lot of walking, and saw some interesting historic things, and some beautiful nature things.
We had no idea that less than one year later, that area would be hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake, in March of 2011. Almost all of the places that are in these pictures were either hit by the force of the tsunami, or were under 20-30 feet of water. The town survived the brunt of the tsunami, because Matsushima’s bay is filled with over 100 islands of various sizes, and they broke the force of the wave. Unfortunately they couldn’t stop the water from flooding the town, and nothing stopped the force of the earthquake that generated the tsunami.
I intend to go back to Matsushima when I make my trip this fall (donations accepted, please hit the tip jar, even $5 helps!) (update, useless tip jar removed!) and see for myself how well or badly the town survived. The book I’m working on now will have pictures from my 2007 and 2010 trips, with commentary. I’m calling it “Omoide no Matsushima” (想い出の松島), which loosely translates to “Matsushima of My Memories”, and it will be bilingual as well. One of the big problems that Japan is facing is the loss of tourism, mainly people not going to the areas that were devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. They’re working to rebuild now, but it’s hard, and I want to go there and see for myself how well they’re rebuilding. I’m going to take pictures again, and try to document the changes in a new book, to show not just the loss but also the renewal that the area has gone through. I want to help promote Japan as a fantastic tourist spot, for many reasons that I’ll touch on in that book.
For now, though, I’m working on the book of my memories. Here are some of the photos I’ll be putting in “Omoide no Matsushima.”
JR Senseki manga train
We took this neat train from Sendai station to Matsushima Kaigan station. It was painted with manga characters created by a local artist back in the 60’s and 70’s. Sadly, I read where the train cars were destroyed when the tsunami hit the town where the manga museum was.
The first thing you see of the town, from the train platform above the station
Matsushimakaigan train station
Matsushimakaigan Station, with tourist bureau
Zuiganji temple grounds
The historic old Zuiganji temple and grounds, going back to the 800’s AD. The monks would carve statues ito the rock walls, and dig out alcoves for medittion ad other purposes. Some of these walls collapsed from the earthquake. The courtyard is filled with trees, about 300 of which were killed by salt water brought in y the tsunami, and they’re replacing them now, according to the news.
Plaza, Godaido and Fukuurajima
Some pictures from the plaza near the train station, the old Godaido shrine, and the nature preserve of Fukuurajima, over the bright red lacquered bridge.
That’s all for now, I’ll be posting more sometime. In the meantime, if you want to see the real book, please donate!
(update: since no donations came in, no need for a donation link, since removed!)