Touhoku - IWATE, Otsuchi

    national flag

    Tohoku earthquake statistics

    Damage situation in Iwate
    Deaths 4,667
    Missing 1,368
    Orphaned children    479


    • Number of dead and missing:
      From Bulletin 143 on the 2011 (Heisei 23) Off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake (Great East Japan Earthquake), Fire and Disaster Management Agency, February 7, 2012
      Children orphaned by the earthquake:
      From Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, dated December 28, 2011
    • Children orphaned by the earthquake:
      From Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, dated December 28, 2011
    日本 地図

    Iwate workshop report

    Six students from the senior grade in Kirikiri Junior High participated in the workshop in Otsuchi Town, Iwate.

    Otsuchi town is located in the coastal area of Iwate with a population of 15,277.
    Otsuchi was flourished as fishery town. The ocean is the place to ilve and part of their lives. Now, what children see from the Kirikiri junior high school located on a high hill is the afflicted town and the ocean.


    "2nd year students in our school used to grow seaweeds at that beach every year. I am sad they could not do it this year", said Kaoru Sano (age 15), looking at the beach where used to be a place for community's festivals and many other school events. Through the interview, they heard a story from a taxi driver that although he tried to help elderly women, he could not do it, because he was also attached by Tsunami. He got totally soaked, and somewhat survived.

    "I usually take photos of flowers and plants so I found it difficult to take photos of the people. I want to take photos of them in more natural, relaxed moods". Said Misuzu Kamaishi (age 14), who visited her grandfather at the welfare facilities for the aged, reflecting her photo-shooting experience.

    "Yottetansee", the temporary restaurant which was built in Otsuchi town as the first reconstructed restaurant, was operated by 6 wives of the fishermen. Children interviewed the women, working hard with a smile, saying "I want to cheer people up by serving warm foods". These women were talking to children, saying that "we know all the children in this Kirikiri town".

    Children had an opportunity to reflect their feelings and lives through camera lenses. Living in the small town, they went to the same elementary school and know each other very well. This coming spring, they will graduate and will choose the different paths.

    Children learning photography from a
    professional photographer.
    "Tsunami came close to the school"
    Through the camera lenses, a junior high
    school student looks at the temporary houses
    built in the school yard.
    Children felt overwhelmed by the scenery of
    the afflicted area they walked into for the first
    time after the earthquake.
    Shooting the ocean which used to be crowded
    with many fishermen. Now, it is very quiet.

    All images ©UNICEF/G.Pirozzi

    (Implementation of the workshop : 2011)

    Find the pictures taken by children

    The Photographers

    Atsuya Ueyama, 15
    Kaoru Sano, 15
    Misuzu Kamaishi, 14
    Saaya Minatogawa, 14
    Taichi Sotodate, 15
    Toshinori Sano, 15
    Page Top