With the exception of the first two pictures, I took all these pictures in Onagawa, Ishinomaki and Sendai. The majority were taken in the first few days after the tsunami, as I made my way to Ishinomaki with K to look for Mike and check on my apartment and cat, drove to Sendai, then got a ride back into Onagawa. There are a few pictures from later in the month and into April, as I discovered more damage around the area, new dangers such as high tides, and signs of rebuilding. Since most of these images are actually quite large, the writting on them is really too small to read within the photo album. So those wishing to read the story, should download this set of pictures to your computer.
The first two days after the tsunami, I took a total of 19 pictures around Onagawa, as I looked at the damage and reported back to the other teachers, and on the second day, walked towards Ishinomaki. I went back two months later, on May 10, and took 19 more pictures from approximately the same location. I decided to keep doing this to show how Onagawa is changing. At first, not much seemed to be happening, so I only did it every other month, but decided to do it every month from October, 2011 (I was not able to take pictures for the month of June, 2012, because of my work situation). I have put a map showing where in Onagawa I stood, and which direction I was facing, before each set of pictures. If you want to see how Onagawa is progressing, check back every month sometime after the twelfth and you can see for yourself just what Onagawa looks like and how much it has changed. I just wish I had pictures from before the tsunami came...
The photo albums on this page are all stored on my Windows Live Skydrive. I hope this does not cause any problems. Clicking on either the thumbnail or the title of the album will take you to the Skydrive photo album. You can either look at the pictures in the album, or use the menu on the right side of the album to download the entire album to your computer. Putting the pictures on Skydrive instead of this site, saves me lots of time and money, because I have limited space to store pictures, and limited bandwidth for people copying stuff to their own computers.
This is a collection of pictures of Onagawa, taken by teachers of Dai-Ichi (1-Sho) Elementary School, as they made their way to the main evacuation center (the Onagawa public gym), looking for students who were unaccounted for. I did not take any of these pictures, but included them because there are so many that show Onagawa less than two days after the tsunami struck. I did meet these teachers on my way to Ishinomaki. Looking at these pictures now, I realize just how much progress they have made cleaning
up the mess in Onagawa.
These are pictures I received from the principal of the small elementary school on the island of Izushima, which is a part of Onagawa, but since it is only linked to Onagawa by ferry, it is a very seperate community. He took these pictures on May 6, which was the first
opportunity they had to go back since they were taken off Izushima by military helicopter after the earthquake and tsunami. While some of the debris had been cleared from the roads, the majority of the island was still in the same condition as it was left in almost 2 months ago. Nothing had been touched in the school, either. The first few pictures in this series are of the Onagawa bay area, of which I don't have any pictures in my other collections. After the pictures of them crossing the water, the rest of the pictures were all taken on Izushima.
Updated on May 11, 2014: Pictures from March 2011 to May 2014.
The first two years are now available as a video.
These pictures show the work I did putting together to Halloween display for 2011. This is by far the biggest and most elaborate Halloween I have ever done in Japan, but wanted to do something special for the kids in Onagawa, because they have been through so much. I spent 6 weeks working on this, waking up at 4 am, leaving for school by 5:00 working through the day during all of my spare time, and leaving school around 7 pm (getting home around 9:00. It was a lot of work and cost a lot of money, but the kids really enjoyed this. I have some video I took of this as well as the floor plans, which I will put up sometime soon (I hope). I would like to thank Brent Freeman and his family, as well as 2-Sho Elementary School for giving me some money and items to help defray some of the cost. I would also like to thank the Captain and crew of the USNS Safeguard, who helped by volunteering some crew to finish preparations and act the part of monsters for one day while they were in port. Also, thanks to Donald Ball, the other ALT, who agreed to help me despite just having arrived in Onagawa when I started working on this, and not knowing much about putting together this kind of thing.
--this doesn't always work...sorry.