March 11th will mark the fourth year since the east coast of Japan was devastated by a tsunami. Unsurprisingly, given the scale of the disaster, the people of the Tohoku region are still rebuilding.
One of the cities in the region most affected was Rikuzentakata. Fifteen-metre high waves destroyed homes, buildings and lives, and what remains now is an overwhelming emptiness. Rikuzentakata was noted for its tree-lined coast, regarded as among the most beautiful landscapes in Japan. Tragically, after the disaster, only one of its 70,000 trees remained standing. It became known as ‘the miracle pine’. These days it’s miles of conveyor belts that follow the coastline, a sight in itself, snaking mechanically in and out of the distant mountains, from where they transport rocks to rebuild the land that was washed away.
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