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3/11 at Tokyo exhibit

January 25, 2017

Catastrophic power of 3/11 disaster shown at Tokyo exhibit



By EIICHI MIYASHIRO/ Senior Staff Writer

3/11 at Tokyo exhibit

A broken hair salon clock and bent street signs are among items on display in Tokyo that attest to the enormous power of the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan in March 2011.

The special exhibition has been held in areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The current display at Meiji University Museum in Chiyoda Ward is the first outside the disaster zone.

“Everyday items had their shapes and significance transformed as they were struck by the disaster, turning them into historical records conveying the extraordinary nature of the event,” said Mitsuru Takahashi, head curator at the Fukushima Museum in Fukushima, where the exhibition was held last year.

“We hope for people to listen to what these earthquake relics have to say so that the experience of Fukushima can be shared and passed onto the next generation,” he said.

The exhibit is being organized by a committee consisting of museums in Fukushima Prefecture to preserve the heritage of the disaster.

The clock that was set up outside a hair salon shows the time when the magnitude-9.0 earthquake rocked the region. Also on display are distorted parts of a police car that was swept away by the tsunami while calling for people to evacuate.

Committee members have traveled across Fukushima Prefecture since 2014, collecting and preserving various items that tell a story of what happened almost six years ago. Among the collection are candles used in evacuation shelters and bundles of newspapers that were never delivered the morning after the disaster.

The committee started the project out of concerns that memories of the disaster would be lost if these items were discarded.

The exhibition will run through Feb. 5. Special events will be held on weekends, including a 3-D experience of disaster sites and a lecture about the relics.


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