Day 6, Mar 5th, Sendai 仙台

I took a maintenance break today. My shoulder and back were really sore. My knees felt rusted. Overall I was ok. I continued to work, nonetheless, spending all morning on writing and photos. I made a short train ride to Sendai in the afternoon. I was scheduled to meet with Sotaro Okamoto, curator at the Sendai Mediatheque.

Sendai Mediatheque is a center for activities in the fields of art and film. It is also home for an extensive video/film archive titled “Center for Remembering 3.11.” The center collects footage ranging from home videos, feature length films, to documentaries made by amateurs and professionals. They also provide equipment for volunteers to make their own video stories. Most of the material is online. Some of them are available for checkout from the library. I hope to share my footage with them in the future.




I showed Sotaro my project and let him try my camera. He showed me around. The center is on 7th floor. It was severely damaged and moved to 2nd floor before it was restored. Since then a big part of it serves as a information center for the earthquake. There are photo archives of before and after shots in the region.


P1011458Sendai Mediatheque after earthquake


P1011464Sotaro was from Tokyo. He came for the job at the Mediatheque. The earthquake hit on the second day after his arrival. His father was with him, too. His train arrived just moments before the earthquake. They managed to escape to the west coast and then back home. It is hard to say whether they were fortunate or unfortunate. Maybe both.


On my way back, I felt I was on the wrong train. It has not started yet and I asked a couple of people where it was heading. My Japanese was nowhere near polished, and they did not want to deal with me. It is ironic that the more crowded the place, the more distant the people. Then someone grabbed me and called my name. I was confused for a moment, then I realized he was Masanori from Yamamoto, husband of the hotel lady. We were very excited. What are the odds!



Masanori makes 2 hour commute to Sendai everyday. He works at an urban design company. He flipped open his smartphone, and there was my blog. They followed my posts everyday. I wanted to ask him out for a drink. Considering his commute, however, I decided not to. He gave me his cards and we said goodbye. I held the cards all the way back on my train. I couldn’t stop smiling. There were miracles everyday.


Japanese translation by Michiko Owaki 日本語訳:大脇美智子

3 thoughts

  1. Liouさん、こんにちは。Hello, Mr. Liou.
    Sorry, I’m not good at English…

    2日前の3月4日(Mar 4)に、岩沼市(Iwanuma City)の阿武隈橋(Abukuma-Bridge)で会った者です。

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