Easter Island statue lookalike emerges in sea off tsunami-hit town

June 06, 2013

By YOSHIYUKI ITO/ Staff Writer

MINAMI-SANRIKU, Miyagi Prefecture--Residents in this disaster-hit fishing town say rocks have emerged in the sea that resemble the face of the famed Easter Island statues.

They see the “Moai rocks” in Shizugawa Bay as another symbol of Minami-Sanriku’s friendship with Chile.

“Maybe it’s because I have a special feeling toward it, but they do indeed look like a Moai statue,” said Minoru Sugawara, who runs a sushi restaurant at a provisional shopping mall in the town.

Just two weeks ago, the town received a gift of a replica Moai statue from Easter Island to replace an earlier replica, given in 1991, that was damaged in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Minami-Sanriku was also hit by a tsunami in 1960 caused by a huge earthquake off Chile.

The Moai lookalike rocks, about 5 meters long and 2 meters wide, are located about 30 meters from the shore.

The land in the coastal area has sunk by about 70 centimeters due to the disaster, which makes the rocks look like a reclining Moai facing up.

The best time to see the rocks is at the high tide.

By YOSHIYUKI ITO/ Staff Writer
  • 1
submit to reddit
The "reclining Moai" rocks appear in the sea near Shizugawa Bay in Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture. The forehead at the right, the nose and flat chin resemble the features on the Easter Island statues. (Kengo Hiyoshi)

The "reclining Moai" rocks appear in the sea near Shizugawa Bay in Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture. The forehead at the right, the nose and flat chin resemble the features on the Easter Island statues. (Kengo Hiyoshi)

Toggle
  • The "reclining Moai" rocks appear in the sea near Shizugawa Bay in Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture. The forehead at the right, the nose and flat chin resemble the features on the Easter Island statues. (Kengo Hiyoshi)
  • Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, receives a replacement of a replica Moai statue from Easter Island on May 25. (Kengo Hiyoshi)

More AJW