Recovery

Cauldron lit at 1964 Tokyo Olympics inspires again in battered...
Koji Murofushi lights the Olympic cauldron on June 27 at a park in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. (Sayuri Ide)
ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi Prefecture--A proud symbol of Japan's revival after World War II is now offering hope to a region still trying to pick itself up from the 2011 Great East...
'Diva of temporary housing facilities' to perform landmark 400th...
Singer Hikaru Okuno performs at a meeting hall of a temporary housing facility in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, on June 9. (Yosuke Fukudome)
RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate Prefecture--Hikaru Okuno may be from distant Osaka Prefecture, but she's about to give her 400th performance for evacuees in the disaster-stricken Tohoku...
Tsunami-stricken Miyako rebuilds by combining disaster education,...
Yuki Matsumoto, president of the Nagisatei Taro-an hotel, and his mother, Miya. The hotel opened June 1 on a hill in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture. (Yosuke Fukudome)
MIYAKO, Iwate Prefecture--In a special room next to the lobby of the Nagisatei Taro-an hotel, guests can gain a sense of shock, horror and utter helplessness.
In Miyagi, residents now commuting like in pre-disaster times
A train travels the section of track between Tona and Nobiru stations in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, on the JR Senseki Line, which resumed full operation on May 30. (Yosuke Fukudome)
ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi Prefecture--After a more than four-year wait, the tsunami-hit JR Senseki Line in Miyagi Prefecture resumed full operation on May 30, and local residents were ...
PHOTO: Purple flowers returning to tsunami-stricken Miyagi beach
Purple sea bell flowers blossom on a 150-meter stretch of Nobiru beach in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, on May 23. (Yosuke Fukudome)
HIGASHI-MATSUSHIMA, Miyagi Prefecture--Purple sea bells are making a comeback on Nobiru beach here after the 2011 tsunami wiped out nearly all of the flowering bindweeds.
Fukushima again tops in grand prizes at sake competition
The Asahi Shimbun
Fukushima Prefecture won the most grand prizes at the Annual Japan Sake Awards for the third straight year, lifting the spirits of brewers still struggling with the effects of...
Alaska students study disaster preparedness in Iwate, where...
Students of the University of Alaska Anchorage and Iwate University visit a reconstruction work site in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, on May 9. (Kazumasa Sugimura)
RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate Prefecture--An American affectionately called "Monty Sensei" (Teacher Monty), who died here in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is the inspiration for a...
Fukushima evacuee aims to repay kindness with garden full of sakura
Kinichi Okubo sits in a field full of yellow narcissus flowers in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, in April. (Yukiko Seino)
IITATE, Fukushima Prefecture--Kinichi Okubo dreams of the day the garden around his home is filled with mature cherry blossom trees that will flower for generations to come.
Tsunami-hit Miyagi railway to resume full operation
Land development work is under way around a relocated section of the JR Senseki Line in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, on April 21. (Hikaru Uchida)
HIGASHI-MATSUSHIMA, Miyagi Prefecture--The tsunami-hit JR Senseki Line is gearing up to resume full operations next month after a trial run was held April 21 on a previously...
Juvenile salmon released to keep spawning cycle alive in a...
Kiyomi Igari, left, releases juvenile salmon into the Tomiokagawa river in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, on April 15. (Naoyuki Takahashi)
TOMIOKA, Fukushima Prefecture--Although all residents of Tomioka remain evacuated due to the nuclear accident, a local fishermen’s union is ensuring that salmon don't...
Pasona to dispatch interns to help Tohoku recovery
Interns are taught how to wash oysters in an program organized by Pasona Group Inc. in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, in late March. (Provided by Pasona Group Inc.)
Human resources company Pasona Group Inc. will arrange internships for young people seeking hands-on experience in coastal Tohoku areas hit hard by the 2011 Great East Japan...
Tsunami-hit JR Senseki Line nearing full operations in Miyagi
Participants at Nobiru Station in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, on March 29 get to walk along the tracks of the JR Senseki Line, which is nearing final repairs for damage caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)
HIGASHI-MATSUSHIMA, Miyagi Prefecture--Around 200 people were allowed to walk along a relocated section of the JR Senseki Line that was heavily damaged by the tsunami in 2011.
'Evangelion' producer hopes anime museum will put world spotlight...
Visitors check out a reproduced anime studio at “Kuso to Art no Museum--Fukushima Sakura Yugakusha” in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 28. (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)
MIHARU, Fukushima Prefecture--In a twist for anime fans, the production company of "Neon Genesis Evangelion" is coming to the assistance of a rural area recovering from the...
AKB48 members continue to bring smiles to disaster-hit areas...
AKB48 members perform at a concert in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, on March 11, the fourth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. (Naoko Kawamura)
Four years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the number of entertainers visiting the devastated areas is declining.
Meet the 12-year-old Fukushima girl who is braving it alone at...
Teacher Satomi Senzaki comforts Chika Akimoto after the graduation ceremony at Kawauchi Elementary School in Kawauchi, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 23. (Yosuke Fukudome)
KAWAUCHI, Fukushima Prefecture--For the past three years, all Chika Akimoto wanted to do was to hang out with kids of her age at school.
Train service resumes on final stretch of JR line in disaster-hit...
A train leaves Onagawa Station in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, on the JR Ishinomaki Line for the first time in four years, on March 21. (Yosuke Fukudome)
ONAGAWA, Miyagi Prefecture--After a four-year wait, trains are up and running the full length of the restored JR Ishinomaki Line, which was ravaged by the 2011 earthquake and...
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Fukushima city offers last look in effort to...
An unclaimed notebook found in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake is on display at the Recycle Plaza in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture. (Wataru Sekita)
MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture--For the final time, unclaimed photographs, notebooks and other items salvaged from the detritus of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and...
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Japan prays for Tohoku disaster victims
Shinji Seo, center, visits the memorial for his daughter, Kanae, along with his wife and son in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, on March 11. (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)
Members of the Seo family on March 11 made the familiar trek along the coast of Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, to a plot where a stone monument, figurines, flowers and even a white ...
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Project gathers happy photos to cheer...
A pair of children and their mother jump for photographer Katsuhiro Ichikawa at Tokyo's Haneda Airport as part of the "Tohoku Smile Project" organized by photographer Katsuhiro Ichikawa. (Louis Templado)
Hirotaka Abe brought his 3-year-old daughter, Rian, to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to see off her mother on a flight to Fukuoka.
FOUR YEARS AFTER: Population shrinks by 92,000 in 39 disaster-hit...
The devastation from the 2011 tsunami is evident in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, in December 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
The population of 39 municipalities ravaged in the 2011 disaster shrank by 92,000, or 6.7 percent, over four years, a rate more than eight times faster than Japan’s overall...