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    Posted January 19, 2012 by
    Ishinomaki, Japan

    More from AllanCook

    Beauty and the Beast (Video)


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     AllanCook lives in Tokyo and spent a week volunteering in the fishing city of Ishinomaki, which was hard hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. 'Before, I never considered going to the Tohoku region, as it wasn't part of the well known tourist track. Now I think many tens of thousands of volunteers have a special connection with Tohoku and they really want to see it recover and want to be a part of that recovery.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    A short video shot in Ishinomaki, Japan 10 months after a massive tsunami destroyed much of the North East Japan coastal towns.

    It is now January 2012, 10 months after the terrifying tsunami devastated Japans northern shores of Tohoku.

    Visiting the city of Ishinomaki as a volunteer with the Japanese NGO Peace Boat, I realised something that I hadn’t noticed about the area where so much destruction was wrought back in March!

    What I realised, was the sheer natural beauty of the area as islands peaked out from the sea on the horizon amid beautiful scenes of nature at its best. Seeing the amazing views for the first time I realized just why so many wanted to make their homes so close to the sea that has such a terrible history of tsunami tragedy! 

    Talking with the locals, many of them fishermen in the area, they too were still in disbelief at how such beauty had so cruelly turned against them! They had known the history of tsunami in the region and many had even experienced it as far back as 1960 when the global Tsunami that swept the world after Chile’s massive M9.5 earthquake swept over Tohoku’s shores. Yet even that tragic event was to be belittled by the heights of the March 11th waves.

    The ugly ruins of broken and battered buildings can be seen set against the backdrop of some of Japans most beautiful scenery. Bulldozers can be seen clearing the land of debris while others work at reconstruction. An old man, seemingly at peace with nature’s wrath holds its bounty to show volunteers as they work on a new field. Maybe the octopus is a tiny peace offering!

    The Japanese are a proud people, whose country has grown from fishing and their love of the sea. Yet without a doubt they continue to acknowledge the tragic beauty within the beautiful beast!

    For more information about the work of Peace Boat and its volunteers to help those affected by the earthquake and Tsunami please take a look at their website.

    With special thanks to Peace Boat NGO


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