Fostering a new human-nature relationship in an area devastated by Great East Japan Earthquake in Ishinomaki, Japan

Satoyama Initiative所収

At 14:46 on March 11, 2011, the largest earthquake ever recorded, with a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale, occurred, and together with the subsequent tsunami, caused extensive damage along the Pacific coast of the Tohoku region in Japan. The human casualties, as reported by the National Police Agency on April 10, 2015, were 15,891 dead and 2,579 missing nationwide. Miyagi Prefecture accounted for about 60% of the victims, making it the prefecture that suffered the most damage.

Ishinomaki City, located in the northeastern part of Miyagi prefecture, recorded a seismic intensity of 6 on the Japanese scale. The maximum tsunami height was at 8.6 meters, inundating the entire central city area. The city accounts for about 30% of all the victims in Miyagi, making it the largest affected area in the prefecture. Among them, the Minamihama district, an urban area located at the mouth of the former Kitakami river, was one of the hardest hit areas in Ishinomaki, with more than 400 people killed by the tsunami and the spread of fire. The earthquake and tsunami caused the ground to sink, and parts of the area have become marshland. The Minamihama district was the area damaged by a combination of earthquake, tsunami, fire, and land subsidence, making it a representative location devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

This article describes efforts of local people and concerned people around the world for the recovery from the disaster through the development of new human-nature relationshiop.