The following is a further excerpt from Teiichi Sato’s book, “The Seed of Hope in the Heart.” People’s accounts that Sato records here about the huge tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, were all told to him first-hand by survivors who came to his hastily rebuilt seed shop and would often burst into tears as they related their experiences.

In the downward direction, there was an arrow of houses in a flat region. It was about 3 meters above the sea level. The tsunami rushed from all sides. A man jumped into the water and tried to help his neighbors. He saved several people, but he himself was washed away finally. His wife was stunned. A man was holding up other family’s children. He put the children on an elevated safe location. But his legs were swept by the waves. He clung to the grass, but the grass was weak and broken. And then he disappeared. “Only if he had held a grass 2 meters ahead, just only 2 meters ahead.” His wife trembles with fear and shed tears. A man was swallowed up by the wave while carrying old mother on his back. He barely survived, but his old mother was flowing. She was a master of Japanese leek cultivation. Every spring, she came to buy the seeds of leek. I can no longer meet her again. A woman came back to the take the baggage and was carried off by the wave. A man went back home to lock the door, but he never returned. Several houses were flowing with all of their family, including old people and young children.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.