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Just two months after the tsunami on March 11, 2011, devastated the city of Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture, Emi Satomi and a group of nursery teachers whose jobs were eliminated by the catastrophe began a makeshift day care center in a warehouse up on a hill.

Satomi, 51, is a niece of the director of a local nursery who died in the tsunami. The nursery school, which had been operating for more than 30 years was swept away. Only its bare foundation remains.

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