Takamitsu Yoshino, 57, a former curator at the town's historical museum, collects loads of items like makeshift tables and changing rooms made of cardboard boxes, along with counseling notices and even a volunteer reception sign.

At first glance, they appear to be a jumble of meaningless items. But they illustrate what people in the town of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, went through when calamity struck at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after the March 11, 2011, mega-quake and tsunami.

Almost all of Futaba's nearly 7,000 residents are still unable to return as 96 percent of the town remains a no-go zone. To record the experience for the next generation, Yoshino and other officials hope to build a museum that will become home to the stories of its displaced population.