In the town of Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, where the New Year’s Day earthquake and tsunami wrought serious devastation and loss, a remarkable monument once criticized as "wasteful" has emerged unscathed.

Known as the "Squid King," this 13-meter-long statue of a squid stands resilient amid the aftermath. Its steadfast presence has become a source of solace for local residents as they strive toward recovery.

“I haven’t seen her smile like this in a long time,” said one mother, looking at her four-year-old daughter's joyful expression in front of the Squid King in late February. The girl gleefully remarked, “I’m so happy that it didn’t get destroyed!”