February 2024 | Exhibition

February 3 - March 1, 2024

The Hamayuri rests on top of a building in Otsuchi after being stranded there by receding tsunami waters. 2011
A kindergarten in Arahama that was being used as an evacuation center was devastated by the tsunami. A number of people died in this classroom. 2011
Seawalls throughout Tohoku have been or are being rebuilt and expanded. 2016

On March 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m. the earthquake struck off the coast of northeast Honshu. Instead of hitting a peak after a few powerful jolts, it kept going and growing, reaching a magnitude 9.0 and unleashing enough seismic force to slightly shorten the length of Earth’s days and knock the entire world off its axis by more than six inches. Less than an hour later, the first tsunami waves hit the coastline and continued inland. By the time the water receded, more than 18,000 people had died. 

In the weeks after the disaster Harris made his way to eastern Tohoku with the assistance of a Tokyo-based colleague and began what has evolved into a documentary of not only the disaster but the region’s efforts to rise out of the rubble with lessons learned from the catastrophe.  

While the lives lost on March 11, 2011 will never be replaced, Harris demonstrates through images how the people of eastern Tohoku are rebuilding their towns and cities to safer standards as well as memorializing and interpreting that horrific spring day through state-of-the-art museums to educate future generations. 

Photographer Mark Edward Harris

Japan holds a very special place in award-winning Los Angeles-based photographer Mark Edward Harris’s personal and professional life. He has walked the Nakasendo, hiked the Michinoku Coastal Trail, paddled the mangroves of Amami and Iriomotejima, climbed Mt. Fuji, bathed in countless onsen and sento for his book, The Way of the Japanese Bath, documented the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in the middle of the pandemic, and is now presenting at the FCCJ his multiyear focus on eastern Tohoku in the wake of the tsunami caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Bruce Osborn (Exhibition Committee Chair)
Peter Lyon (Co-Chair)