I found sunflowers in front of a "Bosai Taisaku Chosha" Building at Minamisanriku, Miyagi, and took some pictures of them in August. "Bosai" means protection against disasters. Some civil servants were working there in that time . A "Bosai Taisaku Chosha" Building became a symbol of a tsunami disaster of Minamisanriku. Because some people clung to the top of an antenna of a building and survived, but others were dead.
Japanese media reported a story of a young lady "Miki Endo" ' s death again and again. She worked there as a staff of announcing a Tsunami warning for people, and continued to do just before it came and saved many people.
After I came back to Tokyo, I put a photo of "Sunflower after tsunami" on Facebook, then got a lot of comments and friends, I did not know why this photo is having some power to make a strong network of people. I figured it out when I visited that place again in the middle of October. I found a woody sign which says " sunflower of Haruka" . Haruka is a name of a girl who were killed by a terrible earthquake on Kobe area in January 17, 1995. She was 6th grade of an elementary school. After 7 months later of her death, some sunflowers began to bloom at backyard of her house. People say "these sunflowers are just like Haruka" and call "sunflower of Haruka". Since then, People has raised these sunflowers and distributed its seeds to many places as a symbol of "hope" . So, I knew my photo " sunflowers after tsunami" had some meanings of our sad history and our hope, and wrote a poem for it.
"Sunflowers After Tsunami"
Yes, I know what has happened here
and what we lost here
Yes , I know Time flows like a river
I can't stop it.
Even though I regret
how sad I am.
I found sunflowers
near the place where people are praying for.
They are just like a family living together.
I felt as if they seemed to say something.
I wonder what story they want me to tell the people around the world?
I wonder is there a road from here to where you would be?
I wonder is this time of lament will someday be calm
like that sea, like that sky.
So far, "hope" is not easily said.
At least, please let me listen to your song sunflowers
before everything, the memory of that summer, of that year, will be history.
at Minamisanriku, Miyagi, Japan
August 16, 2011
about Minamisanriku, Miyagi, Japan
photos & words: SHIGGY YOSHIDA
Songs & Music: Naotaka W. Moon
Illustrator: Masako Yamada