Miyako (宮古市)

“I want to write a letter to mum”, Manami Kon, a 4 year old girl in Miyako, Iwate, said on 22nd March, 10 days after the tsunami.   She opened her notebook on a Kotatsu-table (Japanese coffee table) and used colouring pencils.  Character by character, it took her almost one hour to write.

“Dear mum.  I hope you’re alive and well.  How are you?”  After writing the letter, she fell asleep.
Her parents and sister were swallowed by the tsunami on 11th March, and have not been found yet.
Her first name 愛海 means “Love Sea” in Japanese.
(Yomiuri Shinbun, 31March 2011)

Miyako (宮古) is an old town prospered with fishing and also is known for its beautiful scenery on the shores.  

Out of its 60,000 population, 364 lost their lives and 1301have not yet been found.    4600 houses were destroyed.  The town built a 10 meter high, 2.4km long sea wall, the strongest sea wall in Japan, after the previous experience of tsunamis, in 1896, 1933 and 1960.  However, the tsunami on 11th March was 20m in height and destroyed the sea wall and flew into the town.

As Miyako is a fishing port, 720 ships were registered in the town, but only 14 ships survived. 
The Fisherman's association decided to rent ships to fishermen to restart their fishing.
Several fishermen share a ship, sharing the works, and also to share the profit so that they can start rebuilding their lives.