<< Our Photo Pages >> Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets - Modern Stone Circle etc in Japan in Honshū

Submitted by Aska on Friday, 13 March 2020  Page Views: 5135

Modern SitesSite Name: Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets Alternative Name: 女川いのちの石碑 Onagawa Inochi-no Sekihi
Country: Japan Region: Honshū Type: Modern Stone Circle etc
Nearest Town: Onagawa-chō (Miyagi pref.)  Nearest Village: Onagawahama 女川浜
Latitude: 38.448270N  Longitude: 141.445340E
Condition:
5Perfect
4Almost Perfect
3Reasonable but with some damage
2Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site
1Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks
0No data.
-1Completely destroyed
5 Ambience:
5Superb
4Good
3Ordinary
2Not Good
1Awful
0No data.
4 Access:
5Can be driven to, probably with disabled access
4Short walk on a footpath
3Requiring a bit more of a walk
2A long walk
1In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find
0No data.
5 Accuracy:
5co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates
4co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map
3co-ordinates scaled from a bad map
2co-ordinates of the nearest village
1co-ordinates of the nearest town
0no data
5

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Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 1st one in front of Onagawa Junior High School (女川中学校 38.44827N,141.44534E). The poem on the recto : How enormous the tsunami was, it couldn't destroy our hopes. (Vote or comment on this photo)
After the great tsunami of 2011 which swallowed the Onagawa town in Honshū, Japan, along with 1000 citizens, the pupils of Onagawa Middle School, who entered the school in April of that year (aged 12-13), decided to erect a new tsunami warning tablet for the citizens Onagawa of the centuries to come.

Their scheme is to build the tablets on all the shores in the town until they come of age(20). They had succeeded to raise the money (450,000 yen for each tablet × 21 tablets × taxes) and to get the offer of free stones from a local stonemason in 2013, the erection started. Then adults followed to plant the nursery cherry trees beside the tablets.

The inscription by the pupils:

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life:for the people of Onagawa - past, present and future.
2011.3.11 This point is higher than the reaching line of 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake-caused Tsunami.

Countless lives were lost in the Great East Japan Earthquake. The large tsunami that followed the earthquake was devastating - it ravaged the entire town, and washed away our houses. On that day the people of Onagawa suffered untold losses.

'Never again! So that future generation will never again endure such sadness nor agony'.
This is our creed.

To protect the lives of generations a thousand years hence, we believe it is convictive that following measures be observed:
1.Strengthen the daily bonds between the people and to build the community to help each other at the times of disaster and need.
2.Build the town on a higher places and prepare evacuation routes.
3.Pass on the memories and the record of the earthquake to the future generations.
We erected this stone a reminder to the people of Onagawa of the lessons learned from that day.

The tsunami reached this point. Do not remove this stone.

In the event of a large earthquake, head to higher ground - some place located at an altitude above this stone.
There may be some who refuse to run: stand still is not an option - force them to run.
There may be some who attempt to return to their homes: hold them back - if needed by force.

What a kind of place is Onagawa today? We pray and hope that the Onagawa of tomorrow is a place filled with laughter, and that there are fewer people who shed tears of sorrow.
March 2014, Alumni of Onagawa Middle School


In contrast to the old tablets much of which were inscribed in pedantic Chinese sentences as difficult as Latin language, they selected plain sentences and English, French and Chinese translations are described on the verso of the tablets.
Each tablet has a short poem like haiku written by pupil on its recto.

The 19th and 20th tablets was elected in August 2020, the last one would have been built in November 2020 and the accomplishment ceremony also would have been held, but COVID-19 panic swept away all the memorial events.
At last November 2021, the last 21st one was placed on the south side of new Onagawa Elementary & Middle School, the decline of population of the town after the tsunami caused the merge of schools sadly.

Note: Remembering the 2011 tsunami via web mapping to mark all the new marker stones, more details on our page - and we have many listed on the Portal
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Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The unwrapped 20th tablet in new Yokokura settlement. The poem on the recto : Thank you for living with us here and now. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 21st and last one on the south side of new Onagawa Elementar and Mid School (38.44430N,141.44382E) facing Onagawa Bay. The stele was elected on 22nd November 2021. The poem on the recto : How enormous the tsunami was, it could not destroy our hopes (same as the 1st one’s). (Vote or comment on this photo)

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan A view from the 21st tablet, the abandoned old Onagawa Mid School, where the 1st one stands, can be seen on the hill on the right. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The reconstructed Onagawa town, a view from the 21st tablet. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The unwrapped 19th tablet in new Konori-hama setttlement. The poem on the rect : The dark tsunami had wiped away the scenery of Onagawa town. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 20th one in the new settlement for ex-residents of Yokoura (横浦 38.40643N,141.46638) shore. The stele was elected on 1st August 2020, but the opening ceremony has been suspended by COVID-19 pandemic.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 19th one in the new settlement for ex-residents of Konori-hama (小乗浜 38.33770N,141.45226E) shore. The stele was elected on 1st August 2020, but the opening ceremony has been suspended by COVID-19 pandemic.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 18th one in the new settlement for ex-!residents of Ōishi-hama (大石浜 38.39932N,141.46281E) shore. The poem on the recto : Now I feel the gratitude for my life's continuity, even 1 second length.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 17th one in the new settlement for ex-residents of Iigo-hama (飯子浜 38.39807N,141.47923E) shore. The poem on the recto : Get back the Onagawa town full of natural landscapes as it was.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 16th one in the new settlement for ex-residents of Onmae-hama (御前浜 38.46372N,141.47266E) shore. The poem on the recto : The pacific ocean once attacked over our Onagawa town.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 15th one on the slope to Koyatori-hama (小屋取浜 38.40678N,141.50060E) shore where the sand booms near the Onagawa nuclear power station. The poem on the recto : We will tell the present state of us to the little children.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 14th one near the community centre of the new settlement for the ex-residents of Ishihama (石浜 38.44834N,141.46184E) shore. The poem on the recto : We will take our lovely way to the future.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 13th one in the new settlement for the ex-residents of Tsukahama (塚浜 38.40545N,141.49368E) shore where the sand booms. The poem on the recto : We would hold out our hands to prevent the erosion of our hometown.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 12th one in the new settlement on a hill with an emergency staircase for the ex-residents of Sashi-ga-hama (指ヶ浜 38.47112N,141.48062) shore hamlet. The poem on the recto : My dear grandma, be patient for our offerings.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 11th one in the new settlement for Takashiro-hama (高白浜 38.42471N,141.46208E) shore residents. The poem on the recto : We never forget the sorrow and the agony of this disaster.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 10th one on the solitary Enoshima (江島 38.39949N,141.59410E) island. The poem on the recto : We resent, resent, resent you the clear blue sea.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 9th one in front of the shine gate of the Itsukushima-jinja (厳島神社 38.44098N,141.52710E) along with old tsunami tablets. The poem on the recto : Looking at the debris on the ground, we swore to the sky holding back the tear flows.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 8th one in the precinct of Eisei-ji (永清寺) temple, on the Izu-shima (出島 38.45910N,141.51978N) island, which will be connected with a bridge. The poem on the recto : We engrave the sorrow and the agony of that incident.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 7th one in the new settlement for victims of Nonohama (野々浜) seashore hamlet developed on a higher place (38.39160N,141.46696E). The poem on the recto : Even in the dark night, there are numerous stars for hope. The tablets after the construction of this one are placed in the new settlements.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 6th one on the slope to Kiri-ga-saki (桐ヶ崎 38.44279N,141.47816E) shore. The poem on the recto : "Cheer up!", the breeze in our town whispers.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 5th one in front of Hofuku-ji '(保福寺) zen temple in O-no Ura (尾浦 38.45455N,141.48978E). The poem on the recto : Let's reconstruct our town Onagawa filled with smiles.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 4th one in the car park, Washi-no-Kami Hama (鷲神浜 38.43716N,141.43767E) . The poem on the recto : I miss you, I lost you, so I want you.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 3rd one on the shrine's hill in Miya-ga Saki (宮ヶ崎 38.44664N,141.45341E) village. The poem on the recto : I wanna hear your voice 'I'm back'. The owner of a marine products processing factory at the foot of this hill urged the employees from China to evacuate unto this hill, but he and his family were swallowed by the tsunami.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The hill of shrine on which the 2nd tablet which can be seen on the right. The painted line on the steps shows the reaching point of the tsunami.

Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets
Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets submitted by Aska : Site in Honshū Japan The 2nd one on the hill close to Take-no Ura (竹の浦 38.44343N,141.48871E) shore with old tsunami memorial tablets. The poem on the recto : On the land of wreckages, the carp streamers fly in the sky above. (Japanese people set the carp streamers 'Koinobori(こいのぼり, 鯉のぼり)' on the days around the Children's Day (May 5) hoping for the healthy growth of t...

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"Onagawa Stone Memorial of Life tsunami warning tablets" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment
  
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Remembering the 2011 tsunami via web mapping by Andy B on Friday, 13 March 2020
(User Info | Send a Message)
Hatsuki (Aska) writes: The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) has begun an effort to include the location of all the Natural Disaster Monuments, which shows lessons from historical disasters experienced by our ancestors, on GSI Maps. GSI started providing information about “Natural Disaster Monument” via its web map, “GSI Maps”, on June 19, 2019.

Through this effort, GSI hopes all local residents to understand reality of natural disasters that easily occur in respective regions, and moreover GSI will contribute to support enhancing their disaster preparedness.

Recently (Mar. 5 2020) they also included the new tsunami warning tablets elected by the graduates from Onagawa Middle School.

Clicking every symbol of monument on the web map, a window with photo image appears. Then click the image, another window with explanatory information (in Japanese) appears.

Press release in English
https://www.gsi.go.jp/kokusaikoryu/kokusaikoryu-e31026.html

Press Release in Japanese on inclusion of Onagawa pupils' tablets
https://www.gsi.go.jp/bousaichiri/bousaichiri190619_00002.html
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