The following is a translation of two articles that tell real stories of the tsunami:

    During the tsunami, many Japanese people saved others’ lives instead of their own.

     Twenty-eight firefighters in Otsuchi, Iwate tried to close the seawall gate after the earthquake and help people run for cover at the last minute; four of them died and seven are still missing.  Koshida Fujio, age 57, is one of the dead.  After the earthquake, he closed the seawall gate and asked a coworker, Hiuchi, to sound the alarm for the approaching tsunami.  Hiuchi drove up to their office to do so, but, without electricity, the alarm was silent.  When Koshida arrived, Hiuchi told him what had happened; Koshida simply responded, “Okay,” and sent Hiuchi off to help others.  Koshida then climbed to the rooftop and began to hit the emergency bell to warn others of the approaching tsunami.  This was the last anyone saw of Koshida; he kept hitting the bell—“kahn, kahn, kahn”—until the tsunami washed everything away.  A man heard the bell from a hilltop hundreds of meters away.  He said, “Koshida must have seen the tsunami.  It sounded sad.  I cannot forget the sound of the bell.”

            Minamisanriku, Miyagi was hit with waves fifty feet high.  One young woman saw the waves approaching and began to warn people of the tsunami; her voice kept shouting until the tsunami washed her away.  She was 23 years old.  She was supposed to have her wedding in September.  She kept crying out her warning for the people living in the town where she was born and raised, for the people she loved.

Translated by Yukiko Takahashi  from “Heroes” Author 鈴木一生、山本将克,Newspaper Mainichi/NHK news
Edited by Celia Shiffer 

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Japan Earthquake and Pacific TUNAMI