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Photographer Damir Sagolj describes working in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami

Here are several images from Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj's work over the last two weeks in Japan, and his comments:

“What fascinates me is the way ordinary Japanese are reacting to this catastrophe. After all the tragedies I have covered in my career, I must say that this one is very special: no looting, no fight for food, fuel or place in shelters (though they need them, it is cold and they are hungry). They wait in lines that are kilometres long for fuel as if they are on a promenade and will chat with others while waiting for ice cream.

I panic when my vehicle has only half of tank!  [comments continue below pictures]

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Family members of an earthquake and tsunami victim gather around an open coffin during a mass funeral at a field outside Kesennuma town, Miyagi prefecture on March 27, 2011. Desperate municipalities such as Kesennuma have been digging mass graves to bury victims of the disaster, unthinkable in a nation where the deceased are almost always cremated and their ashes placed in stone family tombs near Buddhist temples. Local regulations often prohibit the burial of bodies.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

People wait in line to receive aid in a destroyed part of Yamada town, Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan on March 26, 2011

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Fishermen take a break from cleaning the port devastated by a tsunami two weeks ago at the island of Oshima March 25, 2011. Through burnt ships and debris, a boat called Sunflower sails to bring food, clothing and families to isolated victims of a devastating earthquake and tsunami on Japan's Oshima Island off the northeaster Sanriku coast. For the survivors, the boat is the only connection between their island with a population of 3,200 and the city of Kesennuma on Japan's main island, which is usually 25 minutes away by ferry.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Volunteers prepare food to be distributed to victims at a shelter for those evacuated from the disaster zone in Rikuzentakata March 23, 2011, after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Tsunami victims pass the time as their clothes dry at the shelter for those evacuated from the disaster zone in Yamada town, Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan more than two weeks after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 28, 2011. Japan appeared resigned on Monday to a long fight to contain the world's most dangerous atomic crisis in 25 years after high radiation levels complicated work at its crippled nuclear plant.

The other day in one of the shelters a woman returned a piece of clothing she received earlier from aid workers. The jacket was too big for her daughter and she folded it back and returned to the distribution centre. She could have kept it and maybe sell or exchange it for something else she needs. But, not in Japan; it’s fascinating, the order and discipline of people experiencing the worst days of their lives.

There are no tears and no screaming in front of our lenses, just a silent grief. I don't know where this calmness comes from. What in their culture or history makes them so special? I don't even know is it good or bad. Can they really process all the sorrow without venting it with tears?

I'm so impressed by their behavior and power to stay cool in such a situation that it feels really stupid to write how cold I was sleeping outside while covering this story. Or to talk about whatever happens or will happen while here, before boarding planes to take us back to the comfort of our homes.”