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'...I come here every day trying to spend time with my wife who I couldn't save'

Kuni Takahashi

Shiro Yuyama, 69, looks for his belongings where his house used to be in Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture on April 2. His wife, Takako, was in the house at the time the earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11 and died.

Kuni Takahashi, a photojournalist based in Mumbai, returned to his native Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. He was born in Sendai, one of the most devastated towns on the northern coast.

“When I realized the ship was only several meters away, I was chased by the water and debris up the hill. My wife was still in the house," Shiro Yuyama, 69, told me in a very gentle voice. I saw him digging through the debris where his house used to be in Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture, trying to find any of their belongings. He was outside the house working in the garden when he saw the massive tsunami moving toward him, pushing with it a ship and debris from the port, almost one kilometer (0.6 miles) away. He knew his wife, Tamako, 67, was in the kitchen, but the wave was rolling so fast that he couldn’t do anything but run up the hill next to his house.

Now he sleeps on the floor in a space just wide enough for himself at the evacuation center in town. On both sides of him are families that survived the tsunami intact.

“It’s very difficult for me to see the families laughing and eating together. So I come here every day trying to spend time with my wife who I couldn’t save.”

 

More photos from Kuni Takahashi on photoblog.

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