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One Month in Tohoku: An Englishwoman’s Memoir on Life after the Japanese Tsunami

One Month in Tohoku: An Englishwoman’s Memoir on Life after the Japanese Tsunami

Author(s): Caroline Pover

Location(s): Japan, Tōhoku

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs

Era(s): 2011

Location

Content

On March 11, 2011, one of the biggest earthquakes in history occurred off the northeast coast of Japan, triggering a deadly tsunami that destroyed much of the Tohoku coastline.

Driven by a desire to help the people of Tohoku, long-time Tokyo resident Caroline Pover embarked on a mission to collect emergency supplies from her native UK. Caroline delivered these supplies to an isolated part of Japan that even many Japanese have never heard of: the Oshika Peninsula. While there, she saw beyond the horror of the debris and destruction, and fell in love with the beauty of the landscape and the spirit of the people who had called the peninsula home for hundreds of years since their samurai ancestors first settled there. Compelled to do whatever she could to help, she promised to return, once more, just for a month …

“One Month in Tohoku” is the true story of what became the many months Caroline spent visiting Oshika. During extended periods of time over the course of many years, she lived alongside the people of Oshika, and they embraced her as one of their own — she still visits them to this day. This book tells us about a very traditional way of life in a remote community that cares deeply about all who are a part of it. It is the story of how, after a disaster took away everything they had, these seemingly forgotten fishing communities are still rebuilding their lives. It is also the story of how a network of people from all over the globe were inspired to donate millions of yen to support families, schools, and businesses, and to never forget the survivors of the world’s costliest disaster.

To commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the tsunami, Caroline has set out in words a deeply moving tale of the very human impact of a natural disaster. Readers will cry tears of laughter as well as tears of sadness, and be touched by Caroline’s surprising humour and honesty and that of her Oshika friends as they unexpectedly become so beloved to one another. This is the story of a beautiful friendship between a very determined Englishwoman and the incredibly brave and resilient fishermen, women, and children of Tohoku.

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