“At 14:46 this afternoon there will be a school-wide two-minute silence to mark the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake: teachers will be asked to switch off classroom lights, and everyone is asked to reflect silently on the suffering of those involved in the earthquake as well as what we can all do to support those who experience such natural disasters.”
TGS students heard this announcement over the intercom at school on March 11th, 2014. On the third anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, we felt a powerful moment of silence, accentuated by an intentional power cut, that let us connect the event we watched on TV with real people, real lives lost, real cities destroyed.
Three years later, northeast Japan is still recovering from the fourth most powerful earthquake in recorded history. After seeing the incredible reconstruction of Hiroshima post-Atomic bomb, Global Studies teacher Nick Martino felt inspired to coordinate a project in the Tohoku region where a few students could learn about the rebuilding efforts still taking place and create a mini-documentary about what they witnessed.
Four students were selected to the project and assigned roles on a production crew, including Director, Producer, Director of Photography, and On-camera. From April 10th – 15th, those four students, along with teachers Nick Martino and Lindsay Clark, visited Rikuzentakata to conduct interviews and record ground level findings of the rebuild efforts.
On March 11, 2011 the city of Rikuzentakata was hit by a devastating tsunami. Three years later, we’ve come to discover how its story has unfolded.
Roots of Hope: Rikuzentakata from River Wittke on Vimeo.
Meet the Tohoku Team