Due to the tragic Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami and nuclear disaster that it caused, the 21,000 residents of Namie-machi, Fukushima, Japan had to evacuate their homes. Even now, a little over two years later, the residual radiation makes it impossible for those former residents to return to the homes and businesses they were forced to abandon.
Still, many would like to see what has become of their town in the intervening years, and so Google teamed up Namie-machi mayor Tamotsu Baba to make that wish come true. As of yesterday, the displaced residents of Namie-machi (along with the rest of us) can tour the entire nuclear ghost town digitally. Read more…
The Lost & Found Project is a volunteer effort that recovered three quarters of a million lost photographs after last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Each of the snapshots was washed, digitized, and numbered, and twenty thousand of them have since been reunited with their owners. Project head Munemasa Takahashi states,
After the disaster occurred, the first thing the people who lost their loved ones and houses came to look for was their photographs. Only humans take moments to look back at their pasts, and I believe photographs play a big part in that.
You’ve probably seen countless photographs already of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan back in March, but they were likely captured by professional photographers looking to have the images published in news outlets. What, then, would photographs look like if they were taken by ordinary people who were directly affected by the disaster? Aichi Hirano found out the answer to this question by distributing 50 disposable cameras to survivors at a number of shelters with a note that read,
Please take photos of things you see with your eyes, things you want to record, remember, people near you, your loved ones, things you want to convey… please do so freely. And please enjoy the process if you can, even if it’s just a little bit.
Hirano did this once shortly after the disaster, then again two months later.
Rolls Tohoku (via Conscientious)
After last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Canon and Nikon have been forced to shut down major camera and lens manufacturing plants due to damage and injuries to employees. At Canon’s Utsunomiya plant — which contributes to much of the company’s lens output and appears as the letter “U” on the date code — 15 workers were injured and operations have been suspended indefinitely. Nikon’s Sendai plant — which has produced all of Nikon’s pro-level DSLRs including the D3S, D3X, and D700 — has been shut down as well after an unspecified number of workers were injured. No word on when operations at the plants might resume.
The two companies are also doing their part in contributing towards the relief efforts: Nikon is making a cash donation of 100 million Yen (~$1.25m USD) to the Japanese Red Cross, while Canon is donating 300 million Yen ($3.7m USD).
(via Ken Rockwell)
Image credit: EF15mm Fisheye lens manufacturing code by Bruno Girin
Here’s a Picasa gallery showing Google satellite imagery of various locations in Japan before and after the 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami. It’s a pretty startling birds-eye-view of how devastating the tsunami actually was.
Japan (via Boing Boing)
The massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that devastated Japan today was located just east of the city of Sendai, which subsequently suffered major damage due to the resulting tsunami. What you might not know is that the city is home to Nikon’s flagship manufacturing facility — the plant that produces Nikon’s professional DSLRs (e.g. D3s, D3x and D700). Fortunately, Nikon reports that there have been no reports of injuries among its employees in that city, and the plant seems to have escaped serious damage as well.