tsunami

How Ricoh Returned 90,000 Photos to Victims of the 2011 Tsunami in Japan

When Japan was devastated by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011, countless families lost precious photos in their homes that washed away. In response, many organizations sprung up to recover, restore, and reunite photos with their owners.

One company that launched a huge initiative was Ricoh. In the four years following the disaster, the company's "Save the Memory" project found and cleaned 418,721 photos, returning 90,128 pictures to the people who lost them.

Photog Helps Disaster Victims to Rebuild their Lost Photo Albums

Of all the items that can be destroyed in a disaster, few are as valuable or hard to replace as family photo collections. Photographer Brian Peterson saw that first-hand while living and working in Japan two years ago, when an earthquake and even more devastating tsunami swept away everything many families owned.

Sensing that photography could be a way to help them heal, Peterson started the organization Photohoku (named for the Tohoku region devastated by the tsunami) to help families rebuild their photo albums.

Google Takes Street View Cars to Nuclear Ghost Town in Japan

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.

Lost & Found: Snapshots Salvaged After the Japanese Tsunami

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.

Tsunami-leveled City Sendai Home to Major Nikon Manufacturing Plant

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.