Tomiji is a fisherman living in Ayukawahama.
It is a beautiful and calm place.
The ocean gives many oysters and blessings of nature, and offers much pleasure and joy.
He loves this wonderful ocean.
He makes a living harvesting seaweed from the waters of Ayukawahama.
Boiling it and cooling it off in the ocean water.
His family helps him in this work.
With the cold wind blowing, he gazes at the ocean before his eyes.
“Today is another fine day.”
March 11, 2011, 2:46 p.m.
The ocean swelled, the mountains roared, the sky shook.
It happened without warning.
“Earthquake!” Tomiji shouted. “It's a big one!”
“Get away from here!! Get to higher ground!”
His father had always said that according to local tradition, a big earthquake was followed by a tsunami.
“Get away from here!! A tsunami is coming!”
“A tsunami is coming!!” shouted out Tomiji as he ran to the port.
A big earthquake is followed by a tsunami.
The tsunami will sweep everything out to sea, even the biggest ship.
According to local tradition, fishermen must do take their ships out of port and out to sea after an earthquake.
“Get out of here!! A tsunami is coming!”
He went around warning everyone on shore.
“It's nothing,” an old fisherman said smiling back at him.
“Get your ships out of the port and out to sea!!” shouted Tomiji as he jumped into his own boat.
His boat, the same one he used for harvesting seaweed, was only 6 meters long with a small outboard motor.
Although it was too small, he followed the old tradition and sped offshore as fast as he could.
The ocean tossed and turned, spiraled, and rose higher than Tomiji had ever seen.
“The tsunami has come.”
He felt a dark sense of dread overcome him.
All felt silent. As if sound had stopped.
The ocean waves rose up like mountain peaks.
Tomiji couldn't see the 2 meter high levee.
He couldn't see the 10 meter tall red lighthouse.
The sea rose higher and higher, silently running to shore.
Suddenly, his boat fell down like an autumn leaf tumbling down a raging waterfall.
The ocean tide pulled back in an instant.
“The bottom of the ocean”
The bottom of the ocean appeared before him, steam rising up all around him.
“I'm done for,” Tomiji said to himself.
Soon he heard the sounds of tearing and breaking behind him, ships rolling and keeling in the waves.
The tsunami pulled out parts and pieces of the town, surrounding Tomiji in his small boat.
“This is hell,” he groaned.
The water filled with houses, cars, furniture, beds, televisions, school bags, ships, boats,,toys, telephone poles, clothes, and people...
Everyone's life was turned into wreckage and swept out to sea.
“Please stop,” Tomiji pleased. He prayed.
Not knowing what it was, a dreadful sound rumbled and reverberated in the air.
It sounds like the town screaming out in pain to Tomiji.
A black gas hung over the ocean where it used to be kind and calm.
“This is hell.”
Yellow clouds of dust filled the air over the town.
Tomiji noticed that the waves had carried him back home.
“I can't believe it,” he thought.
He stared in disbelief at his hometown, completely changed yet the mountains in the distance stood the same as ever before.
He was met with a deep sadness and anger but had nowhere to direct it.
“Is there no God in this world?”
“Please let this be a bad dream.”
There is nowhere safe to go.
“Is this where I die?” he thought.
Then he felt something soft touch his cheek...
Tomiji cried, he cried for no reason why.
Then he made up his mind.
“I will go back to my home. I will survive this.”
He turned the throttle and pressed his small boat against the waves of the tsunami.
Without thought, Tomiji followed behind two large ships and began climbing up to the top of the wave.
The ocean swelled and he climbed up higher and higher.
A massive wall formed before him.
He couldn't see the two ships or the town.
He couldn't see anything.
And as he climbed up and over the massive wave at last...
He felt a mysterious feeling. As if he was not himself.
As if the power that helped him climbed over the waves of the tsunami was not his.
He saw Mt.Kinka in the distance.
Just as before, Tomiji lives a fisherman's life in the beautiful town of Ayukawahama.
Now, the town is teeming with the new growth of spring.
“Nonetheless, I love the ocean,” says Tomiji in a calm voice.
translated by Adam Jimenez and Yuta Honda from HONDA WORKS.
Original Movie on Youtube
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