On Friday, March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Tohoku, Japan’s rural northeast, combined with a destructive tsunami to wipe out villages, ignite a nuclear crisis, and cause the greatest mass loss of life in Japan since World War II.
Caught in the disaster were the children of Tohoku, who went from finishing a school year one moment to facing tragedy the next.
This page lists some news stories about children in Tohoku that have caught our attention. Below the news stories are lists of benefit projects and other resources.
The Tohoku categories at right quick-link to blog posts about children of Tohoku.
We are eager to share further information. If you notice a noteworthy news item or benefit project, either in English or Japanese, please leave a comment to tell us.
Thank you for visiting, reading, and providing feedback.
News on Children of Tohoku
Miyagi survivor, 17, keeps memory alive via storytelling, Japan Times, 10 March 2017
Six years on, Fukushima child evacuees face menace of school bullies, Reuters, 9 March 2017
‘I have no choice but to keep looking’: five years after the tsunami, a husband still searches the sea for his wife, joined by a father hoping to find his daughter. New York Times Magazine, 2 August 2016
Saga of lost Rikuzentakata tsunami boat forges pan-Pacific friendship, about bilingual children’s book written after Takata High School’s boat washed up in California, Japan Times, 13 March 2016
“Watch me now, Grandma”: Bereaved 3.11 survivor, now 19, studies earthquakes, Mainichi Shimbun, 11 March 2016; in Japanese
Five years after Japan’s 3.11 quake, survivors find relief in recovery, Vanity Fair, 10 March 2016 (includes photos of children)
Japanese national trauma: Changing trends in Japanese picture books since the Tohoku earthquake, Worlds of Words (WOW) blog, University of Arizona, 21 December 2015
Thyroid cancer rates higher in kids near Fukushima nuke plant, NBC News, 8 October 2015
Survivors speak of grief, guilt and life after tsunami, includes profile of boy who was 16 when tsunami struck his Miyagi town and swept away his father, Japan Times, 10 March 2015
NGOs looking out for little lives in the wake of 3/11, Japan Times, 8 March 2015
Tohoku man honors [five-year-old] brother killed in tsunami with hundreds of blue carp streamers, Rocket News, 7 May 2014
PTSD plagues Tohoku three years after March 11 disaster: More than 30 percent of children in disaster area battle with the psychological side effects, The Diplomat, 11 March 2014
Tohoku kids stressed, haunted by trauma, Japan Times, 10 March 2014
Girl who wrote letter to missing mum after tsunami ready for school, Asia One, 26 March 2013
Power of poetry penned by survivors of 3/11 is showcased by ASIJ project, Japan Times, 9 March 2013
Iwate teen’s soccer ball floated to Alaska, USA Today, 23 April 2012
Tohoku teen feels guilt of being lone survivor, Japan Times, 24 February 2012
Grandparents stifle grief to raise orphaned boy, Japan Times, 23 February 2012
Teen girl separated from friend narrowly survives tsunami, Asahi Shimbun, 11 April 2011
Tohoku teens share views of survival, Japan Times, 10 November 2011
Ishinomaki girl comforts friends’ families, Daily Yomiuri, 12 October 2011
Teenager’s tsunami art on postcard lifting spirits, Daily Yomiuri, October 8, 2011
Fukushima high school golfer shoots for glory in tourney, Daily Yomiuri, 23 September 2011
Two boys who lost mother to tsunami express feelings through art, Mainichi Daily News, 12 May 2011
Children’s 99.8 percent survival rate in Kamaishi was “not a miracle”, WEDGE Infinity, 22 April 2011
Japan struggles with how to heal “children’s hearts”, National Public Radio, 22 April 2011
Five-year-old’s view of events, Mainichi Shimbun, 21 April 2011
One room schoolhouse, Kyodo News, 21 April 2011
March disaster affecting school operations in new fiscal year, Jiji Press, 4 April 2011
“Dear Mommy. I hope you’re alive. Are you okay?” 4-year-old quake survivor writes, NBC News, 30 March 2011
Local wisdom a lifesaver for kids, Daily Yomiuri, 29 March 2011
Man’s dying wish saves children’s lives, Asahi Shimbun, 29 March 2011; in Japanese
Survivors strive to start picking up the pieces, Japan Times, 27 March 2011
Tsunami’s children, OPEN Magazine, 26 March 2011
“Cinderella baby” cheers evacuees, Sankei News, 18 March 2011; in Japanese
Special thanks to Holly Thompson, SCBWI Japan Co-Regional Advisor, for a number of these links.
Benefit Projects for, about Children of Tohoku
TOMO anthology (ebook; proceeds to teen survivors)
APRICOT, Allied Psychotherapy Relief Initiative for the Children of Tohoku
From Hand to Hand exhibition
TOMORROW television series on NHK World TV
BBC Children of the Tsunami documentary