• Japan In Focus

Students Mark 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Students from Aomori Akenohoshi Junior & Senior High School offer prayers in front of an altar during a ceremony in the school’s auditorium in Aomori on March 10.

AOMORI — About 390 students from Aomori Akenohoshi Junior & Senior High School mourned victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami during a ceremony held in the school’s auditorium in Aomori on March 10.

The school has been holding the memorial every year since 2012.

The students made origami cranes, wrote messages on the paper birds and offered them at an altar. Some of the messages were addressed to survivors, with wishes that they may move forward from the disaster.

At 2:46 p.m., the time the earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011, the students observed a moment of silence for the victims.

Yukino Hayashida, a second-year student at the high school, offered a prayer as the student representative.

“I was very young when the earthquake occurred, but I remember that it was really scary,” Hayashida, 17, said.

“I’m glad that I’m able to attend this ceremony feeling happy that we are alive and hoping that our prayers will reach the people affected by the disaster.”