‘Trick Art’ Brightens Up Japan City Affected by 2011 Earthquake, Tsunami

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People look at a “trick art” painting on a breakwater in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture.

OFUNATO, Iwate — Seventeen “trick art” paintings, spanning a distance of about 600 meters on a breakwater, have been delighting locals and visitors in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, which was hit hard by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

The 2D art is drawn in such a way that it appears 3D when looked at from a certain angle. Local residents and others formed a committee to cover the seven-meter-tall breakwater, which was built after the 2011 disaster, with the artworks in the hope of making them a tourist attraction.

One of the paintings features seagulls that look like they are flying through a hole in the wall, and boats, mountains and the ocean can be seen in the background.

“The atmosphere used to be bleak and dark, but the paintings have made the town seem brighter,” said a 13-year-old junior high school student.