New Museum Opens in Sendai to Pass Down Memories of 2011 Disaster

Jiji Press
Visitors look at exhibits at a new memorial museum on the 2011 disaster in Sendai on Sunday.

SENDAI (Jiji Press) — A museum to pass down the generations the memories of the March 11, 2011, major earthquake and tsunami opened in the Gamo district in Sendai on Sunday, just before the region marks 13 years since the disaster.

Former residents who visited the museum voiced expectations that the facility will help enhance awareness of disaster prevention and promote exchanges among related people.

After the disaster, the Gamo district, where more than 150 people died mainly due to tsunami, was designated as a “disaster risk area” where housing construction is restricted, and residents moved en masse to inland areas.

The new museum opened within a biomass power plant built on a site where people used to live. With the cooperation of the power plant operator and others, the museum exhibits items that were used at an elementary school located in the district before the disaster and panels introducing the history of the area.

“The residents who rebuilt their lives [in inland areas] went through extraordinary difficulties,” Masao Shimoyama, 79, a former resident who became the director of the museum, said at the opening ceremony. “I hope the museum will be used as a place for [younger] generations who do not know the 2011 earthquake to have the awareness of disaster prevention.”