How One Japanese Village Defied the Tsunami


The man on the picture is Kotaku Wamura, who died in 1997 at age 88.

Until March 11, 2011, – he did not live, but it turned out to show the big tsunami a big “fuck”: being from 1945 to 1987 the mayor of the Fudai town, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, he has invested more than $ 30 million in building a protective wall height of 16 meters, which saved the lives of more than 3000 people. Nearby villages have decided that 10 meters is enough, and were washed away into the ocean.

Fudai’s 51-foot floodgate looms over a beach in northeastern Japan. It was criticized as being a wasteful public works project in the 1970s but protected the town when it was hit by a tsunami on March 11.

“It cost a lot of money. But without it, Fudai would have disappeared,” said seaweed fisherman Satoshi Kaneko, 55, whose business has been ruined but who is happy to have his family and home intact.

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