The monument stone for ‘The 1933 Sanriku earthquake’ was uncovered from the damaged road edge

By Kikki - Last updated: 火曜日, 7月 12, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

[From Ofunato city-my stricken home town]

– East Japan Great Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster-


Yoshihama, Sanriku town in Ofunato city

A huge stone that was washed up over 200 meters from the mouth of Yoshihama-gawa River by the tsunami caused by the 1933 Sanriku earthquake (昭和三陸地震) was uncovered at an edge of road in Yoshihama, Sanriku town. The tsunami this time broke the edge of the road to discover the stone. The giant stone was supposed to be buried there about 40 years ago, and sank into oblivion. Residents who discovered this stone by chance appeal the local government for preservation as a monument of past tsunami. Discovered stone was called ‘Tsunami-ishi’ or literally Tsunami Stone is about 3 meters wide and 2 meters high. The name was engraved as ‘Tsunami-kinenseki’ or the tsunami monument stone on the rock surface. And its inscription says; the stone was washed up by the Sanriku Tsunami in Showa from the mouth of Yoshihama-gawa River. Wight is about 30 tons. It used to be the monument stone for the tsunami caused by the Showa earthquake, but accidentally buried into the edge of the road in 1970s. Young people know nothing about the monument stone other than a few aged people in the community. Mr. Kadoya Kakizaki (81) accidentally found the tip of the monument stone on the broken edge of the road damaged by the tsunami while he strolled through the road. The city official confirmed it as the monument on July 5 after digging out in the soil. Mr. Kakizaki in his childhood often played around the monument stone. Together with his friends, he was trying to find the stone when he knew the road was damaged by the tsunami. ‘My heart was full when I saw it again. I wish the stone will be preserved as a monument for next generation which tills the dreadful of tsunami.’ Mr. Kakizaki expressed.

The 1933 Sanriku earthquake (昭和三陸地震)

The 1933 Sanriku earthquake (昭和三陸地震) was a major earthquake whose associated tsunami caused widespread damage to towns on the Sanriku coast of the Tohoku region of Japan on March 2, 1933.

The epicenter of the 1933 Sanriku earthquake was located offshore, 290 kilometres (180 mi) east of the city of Kamaishi, Iwate. The initial shock occurred on at 0230 AM on March 2, 1933. The earthquake measured 8.4 on the moment magnitude scale and was in approximately the same location as the 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake. The epicenter occurred far enough away from the town that the earthquake itself did little damage to buildings. Approximately three hours after the main shock was a magnitude 6.8 aftershock, followed by 76 more aftershocks (with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater) over a period of six months.

Although the earthquake did little damage, the associated tsunami, which was recorded to reach the height of 28.7 meters (94 ft) at Ofunato, Iwate, caused extensive damage, destroyed many homes and caused numerous casualties. The tsunami destroyed over 7,000 homes along the northern Japanese coastline, of which over 4,885 were washed away. The tsunami was also recorded in Hawaii with a height of 9.5 feet (2.9 m), and which also resulted in slight damage. The death toll came to 1522 people confirmed dead, 1542 missing, and 12,053 injured. Hardest hit was the town of Taro, Iwate (now part of Miyako city), with 98% of its houses destroyed and 42% of its population killed.


View Tsunami-ishi Stone in a larger map

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