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12/12/2013

Now 1,000 Days since Disaster Outbreak: Lantern Vigil to Commemorate 3,266 Victims

With December 5, 2013 at 14:46 marking 1,000 days since the disaster broke out, citizen volunteers hosted "the Great Tohoku Earthquake Lantern Vigil to Commemorate the Anniversary of 1,000 Days."

Many people gathered for a prayer vigil for the victims of the Great Tohoku Earthquake from all around the city of Ishinomaki.

【There lit 3,266 lanterns, the same number as the number of victims (as of the end of September 2013)】
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There stands a big signboard saying "Hang in there! Ishinomaki!" at Kadonowaki 5-chome where the ceremony was taken place, which neighborhood is now serving as a landmark that helps you know how devastating the disaster was and thus attracts endless streams of tour buses carrying inspection parties every day.

However, not much is known about the fact that the signboard has been erected by citizens. On April 11, just one month after the disaster, two men living in Ishinomaki decided that they had to encourage victims who were taking shelters and going back and forth between their shelters and dwelling sites to clear rubbles and that was when they placed the signboard.

【Around the signboard with a message "Hang in There! Ishinomaki"; There used to be a town with stores and houses.】
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This ceremony was run by a planning committee organized by citizens and some 70 volunteers. It's intended to commemorate victims together and determine to move forward together as we were kept alive and allowed to stay live. 
First-year art club members at Ishinomaki High School developed the design of lantern layout in the shape of wave rings centering 3/11-shaped lanterns so that the people in Ishinomaki may pay more attention rather than 3/11 to the present and then the future just like wave rings ripple around

【Rare for Ishinomaki's weather, it was a windless day.】
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The chair of the planning committee said "We are going to host the ceremony at each junction to pray for those who were killed and to provide an opportunity of sharing the determination to restore Ishinomaki."

For your reference: the group of "Hang in There! Ishinomaki ";

【Every citizen who gathered sang "Flowers Bloom" in chorus at the ceremony that began 6 p.m.】

For a video click here!


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December 12, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |