Tohoku

Slideshow - Tohoku Rebuilding

(Photographs: Courtesy of Mark Paul)

Introducing Photographer - Mark Paul

In August 2011 I traveled to Japan to document the aftermath of the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Crisis. I covered close to 600 miles affected by the Tohuku Earthquake and while it may have seemed crazy at the time it came to make sense to me. For within every mile that I covered there was a story to be told. Like most photojournalists, I was determined to remain objective about the crisis and take the best photographs possible while documenting a true, but positive reflection of Japan’s worst tragedy to date. Like much of the world I felt a sense of concern, empathy and tragic curiosity for the Japanese and their situation. I didn’t have any expectations other than to be prepared for the worst. The worst never came.
I found a Japan full of resilience, hope, perseverance and presence. In each city I visited there was a common theme, Gambaru, which means many different things ranging from perseverance to overcoming obstacles. But to me, and I believe others in Japan, it meant the refusal not to give up; and the importance to never stop until a goal is attained.
 

"I Plant Seeds" 

Film Introduction:
The farm lands and fields that have been handed down for many generations are now forever gone, tainted by the radiation of the nuclear accident of Fukushima nuclear power plant.
 
The film depicts the cruel reality of people living in a tragic situation and severe environment. Yet they plant seeds in hope for a better future. The members of the Ashigara Agriculture Group, manage by the cooperative principles of “Jiba, Shun, Jikyu   – meaning local, seasonal and self-sufficiency” while pondering their life in the suburb of Odawara City.   
               

I plant the seeds

That day, from the town you live
A breeze blew as a dry wind
Sky, land and even water too
 
All have disappeared
But, I know
When spring comes, seedlings will grow
 Swallows fly low in the sky
The future will not desert me
 
Can you hear my voice?
That’s why I plant the seeds
That’s why I plant the seeds
 
   Music Production
            Music: Akiko Koizumi              
Sung by: Akiko Koizumi
      Lyrics: Teruo Okada               
Production Cooperation: Makoto Oishi                
Film Production
Producer & Director: Teruo Okada
   Filming & Editting:  Shinnosuke Suzuki                
Editting: Ryohei Akimoto              
 
Video: