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300
31/05/2024
6 x 9 
978-1-920850-26-5

TSUNAMI

 Our Shock, Pain, and Resilience
by TOBA Futoshi , MILLER Amya
This nonfiction book focuses on the 10-year journey of Rikuzentakata Mayor Futoshi Toba, with the support of an American woman, to rebuild his devastated town after the unprecedented disaster of March 11, 2011. On March 11, shortly after assuming office as mayor, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami completely...

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This nonfiction book focuses on the 10-year journey of Rikuzentakata Mayor Futoshi Toba, with the support of an American woman, to rebuild his devastated town after the unprecedented disaster of March 11, 2011.

On March 11, shortly after assuming office as mayor, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami completely destroyed the city hall and many of his subordinates were killed. His wife was also missing, but despite the pain, he struggled to carry out his duties as mayor, leaving his two children with relatives, only to find his wife’s body on April 5.

Mayor Toba, in order to rebuild his town, has to face the government, which is slow in making decisions, and the residents, who are opposed to his bold actions and measures. Miller was appointed by Mayor Toba, whom he met at a volunteer site, as "Overseas Public Relations Director" for Rikuzentakata, and actively communicates the frontlines of the recovery to the rest of the world. Through their collaboration, the City of Rikuzentakata attracts attention, promotes overseas exchange, and leads to the revitalization of the town.

The book is unique in that it is told alternately from the perspectives of Mayor Toba (the insider) and his supporter Miller (the outsider). But that is not all. There are men and women, Japanese and Americans, mayors and volunteers; those who remain in the town and those who leave it. These multiple perspectives combine to create a documentary that offers a multifaceted view of a disaster of unprecedented scale.

About Editors and Authors

Futoshi Toba, the previous mayor of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, was born in 1965 and spent his youth in the City of Machida, a suburb of Tokyo. A graduate of Machida High School, he studied in the US for several years, moving to his father’s hometown of Rikuzentakata in his twenties. From April 1995 to March 2007 he was a city council member in Rikuzentakata. In March 2007 he became a deputy mayor, running for and winning the seat of mayor in February 2011. He served three terms as mayor.

Amya Miller was a US-Japan business consultant and interpreter with over 35 years experience specializing in US-Japan relations. Born and raised in Japan, she attended both Japanese public schools as well as international boarding schools.
Miller co-authored a bilingual children’s book, The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome: A Tsunami Boat Comes Home. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband. Miller and her husband are parents to one child.

Table of contents

About the Authors

Part I - Our Shock

Part II - Our Pain

Part III - Our Resilience

 

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