Japanese Photographer Puts Cameras In The Hands Of Tsunami Victims

When the earthquake hit Japan, photographer Aichi Hirano did something no-one else thought to: he handed out cameras to the victims to help them document their lives.

Roll 02, Picture 4

Roll 02, Picture 4

Kaho Imai

In the wake of the devastating earthquake and ensuing Tsunami in Japan, photographer Aichi Hirano wanted to do something to help the people effected by the disaster. Branching off from his existing "Rolls of One Week" project, he decided to hand out disposable cameras to survivors young and old, allowing them to create a more personal view of the destruction in and around Tohoku, one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami.

Through the project dubbed ROLLS TOHOKU, Aichi chronicles the photos taken by survivors with the disposable film cameras he handed out. He gave them away at the evacuation center in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, with a note saying "please take photos of things you see with your eyes, things you want to record, remember, people near you, your loved ones, things you want to convey.. please do so freely. And please enjoy the process if you can, even if it's just a little bit."

As he explains on the website:

The photos you will find here will probably explain how the victims truly feel, and tell the reality more accurately than any other media.The media focuses on this unprecedented disaster while the area works toward recovery. However, over time, and with various future events, stories about this disasters will fade on the media.

To reconstruct, it should take much longer than we think.If seeing these photos make you want to do something to help the victims of the earthquake, please take action.Using an approach/system that you can trust, please continue to support the victims as much as you can, for a long period of time.

The photos were all taken between March 31 and April 3, and were taken by men and women, adults and children. They show the stunning extent of the damage, and how much every day life has been utterly altered. It's an incredible look at the people, places, and sometimes pets hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

[via La Pura Vida - Thanks, Dan!]