Ten years have passed since the 2011 tsunami disaster in Japan that had 19,747 casualties and thousands more missing. The most affected prefectures (districts) were Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. The affected areas received support from all around the world to rebuild their places.
With the Olympics coming to Japan in 10 days, the students of schools and universities from affected areas have come up with brilliant monuments. The monuments will be an expression of gratitude to people around the world who have supported the country through one of its toughest periods.
What are the monuments?
The "diamond" shaped monument was chosen for Miyagi and Iwate districts and was designed by Fukui Shione, a student of Geidai university .
The message behind the monument was:
"Shine like a diamond and attracts everyone's attention"
The "face-in-the-hole" design was chosen for Fukushima district. There was a specific reason behind this choice of design. The monument designed by Oka Tsukushi has a hole in the upper half so that Olympic participants can put their face through it and take pictures. Both the monuments will be placed at Games Village and other Olympic venues.
How were the monuments made?
Tokyo 2020 Recovery Monuments were made during workshops by middle and high school students from disaster-affected regions, with guidance provided by students from the Tokyo University of the Arts, also known as Geidai.
The temporary housing facilities that were established in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami were recycled to create monuments. More than 260 students from schools and the Tokyo University of the Arts collaborated to create the monuments at the workshop.
During the workshop, students from the University of the arts presented, five design proposals, and school students decided which one to select for their district. After the designs were decided, students wrote messages of gratitude to olympics athletes.
Utilization of wood from disaster-affected areas
The Olympic and Paralympic Village Plaza is a facility that will host the athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Games. General stores and cafes are all arranged within the facility.
When constructing the Village Plaza, a project titled, “Japanese Lumber Relay: A Village Plaza Built by All’” was implemented. In this project, Unity in Diversity : “Accepting one another”, which is a core concept of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, is upheld by using wood borrowed free of charge from municipalities across Japan for various parts of the Village Plaza.
Wood from the three affected prefectures will also be used to support the Village Plaza. Following the end of the Tokyo 2020 Games, the disassembled wood will be returned to each municipality as used as a legacy item in public facilities.