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“In Kesennuma: Destruction So Complete, It’s Hard To Tell You’re In Japan” via NPR

The sheer scale of it stuns you.

I’m going to talk about one town, in one place, but the same thing is repeated over and over and over again up the northeastern seaboard of Japan.

Kesennuma was one of the busier fishing ports in Japan. It’s famous for its bonito. The best, residents tell me, comes from here. The fish has had time to swim north to Aomori before turning around in its migration. By the time it gets to Kesennuma, it is rich with oil and taste. The fishing fleet of the town greets the seasonal catch each year, and there is a special kind of sushi made from the fish you can only get here.

It’s hard to imagine that fleet ever sailing again. At the entrance to the harbor, a lone tuna trawler sits in the middle of a road. The ship displaces 800 tons. Its mammoth form rests neatly, straight up on the harbor road, as if it was placed there gently. Floating, unmoored, are the burnt-out hulls of two more trawlers that almost seem to be leaning up against each other for support, their decks blackened from fire. Another burned hulk lies beyond them.

Continue reading at “In Kesennuma: Destruction So Complete, It’s Hard To Tell You’re In Japan”.

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