Interview #92

Book Corner: “未来へつなぐ千年桜” by Onuma Hideki

Onki @遊日職人

Written and Images by Onki @遊日職人
Translation by Wendy Yiu

A book is like a friend. We understand the world and life, or even observe ourselves through texts, and have a deep realization of oneself that we are not alone. PMQ invites different people from design and culture sectors to recommend a book, so that you can enrich yourselves as book therapy.

Why would you recommend this book?

Onki @遊日職人: All about spring blooming in Books.

Since 2011, photographer Onuma Hideki has been consistently collecting photos of cherry blossoms in the disaster-stricken area of ​​northeastern Japan for 10 years. The photo album records the changes of the northeastern area in the past ten years and the memories of survivors to their hometowns.

On March 11, 2011, a strong earthquake of magnitude 9 struck northeastern Japan. At that time, Hideki Onuma, who lived in Sendai at that time, based on the photographer's instinct, followed the original schedule of capturing cherry blossoms every year in late April, and took the camera to Iwate Prefecture. He went to Rikuzentakata City and recorded the cherry blossoms that survived after the tsunami. He saw the century-old cherry tree still standing in the rubble in Ofunato City despite of the great impact brought by earthquake and tsunami. The cherry blossoms encourage the locals to live their life.

The photography project is still in progress. Every year, he travels to the northeastern coast of Japan and the surrounding areas of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In ten-years time, the cherry blossom tunnel in Tomioka Town, which was originally locked behind heavy doors, was also chained off in 2020. Although the local cherry blossom festival was cancelled due to the pandemic, it will be likely to resume on a reduced scale this year. We wish everyone in the northeastern Tokyo the best.


Author: Onuma Hideki

Publisher: 玄光社

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