Tuesday, May 17, 2011

combini, open for business


Take a look at this 7-Eleven operating in Minami Sanriku, a former charming resort town on a coastline of wooded islands and mountainous inlets (wikipedia) in Miyagi Prefecture that was obliterated by the recent earthquake-tsunami. (ABC News reported shortly after 3/11 that 10,000 of the town's 17,000-plus residents were lost and 95% of the town's buildings were destroyed.)

Some folks I follow on Twitter (TokyoReporter, SandraJapandra) were tweeting/retweeting about this on May 12, but I'm not sure of the date of the photograph. Click here to get to the page where a short video clip is posted on the Asahi Shimbun (Japan's largest daily newspaper)'s website. The article is in Japanese but the footage speaks for itself. Our neighbor, who recently spent a week in Ishinomaki clearing debris, shoveling mud and so on, told us he saw several vendors setting up shop out of the backs of tiny trucks, selling sustenance to the teams of volunteers. I will be posting more about his experience soon.

Update, 18 May: I had my husband ask someone in his office to translate the article for me and here's the gist: The 7-Eleven store's clerk, after making sure his family and employees' families were OK, decided to reopen using cardboard signs and a refrigeration truck. He has promised to rebuild there.

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