The brutal tsunami of March 2011 and the Heroes of Otsuchi to fleeing dignitaries

The brutal tsunami of March 2011 and the Heroes of Otsuchi to fleeing dignitaries

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In the memory of the “Fire brigade Heroes of Otsuchi” – and remembering how many so-called friends of Japan fled at the drop of a hat. 

The tragic events of March 11, 2011, will always be remembered in Japan for the devastation that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake. This brutal earthquake triggered a brutal tsunami and led to a nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

Aftershocks were also relentless in the following weeks. Hence, this led to a time of enormous reflection and foreboding for people affected by the chain reaction. It is known that just below 16,000 people perished but this figure is much higher because several thousand people remain missing. Therefore, enormous suffering engulfed parts of Japan and the nuclear crisis led to a psychological war, despite the shadow of deaths being extensively based on the tsunami.

Thankfully, many heroic people rescued unknown numbers of people and services dedicated to the wellbeing of people gave everything – including the ultimate sacrifice of death. Sadly, like humanity in general, you also had the opposite direction. This notably applies to illogical scaremongering related to the radiation crisis in Fukushima. Hence, some international embassies pulled their nationals out of wealthy areas in Tokyo – just like many foreign nationals fled the country.

Unlike some self-centered individuals and organizations, the bravery of so many came to light in the worse affected areas. Of course, it is nigh impossible to pick one collection of heroes but from a national point of view, the bravery of the Otsuchi Fire Brigade remains etched within the memory.

Modern Tokyo Times uttered in a past article, “The No. 2 branch of the fire brigade in Otsuchi knew full well that they were guardians on the abyss of death and destruction. Yet, the fire brigade did not flinch – unlike certain embassies and others who fled from distant Tokyo. This reality highlights the utter devotion of the No. 2 fire brigade of Otsuchi because to these brave souls other people came first.”

Hence, on the one hand in Otsuchi, you had the brave souls of the No. 2 Fire Brigade in the Akahama district sacrificing the ultimate; while in the other direction, some dignitaries and others fled leafy suburbs in Tokyo and fled. However, the No. 2 Fire Brigade in Otsuchi did everything to rescue people. This bravery Immediately led to the deaths of fire brigade members. Irrespective of the final numbers who perished from this unit, the fact is they gave everything based on the positive side of humanity.

Modern Tokyo Times stated several years ago, “A fire brigade hero called Fujio Koshida was still sounding the warning bell despite waves being about to engulf him and sweep him away from this world. Takeyasu Tobai, the former head of the same branch of the local fire brigade, also reported that he could hear the bell that Fujio Koshida was ringing before this hero was engulfed by the tsunami.”

Takeyasu Tobai reports, “I guess he could see the sea…It was a sad sound. I can still hear it.”  

Fujio Koshida and other brave members of the local fire brigade in Otsuchi sacrificed everything. Hence, it is sincerely hoped that these brave souls will always be remembered because they showed the beauty of humanity.

Sadly, in the other direction, it will always be known that certain embassies, international workers, and others fled the country – or region of Tokyo – at the drop of a hat. This fact exists despite these people never being endangered by the brutal tsunami that was triggered by the earthquake. Nor were these people in the vicinity of Fukushima.

Overall, many brave people who will never be known sacrificed the ultimate. Similarly, many people survived despite endangering themselves because they cared for strangers and neighbors alike. So the memory of the Fire Brigade Heroes of Otsuchi will never be forgotten. Hence, they represent the collective memory of all people who helped in countless prefectures that were severely hit by the events triggered by the brutal Great East Japan Earthquake.


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