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By B.W. Robinson, Photographs

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Sample text

And almost as suddenly, the sea became as eerily flat as a mirror. Behind him, men chugged for the sea before the waves broke. Fishermen all along Japan’s coast know that the only way to save their boats from a powerful tsunami is to disobey the instinct to flee and drive into the waves before they hit shallow depths and crest. Once in the harbor, the latent energy stored up in the tsunami wreaks havoc on anything or anybody in its way. About one hundred of his colleagues forgot that lesson and were not so lucky.

CONTENTS Acknowledgments Prologue: March 11, 2011 1 The Quake 2 Tsunami 3 Close the Gate 4 Meltdown 5 The Emperor Speaks 6 Telling the World 7 Flyjin 8 Help Us, Please! 9 Departures 10 Tohoku Damashii Epilogue Notes Index Eight pages of photographs appear between pages 102 and 103. Acknowledgments THE AUTHORS WOULD LIKE TO GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE the help of the following people: Mark Selden, Shaun Burnie, Jeff Kingston, Darach McDonald, and Tom Gill, all of who read and commented on draft chapters of the book.

M. , the working day was over for Yoshio Ichida, who lived about 100 yards from the sea where he made his living. His five-ton boat was parked in Soma Harbor, his catch of sardines, squid, and mackerel logged at the fisheries co-op, and he was sitting in the bath shaving. He would have a nap, then pick up his wife from her job at a fish-processing factory and go to see his elderly parents. A handsome man of 53, Ichida’s face is deeply tanned from life at sea. He is the third generation of his family to work the trade, and the last—his son is a schoolteacher and his daughter married and moved south.

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