Message from Andrew Gordon of Harvard University, faculty director of the Japan Digital Archive project (jdarchive.org).

From the moment the disaster struck on March 11, 2011, the reporters and editors and all the staff of Kahoku Shimpo have worked tirelessly to document this tragedy and also to provide resources for remembering the disaster and transmitting its lessons for posterity. Beginning soon after the disaster, colleagues, staff and students at Harvard University’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies began to work with many other organizations to create a resource for preserving and making accessible for now and for the future the digital record of this tragic disaster and its aftermath.

In the months and years since the disaster, we have forged a strong partnership with Kahoku Shimpo in this effort. It is especially gratifying to have been able to work with the Kahoku Shimpo, and a committed group of student volunteers and the staff of our Institute, to make available in English translation the moving stories that have been collected in the Wagakoto series. I hope these stories of people’s experience during this disaster will both spread awareness of the disaster itself, and move people around the world to better prepare for such events in the future.

Andrew Gordon
Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History
Harvard University


 So as to allow people around the world to know of and share in the lessons of the Great East Japan Disaster, Kahoku Shimpo is making public the English translation of its “Wagakoto” series in several installments. The translations were prepared by student volunteers from Boston University and the University of Michigan in cooperation with the staff of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard.