Stranded Japanese Sightseeing Boat Rejected as Tsunami Memorial
The devastating tsunami that wiped out most of the Japanese towns of Kamaishi and Otsuchi on March 11th, 2011, swept the 109-ton sightseeing boat Hamayuri 400 meters (about 1,300 feet) inland, there to rest precariously atop the remains of a 2-story building.
The Hamayuri is a catamaran owned by the Kamaishi prefectural government and was frequently seen cruising through Kamaishi Bay before the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan's northeastern coast. Here are a couple of photos of Hamayuri taken during better days in 2008:
A group of over 160 respected academics including Takashi Nakata, professor emeritus at Hiroshima University, asked that the boat be preserved in its currently precarious and improbable position as a reminder of the disaster.
The Kamaishi prefectural government, however, turned down their request citing concerns about the stability of the boat as time goes by.
Makes sense – the building wasn't designed to bear the weight of the boat and damage from the tsunami may have weakened its structure.
Mayor Takenori Noda also expressed concern about the cost of securing and preserving the boat in situ, and wondered if such a powerful reminder of the disaster would be appreciated locally stating “I don't think citizens would look favorably on a decision to preserve this boat 20 to 30 years from now.”
As work to demolish both the Hamayuri and the former guest house it's balanced upon is set to begin in early May, it seems that photos and videos will be the only records of nature's frightful power to wreck the works of Man. (via Japan Probe, Asahi.com, Telegraph UK, FMFY, and Thomas Photo)