Tag Archives: Ofunato

Forced out by tsunami, Japan sushi chef dreams of home

When the tsunami roared through his northern Japanese hometown of Ofunato last March, sushi chef Sanichi Niinuma managed to escape with his life, but his shop was battered and badly damaged by the raging waters.

In the aftermath of the disaster, which killed over 400 in the city, the 47-year-old Niinuma went as far as starting to rebuild his shop — only to be told by the city that the area was off limits since the land had sunk and power and sewage systems were destroyed.

After several months of part-time work, he accepted an offer to take over a sushi shop in Tokyo, becoming one of thousands of people forced out of their hometowns across northern Japan by the disaster in order to make a living.

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