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Story and video by Katy Spence

Eiichi Honma’s Ishinomaki home was swept away by the 2011 tsunami. Only this storehouse, built in 1897, remained. With support from the community, the storehouse was fully restored in November 2013.


Today, it is full of precious treasures: books, maps, ceramics, masks and music fill the space of the sturdy building, which is built like a safe.


The sign in front of the storehouse reads: “I (the storehouse) remained. I was born the year following the Great Sanriku Tsunami, the 30th year of the Meiji Period or 1897 by the Christian calendar. The twin storehouses that stood next to me, bult the same year were destroyed by this tsunami. I will continue to stand here to tell future generation of the 3.11 disaster and the tragedies it bore.”


Visitors wishing to tour the storehouse are instructed to call the tennis court office, where Honma works as a coach. Honma also used his savings to build and open a small grocery store for returning Ishinomaki residents. He and his wife volunteer their time in the store, taking no pay to ensure the store can remain open.

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