Kesennuma is a harbor city, and any Japanese who hears the name of the city would think of great catch of bonitos and varieties of fish from there. When the bonito season came last year, the media covered about the amazing recovery despite of the harsh situation. But interestingly, I only remember the liveliness and the normalness the media has covered about the fish market. The surroundings that I have seen with my own eyes described quite different stories. The building which houses the market shows its bare structure, the sea level looks high because of the entire ground sinking for 80 cm, and the road in front of the market still looking temporary.
And as you drive along this road, you see that the large fish boat which was carried away with is now left as the water left it: When we visited Kesennuma last year, although the road divided the coastline and the boat, I casually presumed that the boat will be moved to demolish somehow. However, as electric wires and street lights are placed alongside the road, which is absolutely necessary to recover the everyday lives, it seemed quite definite that this large fish boat would remain to its state for the unforeseen future.
As we talked with the local fishermen in Karakuwa, whose house is above 7 meters from the sea level however, was flooded, described that the current status of this fish boat is somewhat painful to see for anyone in his profession. Fish boats, small or large, they go through a ceremony to place a soul inside after its first sale. “Any fish boat, has a soul when it goes ashore. Fish boat is a woman, and a close one.” He told us. The current state of this boat, not even in the water, still appears to him as something, or someone, who is more than a large piece of metal.
Previously 80% of the people who live in Kesennuma have been engaged in fishing industry. The city which had approximately 80 thousand population is losing population as the industry is heavily hit, and has been reported to have less than 70 thousand residents as of February 2012.