Exhibit by Iranian photographer to observe anniversary of Japan tsunami

March 9, 2021 - 19:2

TEHRAN – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will open an exhibition by Iranian photographer Afshin Valinejad Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of the disastrous Japanese tsunami.

The JICA based in Tokyo is a governmental agency that provides technical cooperation and other forms of aid promoting economic and social development in the concerned areas.

After the devastating tsunami in 2011, this exhibition has been organized for two weeks every year from March 11, Valinejad told the Persian service of ISNA on Monday.    

The first edition was organized at the agency by an invitation from the then JICA president Sadako Ogata seven months after the catastrophe, he said.

The organizers also screen a short film about the tsunami made by Valinejad on the opening day of the exhibition every year.  

Earlier in July 2011, a selection of Valinejad’s photos featuring the tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan was showcased in an exhibition named “Tsunami’s Footprint” at the café gallery of the Iranian Artists Forum in Tehran.

A deadly 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan on March 11, 2011. The powerful quake triggered a devastating tsunami along Japan’s eastern coast, killing over ten thousand people and injuring thousands more.

The earthquake caused the formation of 30-foot walls of water that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. Some waves reached six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan’s east coast.

Valinejad was an expert at the Persian section of NHK Radio Japan for eight years. He is a freelance photojournalist who chose to help the tsunami victims handing out goods and supplies of any kind to the needy people.

He is known as an Iranian angel in Japan’s tsunami. He says he’s just a porter who has been given the honor to distribute goods to people in need.

“I’ve always believed that when you feel something in your heart and you want to do it, you don’t look for plans or feel that you have to organize everything,” he said at that time. “I was sure we’d be able to do some good. I had no doubt.”

Photo: People pray for victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami as Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is seen in the background at Namie town, Fukushima prefecture March 11, 2014. (Reuters/Toru Hanai)


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