March 12: The First Meal After the Earthquake/Individually owned stores 01 ”I lost someone I loved and didn’t care about what I would eat.”

3.11 Archive of Memories & Reccorder311 Collaborative Project


This article introduces the sticky notes visitors contributed and shows what the panels looked like during the exhibition period of “March 12: The First Meal After the Earthquake ––– When, Where, and What Did You Eat?” For the summary of each exhibited panel, please check out the [INDEX] page.


About “March 12: The First Meal After the Earthquake”
About sticky note comments


[Fall 2014] Exhibited Panels


Exhibition Period: October 1st to November 16th, 2014
Venue: Sendai Mediatheque




[Spring 2015] Exhibited Panels

Exhibition Period: February 20th to March 18th, 2015
Venue: Sendai Mediatheque

*On the panels with sticky notes from the [Fall 2014] exhibition, visitors added their own comments.
*Sticky notes written in English are translations of the Japanese text indicated by the arrow.




Comments by Visitors about the Panels

Some comments are not directly related to the photo content or location.


▷Already on the next day!! Amazing!

▷My TV was damaged in the earthquake, and newspapers were not being delivered. I had no access to information and felt isolated. (March 12)
▷On the morning of March 12, I bought some apples in Itagaki on the way to work. The shopkeeper said that he had not expected to open the store that day. At that time, I still didn’t think that it would be as difficult to get hold of food as it turned out to be.
▷On March 11, the earthquake hit when I was on the 46th floor of a building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It was so terrifying to be confined to a building swaying like that that I couldn’t even cry. I was collecting donations on the streets at that time, and many people gave money. I could feel human warmth, even in Tokyo.

▷I lost someone important to me, so I didn’t care about eating. But I’m still alive.

▷My older sister’s (Miyuki, 28 years old) weight dropped from 68kg→54kg after the disaster!! She was really surprised!

▷After the disaster, I had been parking my car on the street for two days, and someone broke in and stole from my car. I still had a year of loan payments…but they even took the car wheels. My car… I’m saddened.

▷Cheer up!! Cheer up!! Did you finish the loan payments?

▷This comment is not about meals, but on the next day, I got information from the radio and the newspaper. I could see no light at the end of the tunnel and felt anxious. That was when I heard my favorite artist’s song from the radio, and just that made me feel energized. I could never forget that. I remember it every year on March 12th. For me, March 12th is a special day.


About sticky note comments

People from many different backgrounds visited this exhibition, including people from Sendai City, as well as people from everywhere, including coastal areas, inland areas, inside and outside of Miyagi Prefecture, and inside and outside of Japan. There were also both adults and children, and these people left comments on sticky notes about what they remembered from seeing exhibited photos at the time of the disaster. Here, the original text comments that were left are posted without editing. Also, English text in gray are translations of Japanese texts.



Original Photo

“People Start Lining up for Sendai Asaichi (Morning Market) from Early in the Morning” *


March 12th, 2011
Sendai Asaichi (Morning Market)
3-8 Chuo,Aoba Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
Recorded by: SHINOHARA Haruki


Photo Collection “3.11 Record of Memory—3.11 Disaster that Citizens Took as Record of Memory—”
Issued and provided by: 20th Century Archive Sendai


You can read the episode of this photo and the record keeper from the following page.
[Photo and Article] A Look into the Lives of Citizens at the Heart of Sendai City



About “March 12: The First Meal After the Earthquake ––– When, Where, and What Did You Eat?”

The project is a participation style exhibition that exhibits photos of “meals” at the time of the disaster, such as photos related to emergency food distribution, grocery shopping, and people sharing meals at a table. Visitors were free to write sticky notes about what they remembered after seeing the photos and how they lived at the time. This exhibition was planned collaboratively by 3.11 Archive of Memories (at the time, called 20th Century Archive Sendai) and the center for remembering 3.11 (recorder311).
Please check out the [INDEX] page for the summary of each exhibited panel and utilization/application examples.