Fukushima photographer produces shot linking "3/11" Japan quake & "9/11" U.S. terror attacks

A 61-year-old photographer in Fukushima Prefecture has completed a large photographic work based on a rose garden in the Ogatsu district of Ishinomaki city in the neighboring prefecture of Miyagi in an attempt to produce a symbolic photo of the bonds linking the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, and the terror attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Katsuhiro Noguchi, who lives in Koriyama city, was inspired to do the work following an encounter with a Japanese-American doctor connected with an association of bereaved families of the 9/11 U.S. disaster. Noguchi hopes to help keep memories of the quake, which hit Ogatsu hard, and express gratitude for the support received through the photo as its 10th anniversary draws near. The coastal district of Ogatsu was devastated by the temblor and ensuing tsunami. The "Ogatsu Rose Factory Garden" was constructed after the quake by local residents and others in an effort to promote reconstruction via the power of flowers and greenery. Noguchi came across Robert T. Yanagisawa, head of the Japanese Medical Society of America, during an exhibition of his photos held in New York in 2019. The doctor and 9/11 association members have been visiting the garden since 2015 to interact with the local people. Noguchi visited the garden last year and began shooting the flowers in the hope of conveying feelings of gratitude for the warm assistance offered to disaster sufferers. The completed shot measures 90 centimeters in both length and width, and each rose photographed is both vivid and brilliant to brighten up viewers. With 2021 marking the 10th and 20th anniversary years of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the terrorist attacks on the United States, respectively, Noguchi is planning to shoot flowers in Japan's Tohoku region and the U.S. areas involved, and produce images that show how the communities are proceeding toward reconstruction. "Flowers have the power of enabling people to share empathetic feelings beyond the barriers of nationality, culture and language," said the photographer. (Translated by Kyodo News)