Sun. 25th Sep. I made my way over to Ohtsuchi early on Sunday morning. This was the day I both looked forward to and dreaded the most. However, I was taken by surprise when I first arrived as the Autumn Festival was in full swing within the grounds of Ohtsuchi Jinja. That the shrine was standing at all was being hailed as a miracle – trapped between tsunami and forest fires, it alone remains standing while everything around it was destroyed. With the haunting melodies of flutes and the rhythm of drums in the background, it was a powerful and moving view to look beyond the festival-goers and the shrine’s Tori gate to the desolate landscape running away to the sea. However, everyone carried a smile and I felt a collective spirit of hope.