Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Murohama enshrined [The reply]

What keeps alive a story that could keep you alive? On Sunday, José Holguín-Veras' article, "The 1,000-year-old warning," explained how a venerable tale led the people of Murohama, on the east coast of Japan, to safety after last year's Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The ancient story told of a massive earthquake and tsunami that killed villagers who headed to high ground nearby but were nonetheless swept away. The particulars matched geologic and historical evidence, but what the people of Murohama remembered wasn't corroborating science but the story itself -- and a roadside shrine, tended for generations, near the site where the tragedy happened.  When the Tohoku earthquake hit, most of the people in Murohama heeded the story and headed to safer ground on the other side of town.

One commenter on our website, "clxLAT," said, "A picture of the shrine would have been nice." Holguín-Veras was happy to accommodate that request with a shot  he took of the roadside shrine on his research trip to Japan.  He also included a GPS map based on  Google Earth.  The "directions" on it start at "S" in the village and lead to "E" -- close to the roadside shrine. The safer high ground is south and west  of "S."  


Raising cyber-children -- safely

How will it end in Afghanistan?

Texas' solution in search of a problem

--Susan Brenneman

Photo: Murohama's roadside shrine. Credit: José Holguín-Veras’ / For The Times


Comments () | Archives (0)

The comments to this entry are closed.



In Case You Missed It...



Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

In Case You Missed It...