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Japan: Shinto Shrine survivors

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Japan: Shinto Shrine survivors

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On 11 March the Japanese town of Otsuchi was devastated by a 9-magnitude earthquake and a tsunami. Making matters even worse, fires raged unchecked for days, sparked by exploding gas tanks.

Around one third of Otsuchi’s population of 16,000 are dead or missing.

The Matsuhashi family are the custodians of the Kozuchi Shinto Shrine, a sacred structure and one of the few remaining buildings left intact.

Everything around them was obliterated as first the earthquake then the tsunami hit. The fires added to the cataclysm, and yet they survived. This is their story.