Children of the Tsunami

Children of the Tsunami

2012, Environment  -   9 Comments
Ratings: 8.14/10 from 119 users.

This is a depiction of the Japanese tsunami and the nuclear catastrophe which happened afterwards, seen through the eyes of the Japanese children. The tsunami hit on a Friday afternoon just before the school ended that day. It demolished lot of schools along 200 miles of Japan's north-east coast. All the schools were abandoned to high ground except for Okawa Primary School.

The earthquake which created the tsunami hit at 14:46 on the 11th of March. The quake was 9 degrees on the Richter scale strong and went on for more than two minutes. Before reaching Okawa Primary the tsunami would devastate two other schools near the sea. The teachers at the first school managed to get the children to higher ground. Then the tsunami flooded the second primary school where teachers and children successfully escaped to the roof.

Now the tsunami aimed for Okawa, the school two miles inland. More than 1/2 hour had passed since the beginning of the disaster and around 100 children were still in the school recreation area, lingering. The teachers were arguing whether to go up the highland behind the school or head for the adjoining bridge. During that half an hour the tsunami created lot of debris along 200 miles of Japan's Pacific shoreline, and took 19000 lives. As the tsunami died down, a 100 miles south of Okawa Primary School - in Fukushima - another tragedy happened.

The tsunami broke the cooling systems at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and nuclear fuel in three of its reactors began to melt down. As the authorities were trying to take back the control over the plant, one of the reactors blew up. Two days after the explosion, a second blast discharged smog of radioactive dust high into the atmosphere. Twenty six hours after the tsunami, Japan broadcasted an evacuation order to everyone residing within 12 miles of the plant. Over the next two days 80,000 people deserted their residences.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Proudly Canadian
8 years ago

I was really fascinated by what happened at Okawa Primary that day according to Soma and Fuka! But it's really sickening because in every picture you see of Okawa Primary, you always see the hill that you just wonder why the teachers chose not to safely go to. This is a phenomenal documentary that should definitely get more views! Sadly, it recently disappeared from Youtube.....

Not Impressed Overall
8 years ago

The Tsunami factors are awful and tragic. But having children educated the public about nuclear energy when reporters can't even do it? Yeah I'm going to take sievert expertise, by the way the universal measurement is millisieverts, from someone who can't even define nuclear or radiation. Terrible documentary in that department.

9 years ago

what a disaster! 19000 dead... I did nt remember it was that bad, and the radiation, what a mess, I hope they find solutions through this.

9 years ago

One thing I never imagined I would see was that children so young talking about death, suffering, how they were not able to say goodbye or if they will be able to have kids in future. Even after watching this my dream of permanently relocating to japan hasn't changed. So many lives taken away and so many dreams will never be fulfilled, a very sad documentary. Do watch it.

9 years ago

What's most terrible is the fact that life and death were there, all within a few meters from the school.

9 years ago

A great docu, smart children, a great nation. Probably will visit in the next few years. Thank you for sharing this.

9 years ago

When they first showed the picture of the little girl, Manno, I almost stopped watching. I knew that showing only her picture was not a good omen. But when that poor woman was putting food in her daughter's locker, that was enough for me. I couldn't take it anymore. Absolutely, heart breaking. These kids are living in a war zone, so to speak.

9 years ago

Between the guy in the excavator searching for his son and the little girls dad who can only let her play in on the asphalt I fought not to shed a manly tear... :(

9 years ago

Oh my god, these children!
This doc is beautiful, horrifying and sad.
A very moving and well-crafted production.