Stone memorial built on city land in pine grove at beach of town hit by tsunami. First of 500 coastal monuments includes engraved advice in English.
The first monument to commemorate the March earthquake and tsunami has been installed near a town that was heavily damaged in the disaster.
The "Tsunami Memory Stone" overlooks a beach in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture. Tsunami waves as tall as 14 ft (4.3 m) surged over the Kamaishi Breakwater.
The 2.7-meter-high granite memorial is the first of 500 monuments planned for Pacific coastal areas of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
Japanese text is inscribed on the monument with English below the Japanese.
The English text reads:
Memorial Stone of the Tsunami. Just run! Run uphill! Don't worry about the others. Save yourself first. And tell the future generations that a Tsunami once reached this point. And that those who survived were those who ran. Uphill. So run! Run uphill!
A Quick Response code on the stone allows people to access video of the tsunami and scenery before the disaster with a mobile phone or tablet device.
About 300 gravestone contractors nationwide are participating in the tsunami monument project.
The National General Association of Stone Shops organized the effort.
Members of the association also participated in volunteer activities to repair tombstones damaged by the disaster in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, and other locations.