In order to pass on the memories of the Great East Japan Earthquake to the future, NHK has been producing a program for the past two years and showing it at local government disaster prevention events and other events.In this program, you can learn about the disaster with members of the idol group Sakamichi, which is popular among young people. VR” = virtual reality video content “Sakamichi Group x Earthquake Storyteller”.

The year 2024 will be 13 years since the earthquake.

This year, for the filming, members of Nogizaka46, Sakurazaka46, and Hinatazaka46 visited the remains of the earthquake in Tohoku and heard valuable stories from storytellers of the disaster.

Thirteen years ago, the members were attending elementary school and kindergarten.

Some of the storytellers we met in Tohoku this time were from the same generation as us.

What did the members feel?

(Fukushima Iwaki bureau, photographer Ittoku Hiroshima)

(Sendai bureau, Miki Kanbayashi cameraman)

(Morioka Kamaishi bureau, photographer Yuta Shoji)

◎In the article, you can see a 360-degree VR video summarizing the event.

Also, at the end of the article, we have posted an interview video with the members.

table of contents

  • [360 degree VR video] Nogizaka46 “Fukushima Futaba Minami Elementary School”

  • [360 degree VR video] Sakurazaka46 “Miyagi Nakahama Elementary School”

  • [360 degree VR video] Hinatazaka46 “Iwate Tapic 45”

  • [Interview] What the members felt

Open table of contents

table of contents

table of contents

  • [360 degree VR video] Nogizaka46 “Fukushima Futaba Minami Elementary School”

  • [360 degree VR video] Sakurazaka46 “Miyagi Nakahama Elementary School”

  • [360 degree VR video] Hinatazaka46 “Iwate Tapic 45”

  • [Interview] What the members felt

[360 degree VR video] Nogizaka46 “Fukushima Futaba Minami Elementary School”

Nogizaka46 members Akika Kuromi, Yuna Shibata, and Ayame Tsutsui visited Futaba Minami Elementary School in Fukushima Prefecture.

From left: Ayame Tsutsui, Akika Kuromi, Yuna Shibata

◎Click on the image below to view the [360 degree VR video] (5 minutes 31 seconds).

You can move the screen with your mouse or tap.

Schoolbags and shoes still convey the confusion of evacuations

Futaba Town, Fukushima Prefecture, where all residents were evacuated due to the nuclear accident.

Futaba Minami Elementary School visited by three members of Nogizaka46.

Although the evacuation order was lifted for some parts of the town in 2022, the children are still nowhere to be seen.

"It was Friday. Just like that."

The person who showed us around was Hazuki Sato, who was a fourth-year student at this school at the time.

Mr. Sato

: ``When the earthquake occurred, the shaking continued for more than a minute and was so strong that I couldn't stand.I remember being shocked and panicking.''After the earthquake, Mr. Sato and his friends immediately went outside

. I ran away to

Mr. Sato

: "This is the entrance. I passed through here and evacuated to the schoolyard, waiting for my family to come pick me up."

Akika Kuromi

: ``There are shoes left in the abandoned box.'

' Sato: ``

Everyone went outside with their indoor shoes on in order to evacuate as quickly as possible.

That's why there are still outdoor shoes.''

Sato: `

`The next morning, an evacuation order was issued for the entire town because the nuclear power plant was flooded by the tsunami and was in a dangerous situation.Everyone in the town had to leave Futaba Town.Since then, we... My family of five lived as evacuees in Shizuoka Prefecture for five years.''

Ayame Tsutsui

: ``Five was a long time.''

The children's school bags are still left in the classroom where Mr. Sato was.

Thirteen years have passed since her daily life at school was suddenly taken away from her.

Akika Kuromi: ``

I guess there were a lot of things that they couldn't do because of the nuclear accident.'' Sato: ``


current situation is that there are many people who have started a new life in their evacuation areas and are not returning to their towns.''

Mr. Sato returned to town in 2022.

He hopes to bring back the vibrancy it once had.

[360 degree VR video] Sakurazaka46 “Miyagi Nakahama Elementary School”

Sakurazaka46 members Marino Kosaka, Rika Ishimori, and Riko Endo visited Nakahama Elementary School in Yamamoto Town, Miyagi Prefecture.

Nakahama Elementary School, where 90 people evacuated to the rooftop as the tsunami approached, has been preserved as an earthquake disaster ruin to convey the experiences and lessons learned at the time.

From left: Rika Ishimori, Marino Kosaka, Riko Endo

Maria Chihiro, who was a third-year student at the school at the time, showed us around the warehouse where we huddled together and spent the night.

◎Click on the image below to view the [360 degree VR video] (8 minutes 45 seconds).

You can move the screen with your mouse or tap.

The pitch black waves are like a wall, “I’m going to die from this”

Nakahama Elementary School, the remains of the earthquake disaster in Yamamoto Town, Miyagi Prefecture.

Three members of Sakurazaka46 visited.

Maria Chihiro is a storyteller here.

She was a third year student at this school at the time.

I'm from the same generation as the members.

Chihiro saw the tsunami approaching from the roof of the school building she evacuated to that day.

Chihiro said

, ``I saw pitch-black waves rising like a wall, and I hugged my friend and cried, thinking, ``This is going to kill me.''

Rika Ishimori

: “It was really scary…”

Huddled together in the falling snow

The rooftop survived the tsunami, and Chihiro and 90 other children, teachers, and local residents huddled together in this warehouse for the night.


: ``On the floor are the costumes and cardboard used for the school play.It was snowing that day, and the floor was very cold, so we all laid it out to make it feel a little bit cooler.'' ``I

... I kept thinking about what my family was doing right now.There were so many aftershocks that day, and there were many big tremors, so I was very worried, but the teacher gently rubbed my back, and the friends around me We held each other's hands and encouraged each other, saying, ``Let's do our best here.''

Marino Kosaka

: ``What time did you leave here?''


: ``It was around 7 a.m. the next day. A Self-Defense Force helicopter came and rescued everyone. I also went to the evacuation center. I was able to reunite with my family.''

Marino Kosaka

: ``I'm glad...''

Chihiro has been sharing her experiences as a storyteller since 2022.


: ``I hope that by learning what we felt and experienced here, it will be an opportunity for people to think about what they would do if they were themselves.''This will lead to disaster preparedness. I hope it becomes.”

[360 degree VR video] Hinatazaka46 “Iwate Tapic 45”

Hinano Uemura, Miraiji Takahashi, and Honatsu Hirao from Hinatazaka46 visited the old roadside station "Tapic 45" in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture.

The roadside station that was once hit by a 14-meter-high tsunami has been preserved as an earthquake disaster ruin to pass down the power and horror of the tsunami to future generations.

From left: Honka Hirao, Hinano Uemura, Miraiji Takahashi

Yuko Muzo, who is working as a guide here, showed us around the inside of the building and talked about the daily life of the past and how to prepare to protect one's life.

◎Click on the image below to view the [360 degree VR video] (9 minutes 16 seconds).

You can move the screen with your mouse or tap.

“The earthquake wiped out normal life and daily life in an instant.”

The three members of Hinatazaka46 visited Tapik45, a former roadside station in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture.

There was a tourist information center and a cafe inside, and a product store next door, which was crowded with tourists and locals.

However, it was hit by a 14-meter-high tsunami, and the interior walls were severely damaged.

"Such a thick wall...even though it's a sturdy wall."

Our guide was Yuko Takezo, who was born and raised in this town.

I am working as a guide here to convey the scenery and memories of her lost hometown.

Mr. Takezo

: ``This place was used as a rest area. There was a small table, and this was the place where I would chat with friends over tea. It was completely destroyed by the tsunami.''

Miraiji Takahashi

: ``I can see the computer. I feel like the person who worked here was definitely there.''


: ``The earthquake really wiped out our normal lives and daily lives in an instant.''

If the tsunami were a few meters higher... "Evacuate early"

the back of the building.

At that time, there was a person who ran up these stairs and narrowly escaped the tsunami.


: ``They were working near the sea, but on the way, they noticed an unusual tremor and ran towards our building, so three of my co-workers ran up to save them.''

Mr. Takezura

: ``However, if the tsunami had been a few meters higher, I think we probably wouldn't have survived.''

Mr. Honatsu Hirao

: ``What should we do to protect our lives more reliably?''

Mr. Takezora: `

`Hurry up!'' You can save your life by evacuating early. By evacuating early, you have a variety of options available to you. You can save your life by evacuating to a higher place, or even higher."

[Interview] What the members felt

As more and more generations are unaware of the earthquake, people from their hometowns are telling the story of that day.

The members were trying to accept that feeling.

Nogizaka46 Akika Kuromi “I have to always think about it”

``There were many situations where I learned for the first time that such a situation existed when I looked inside the school.I felt that there are many things that you cannot understand unless you constantly think about what is the right decision to make.My friends and family around me I thought we would have more opportunities to talk about the earthquake together."

Nogizaka46 Yuna Shibata “I want to pass this on to the children around me”

"I was really impressed that it was left in its original condition. I think it was a very valuable experience to actually see it, and I wanted to continue to pass it on to my family and the children around me."

Nogizaka46 Ayame Tsutsui "Living in a shelter for 5 years was very shocking"

``I was really shocked to learn that Mr. Sato, who showed me around, evacuated from Futaba Town and lived there for five years, and I thought that his life was better than I imagined.That left a big impression on me. "I'm here"

Sakurazaka46 Kosaka Marino “I want to connect memories”

``I think memories gradually fade, so I want to connect the memories of the earthquake to the younger generation and prevent them from fading away.''

Sakurazaka46 Rika Ishimori “Never forget”

"I have such complicated feelings that I can't even find words. I can't and must never forget this. I want to pass this story on to many people."

Sakurazaka46 Riko Endo “Don’t think it’s just one thing”

“I want to live my life from now on without thinking of it as a one-off event, always keeping in mind that something like this actually happens.”

Hinatazaka46 Hinano Uemura “Face it firmly”

``I think it's tempting to turn a blind eye, but I think facing it properly and trying to learn more is the first step to preventing the next disaster.I want to continue learning from this.''

Hinatazaka46 Mirai Takahashi “It is our generation’s responsibility to pass the message on”

``I think it was a very valuable time to be able to actually visit, and 13 years after the earthquake, I think there are still children who don't know about it, so I think it's our generation's responsibility to pass on that message.'' thought"

Hinatazaka46 Honatsu Hirao “I want to spread the word”

``The idea that ``just because it's an emergency evacuation site doesn't mean it's absolutely safe'' really stuck with me.We need to spread the word more about the need to think about what would happen to us and act accordingly. I thought it would be nice.”

◇VR “Sakamichi Group x Earthquake Storyteller” exhibited at NHK Sendai Broadcasting Station◇

NHK Sendai Broadcasting Station will display the footage shot this time using VR goggles and tablet devices.

Why not join the members and listen to the storyteller's story?

[Exhibition location and time]

NHK Sendai Broadcasting Station 2nd floor "Jozenji Media Station VR video experience corner"

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Permanent exhibition (closed on Mondays)

*There will be a person in charge at the exhibition location.


NHK Sendai Broadcasting Station Viewer Contact Center 022-211-1002

2-20-1 Honmachi, Aoba-ku, Sendai

◇ Reception hours

(Monday to Friday) 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

(Saturdays, Sundays, holidays) Morning 9am to noon 1pm to 5pm

NHK VR/AR | From “watching and listening” to “experiencing” news and programs