Kyotoku-maru number 18 (第18共徳丸) is a 330-ton fishing boat that was dragged 750 meters inland by the power of the 2011 tsunami.
The name of all Japanese boats ends with maru 丸, which means literally “circle”. It is said that maru 丸 symbolizes the departure from the port, the journey through the seas and the safe return to port, thus completing the circle. It is also said that the suffix maru is used because Hakudo Maru is the name of the god that taught the Japanese people how to build boats.
The Kyotoku-maru number 18 has been two years and a half trapped inland which hasn’t allowed it to complete its circle. Moreover the god Hakudo Maru was not able protect it. After several discussions (some people went as far as wanting to make it a World Heritage Site), the citizens of Kesennuma have decided that they don’t want to use the boat as a memorial. According to the tsunami victims the boat is becoming a nuisance to the city’s reconstruction and they don’t see the boat as a monument but as a scar. This month the dismantling of the boat has started which will eventually make room for new buildings.
Last month we drove along the new road that has been built next to the boat. The following pictures show how we saw it just before dusk:
More photos in my Flickr.