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Japan Tsunami Monuments Carry QR Codes

Who can forget the great earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan’s northern coast nine months ago? To mark this disastrous event in Japanese history and to commemorate those who have lost their lives due to this, the government built monuments above a beach at Kamaishi, in the Iwate Prefecture. However, aside from the traditional Japanese proverb that’s inscribed on each monument, one can also see a quick response code. More specifically, the first 500 granite monuments that were completed in the area – which town had been heavily damaged by the March 2011 tsunami – carry a similar Japanese text with English translation and a similar QR code which will remind people of that day. The text gives people advice as to what they should do in case another earthquake triggers a tsunami and hits their shores. The 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!” On the other hand, the QR code found at the bottom part of the 2.7-meter-high monument will direct scanners to a mobile site where they can view video footages of the tsunami. People who scan the code using their smartphone can also find pre- and post-tsunami landscape photos. The “Tsunami Memory Stone” project is a collaboration between the National General Association of Stone Shops and more than 300 Japanese gravestone contractors. The NGASS said that it will take several more months for the entire project to be completed, especially since many of the association’s members also volunteer in giving continuing aid towards the recovery after the tsunami. Aside from Iwate, monuments will also be erected in the prefectures of Miyagi and Fukushima.

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