How the 2011 Japan Tsunami happened (documentary video)

Three weeks have passed since the huge earthquake and tsunami hit north-eastern Japan.  I’ve not said much on the topic recently as I’ve been getting on with life and trying to make the most of my short time left in Japan (three weeks today I will be on my way back to the UK).

However, I came across a new documentary video on YouTube today, which I have decided to share. While I do of course recommend that all of my readers watch this video, I am mainly sharing this for the benefit of my readers who are not in Japan right now. There has been more news coverage on this disaster than it is possible to take in. Watching this video should help you to make sense of it all a bit more, or as much as one can.

I assume this video is factually accurate – it seems to be. My only negative comment about this video is that it seems a little over-dramatic in tone at times, and also fails to mention the rest of Japan (south of Tokyo).

Anyway, please spare 47 minutes of your time to watch this, if you can.

NB. I don’t know the person who uploaded this video to YouTube, or where they got it from. Therefore, I am not sure if that person has breached any copyright laws by sharing this video. I don’t know how long it will remain available to watch on YouTube. If anyone knows of an official source for this video, please let me know. Thank you.

8 thoughts on “How the 2011 Japan Tsunami happened (documentary video)

  1. According to this video, it s all Japan that has been destroyed.. not really professional :-/
    it s really over dramatic..
    I m ok that the earthquake and tsnumi were HUGE and destroyed everything but only in a small part of the Japan coast.. he said : Japan is on his knee.. in ruins.. O_o


    • Yeah, I totally agree that it’s over the top in that respect. I just liked it because it explained all the science stuff really well (at least, in an easy way that ordinary people like me can understand!).


    • True, that is unprofessional. And they only say that at the very beginning to my knowledge (though I’m only about 25 min in right now). But the video does an incredibly good job at explaining the sequence of events using both real footage and computer-generated aides. They also go into detail about how science was puzzled as to why things happened the way they did and how they were able to explain it (for instance, why the 10-m wall in Miyako didn’t work even though the tsunami was 10 m high).

      I think we’d be hard-pressed to find anything about this tragic event that doesn’t have some degree of alarmist reporting or overdramatic behavior. Unfortunate, but probably true 😦


      • Such is 21st century life in the developed world, we all seem to document our lives. Given the population density and tech density in Japan I’m not too surprised by the amount of video. I think with the earthquake it was a case of being unusually long at 5 mins, so people took their phones out. With the tsunami I think people seriously underestimated the danger. Either way there is a huge vernacular historical record here compared to even the Kobe earthquake.

        I honestly haven’t watched a lot of the footage but this one from Aomori is horrifyingly compelling, you just keep thinking get out of there. The man shooting it is very quiet. about the only comment I can understand is ” it’s deep isn’t it? ”

        (hopefully that won’t embed, please edit if need be)
        The footage doesn’t need commentary and mainstream news media just can’t keep up with this.


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