Letter One: Morning After the Rain
Yoko is out walking her dog, Hana. There’s no one else on the road, and the lights are out in all the houses around her. As she walks through the quiet streets, a feeling of overwhelming loneliness builds up inside her. Yoko is thinking about what’s right, and what the right choice is. One day, her neighbors who had evacuated, a married couple and their child, came back to their home.
Letter Two: My Teacher
During class, there’s a certain female student who sits by the window and stares out at the rooftop. At the end of her line of sight, there’s a man with a somewhat dark expression, his long hair fluttering in the wind. The man is her homeroom teacher. “Why is his hair long? It’s gross!” When the girl asked a friend why her homeroom teacher’s hair is long...
Letter Three: Bring Life to Pebbles
It’s not long after the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred, and there’s a boy staring dumbfounded at the destruction in the streets. After the disaster, the art club instructor at the high school he attends started a “let a flower bloom in the debris project.” Just like the name suggests, the project was about drawing flowers in the debris to fill the town with them. One day, one of the project participants invited him along, and they went to draw flowers in the debris. The boy was hesitant at first, but then...
Letter Four: Come Back, Tuna!
Three black-tailed gulls are staring out at ocean at Onahama Port. The seabirds that live nearby are waiting for the ships to come in so they can snatch up fish that spill out from the catch. For the past few days, they haven’t been able to grab any. As the birds chat amongst themselves while they wait for the ships to return...
Letter Five: Fuku Came to the Village
A small town is trying to rebuild after the earthquake. One day in the town, a young girl named Fuku suddenly appears. Although Fuku says she wants to help with something, she has no experience with farm work or volunteering. At first, the townspeople are all unsure about Fuku. But as she continues to proactively take part in the town’s special events, she eventually becomes a indispensable person to the town.
Letter Six: Thank You For Your Support
Due to the effects of the earthquake, Fukushima Prefectural Tomioka High School is scheduled to close in the 2017 fiscal year. This school is a sports powerhouse, and the soccer team is one of the leading teams in the whole prefecture. This is the last year the boys’ soccer team can play in the tournament, and their opponent in the semifinals is their rival school, Shoshi High. In the midst of the white-hot battle, the Tomioka High soccer team’s supporting classmates use an unexpected method to cheer for them at halftime.
Letter Seven: Lunch at Odaka
Ryota works at a company in Tokyo, and is from Kotaka-ku in Minami-soma City, Fukushima Prefecture. After the earthquake, he has never returned to his hometown since evacuating his parents. One day out of the blue, Ryota starts wondering how things are going in Fukushima now, and decides to use his winter vacation to return to his hometown. As expected, the town is different from how he remembered it. The school he attended is now a restricted area. Looking back on his memories of the past, he walks through the streets and fixes his eye on a certain cafeteria.
Letter Eight: Just Being There For You
As more and more people move out of temporary housing, some victims of the disaster have to stay for various reasons. More and more elderly people who can’t communicate with those around them arrive, and Fukushima University students move into the temporary housing and live their lives normally. They call it “just being there support.” The voices of young people echo throughout the temporary housing, and the once gloomy atmosphere of the place gradually begins to change.
Letter Nine: Something Beyond My Wishes
“ ‘Sharing the truth is important.’ However, I’m always thinking about whether telling the truth will hurt someone, or make someone unhappy. In these harsh conditions, even if I could share the deep sadness I feel, there’s always something in my heart that makes me stop, and I wonder if what I’m feeling is right, or if there’s something wrong with it.” A certain journalist said those words. But in spite of that, this person was convinced that feelings were meant to be shared, and decided to share them with the world. As the sun rises, the town gets to work. The elements on the path to reconstruction are expressed in the form of landscapes alone.
Letter Ten: Graduation of Chika
Due to the effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, all the residents of Kawauchimura were forced to evacuate. The following year, the return announcement for the town is made, and the schools reopen as well, but not many people return to the town. At Kawauchi Elementary, the only 4th grader who returned is Chika. Three years later, Chika has a graduation ceremony all by herself.
Letter Eleven: Beyond the Clouds
A child goes with his parents to the beach to see birds that have flown in from the north. They discover a baby bird that has been wounded. After its wounds healed the bird rejoined the flock and returned to the sky. Later an earthquake tragically strikes the area, and the beach where the birds usually rest disappears. The youth, now grown, works to restore the beach and patiently waits for the birds’ return. One day, a propeller plane appears, soaring through the sky. Looking at the plane flying freely through the sky, the youth adds his own prayers, falling into a reverie. Coming back to himself, he glances up at the sky and sees the familiar figure of the birds. Welcome home!