On March 11th, 2011, a massive 9.1 earthquake struck the northeastern region of Japan and triggered a massive tsunami that wrought devastation and widespread loss of human life to the coastal communities of the Sanriku Coast.
Evacuating just in time, Yamanaka’s employees managed to safely reach higher ground before our facilities were wiped away. However, the Sanriku community and its industries were dealt a devastating blow by the tsunami waves that reached up to 10m high and traveled as far as 5km inland.
The Miyagi fishing industry hailed as one of the three great fishing grounds of Japan was in disarray. The ships, factories, and livestock were lost and many had to seriously consider shuttering operations as there was grave doubt as to whether the Miyagi Fishing Industry could ever recover.
However, thanks to close-knit cooperation and support from across Japan and abroad, the fishing industry of Miyagi received the support it needed to push forward on its path to recovery.
Following the disaster, fishermen in Miyagi managed to recover a small number of Miyagi Oyster seedlings that survived the tsunami and shared them with the other fishermen. This region also received a large amount of support from the French oyster industry that donated vital equipment and supplies.
This provided the moral boost and hope that the fishermen of Miyagi so desperately needed. Within one year of the disaster, the fishing industry managed to start producing Miyagi Oysters once again.
Elsewhere, Yamanaka’s employees worked with other suppliers in this area to restore damaged factories into working order where they worked side by side in the years following this disaster when work was scarce. Yamanaka also started up scallop and hoya operations in Hokkaido in the years it took to restart these industries in Miyagi.