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Lost & Found: Canadian Film Looks To Reunite Items Swept Away By The Japanese Tsunami With Their Ori
February 23, 2013
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Nearly two years ago, the world witnessed one of the worst disasters in recent time - the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

The quake was the most powerful to ever hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world since modern record-keeping started in 1900.

It triggered a powerful tsunami with waves of up to 40.5 metres (133 ft), that washed ashore 10 kilometres inland.

More than 15,000 people were killed and more than 6,000 injured.

Japan's prime minister said "In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan."

During the disaster, 25 million tonnes of debris was washed into the ocean - including a huge number of meaningful, personal items.

Many people lost everything. But over time, some of those items have been found - in some cases, having washed ashore in North America.

Now, two Canadian filmmakers - John Choi and Nicolina Lanni - have made a documentary called 'Lost & Found', about the reuniting of those items with their original owners.

Here's a preview.

Choi and Lanni have also started a fundraising campaign to help raise money to bring back items to the people in Japan who lost them.

The campaign will run from February 25 to April 1. You can go to the film's website or the Hot Docs website to donate.

You can find out more about the project at the film website here. There's also a launch party on Thursday, Feb. 28 at Toronto's Gladstone Hotel.

There's a similar project of the same name - 'Lost & Found' - which recovered photographs that were swept away by the tsunami.

It's an exhibition that started with the Salvage Memory Project, a volunteer effort to recover 750,000 photographs that were lost in the town of Yamamoto.

An artist named Munemasa Takahashi founded the project.

He told the New Yorker they're "mostly snapshots of special family occasions and holidays that anyone would take."

Each photograph was washed, digitized, and numbered based on where it was found. 20 thousand have been returned to their original owners.

"After the disaster occurred, the first thing the people who lost their loved ones and houses came to look for was their photographs," Takahashi said.

"Only humans take moments to look back at their pasts, and I believe photographs play a big part in that. This exhibit makes us think of what we have lost, and what we still have to remember about our past."

About 30,000 photos were too badly damaged to identify.

You can read more about the project right here.

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