Earthquake and Tsunami in Tohoku area, March 11, 2011
Report and Information on Eastern Japan Diocese
update: Apr.9

As you read magnitude 9 earthquake attacked the northeastern part of Japan.
And 30 feet tsunami swept through the east coastal areas in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefecture. In addition to that, serious trouble happened in the nuclear station in Fukushima.
We received many emails with love and prayers and inquiries from brothers and sisters throughout the world.

For a while after the earthquake, the websites of the Orthodox Church in Japan and the Eastern Japan Diocese are still under difficulties to upload new information. On behalf of them, Western Japan Diocese provided current news and available information.
Last week, OCJ website and Eastern Japan Diocese website were recovered.

Contribution for financial aide project by the Orthodox church in Japan

The Orthodox Church in Japan

April 8
Fourth report from Bishop Seraphim

Aftershock quaking still happens three or four times every day and last night, another magnitude 7 earthquake occured near Sendai and hit the damaged building and suffered people's heart again.

Since the disaster happened, Bishop Seraphim and clergies in Eastern Japan Diocese have been making great effort to contact with parishioners and to get information on their situation. For the first two weeks, shortage of gas and damaged roads disturbed direct visit to their flocks.

Recently rubbles were pushed out from the main roads to the coast were opened to the traffic. On April 5 and 6, Bishop Seraphim visited the church and parishioners.

This is the short report with newest information we received.

In General, the damages of Orthodox communities were not in the worst level. Except Holy Annunciation Chapel in Yamada, all the church and chapels survived and stands fairly well at a glance. But examining carefuly, there found many cracks on the walls, damages on interior and exterior of the building and serious collaps on the foundation. And frequent aftershok quaking increases cracks and enlarge damages. It is supposed quite a big amount will be needed to restore and rebuild churches.

Among 1.5 thousands parishioners in Tohoku area; seven were killed by tsunami, one died from shock of the earthquake. In coastal area many losts their houses and job. Countless people had damages on their houses, shops and offices. Diocese has not yet had clear grasp of their situation.

-Coastal area-

(registered parishioners:15 families, 20 pax)
Half of the city was destroyed by tsunami and fire. The Holy Annunciation in Yamada had stood against tsunami, but tsunami delivered gas and oil on the surface, then in midnight, caught fire. The chapel was burned out.

There are 15 families Yamada parish, most of them lost houses, shops and job. Matrona YOKOTA Nobuko is still missing.

Most of parishioners are engaged in marine products business under local companies, which were totally devastated. They have no future prospect for income.

SAKARI (32 families, 127 pax)

Holy Ascension Church was not destroyed but many cracks were found on the wall.

Among the parishioners, two families lost thier house and an office. Many of the parishioner had damages on their house.

In addition to the three victimes(Lyubov ISE Miho, Peter ISE Taigi, Martha ISE Ai) informed in the previous report, one parishioner's family member, not yet baptised, SATO Eigo is still not found.

KESENNUMA(2 families, 8 pax)

The Holy Resurrection Chapel in Kesennuma, thanks God, was saved. Tsunami stopped in front of the church with a few meter distance. But now, a huge rock was found on the cliff just behind the chapel . If this huge rock fall down, the chapel will be crushed at one strike. To remove the danger, discussion is necessary with city office and the land owner.

Two families belong to Kesennuma parish. All of them are safe but their house and means of liveing, (they managed drug stores) were completely destroyed. After tsunami, they stayed in the shelter. This week, one family moved to a relative's house and the other moved to church meeting house.

ISHINOMAKI (60 families,133 pax)
Water flooded in 40 cm depth into the church and left a lot of mud and dirt. On April 5, the members of Ishinomaki parish cleaned in and out of the church, with help of members from Sendai.

In addition to Nikanol Kami Tsutom (reposed), Andrei YONESATO Kimiyosi (was in the missing list) was found dead. His son Feodosii Hajime is still not found.

The destroyed church, shown in news paper and in many websites, is old church built in 1879, preserved as a city cultural asset in the Nakase sandbank park. The present church was built in 1978.

-Inland area-

KANNNARI (15 families, 44 pax)
St. John the Apostle Church was built in 1934. By this earthquake, she got many cracks on the wall and collaps on the foundation. The bell tower is leaned. The estimated restoration cost is 60 thousand US$. After the estimation, a strong aftershock occured on Apr.7 and hit the damaged building; the cross on the cupola was broken, the cracks in the foundation became larger, mortars were peeled from walls. More money will be needed.

SENDAI(185 families,435 pax)
A parishioner's family member, YAMAMOTO Michiko (not yet baptized) is missing. Due to repeating earthquakes and after shock, many cracks appeared on the office building next to church. Detailed investigation is necessary. After the strong aftershock, many of new cracks were found.

FUKUSHIMA (belong to Sendai parish)
There are two families living further than 30 km from the nuclear power station. Koyama family who lived within 10 km from the station moved to somewhere, according to their friend.

WAKUYA (16 families,42 pax)
Moisei NAKAGAWA Iyoji in the missing list was found dead. His wife Sophia NAKAGAWA Tsuneko was found earlier.

SANUMA(9 families,13 pax)
The Holy Transfiguration Chapel stood against the earthquake, but distorted. Large scaled restoration or reconstruction is supposed to be necessary.

The aftershock quaking still continues and add damages on damages. The restoration work takes years and years. Long term support will be necessary. Specialist says much more longer than in the case of Kobe.

Apr. 6, Vladika Seraphim, Fr. Marco and Fr. Michael visited Yamada.
Candlestands and holy vessels found in ashes. Bp. Seraphim visited Irina Chiba at the shelter . Her house was swept away.
 Apr.5, Ishinomaki. 25 parishioners cleaned up church. Ishinomaki, a man near the window is Fr. Vasili Taguchi  Ishinomaki, St. John the Theologian Church
St.John the Apostle Church
The cross on the cupola was broken
 crack on the foundation  Mortars onthe walls peeled down.
Panichida for the victimes at Holy Ascension
Church in Sakari
   The old church building (now museum) was destroyed by tsunami.

Third message from Bishop Seraphim and report

St. John the Theologian Church and Ishinomaki parish
-The church and the priest's residence were not flooded much. Cleaning and some repair are necessary.
-Reposed; Nikanol Kami Tsutom
-Missing person; , Andrei Yonesato Kimiyoshi and Feodosii Yonesato Hajime
-some families stay at shelter

Profet Isaiah Chapel and Wakuya parish
-Reposed; Sophia Nakagawa Tsuneko
-Missing person; Moisei Nakagawa Iyoji

The Holy Ascension Church and Sakari parish in Ofunato
-Reposed; Lyubov Ise Mie, Petr Ise Daigi, Martha Ise Ai

Holy Annunciation Church and Yamada Parish
-missing person;one

St. John the Apostle Church and Kannari parish
-According to the investigation of Kurihara city, stones of the basement were subsided, regarded in danger to collapse.

Holy Transfiguration chapel and Sanuma parish
-Some parishioners house and stores were damaged much, regarded as dangerous
-Chapel, probably in danger.

Holy Resurrection chapel and Kesennuma parish
-Chapel and meeting room survived
-Two family of parishioners are safe. But their houses were damaged immensely. They now stay at the shelter but will soon move to the meeting room of chapel.

Holy Transfiguration Chapel and Tkashimizu parish
-The roof of the chapel was damaged. Parishioners are safe.

Please add the names of the reposed and missing personse in your prayer.@@@@


KesennumaAHoly Resurrection Chapel is safe!

Yesterday, Fr. Marco Koike visited Kesennuma and confirmed the chapel is safe. There are two Orthodox families in Kesennuma. All of them are safe and living in shelter, as their houses were damaged. Tsunami reached close to the church but stopped a few meter shorter. Thanks God.

Mar. 21

Among five church located on Sanriku Coast suffered by tsunami, Holy Annunciation Chapel was destroyed as shown below. The other three, St. John Theologian in Ishinomaki, Holy Protection Chapel in Joghedzutsumi, Ascension Church in Sakari(Ofunato) were safe. Holy Resurrection in Kesennuma is still unknown.

Holy Annunciation Chapel in Yamada
(photo Mar. 18, by Aquira Arakawa)

  Tsunami swept off the church building.
Nothing remained but the concrete wall.

Holy Annunciation Church before tsunami.

Holy Ascension Church in Sakari(Ofunato)@iphoto Mar.19j

Holy Ascension Church stands as before.

This road devided disaster. Left of this road(mountain side) was safe. The towns down to the shore, right side of this road were terribly distructed. Thanks God, water did not arrive at the church.

Mar.17, 2001
Second message by Bishop Seraphim and report on the state of church

Since the disaster happened, we are so grateful to many letters and emails from in and out of Japan. Although communucation is still short, we have been collecting information using various tools. Little by little, we could see the situation of churh and parish members. >>>read more

Mar.17, 2001
Fr. Vasilii Taguchi is safe!

Sendai church got contact with Fr. Vasilli and Matushka Maria. The St. John church building survived, too. The first floor ofthe temple and meeting hall were flooded. But second floor is usable. Lay leader is walking around the town and visiting members.

Mar. 17, 2001
Contribution for financial aide started

The Orthodox Church in Japan started invite contribution for the church and parishioners suffered.

In detail, please see the official website of OCJ, recovered.
The Orthodox Church in Japan
Relief donation from abroad

Payee Account Number @: 00150 - 0- 47756
Payee Address :@ 4-1, KandaSurugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 101-0062, JAPAN
Payee Telephone Number :@@ 03-3291-1885
"Currency :@USD"
Intermediary Bank Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas NY
Intermediary Bank BICiSWIFT Codej: BKTRUS33
Beneficiary Bank : Japan Post Bank
Branch : Head Office
Beneficiary Bank Address : 3-2, Kasumigaseki 1-chome, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo
100-8798, Japan
Beneficiary Bank BIC (SWIFT Code): JPPSJPJ1
Beneficiary Bank CHIPS UID : 427593
" Currency : EUR "
Intermediary Bank : Deutsche Bank AG Frankfurt
Intermediary Bank BICiSWIFT Codej: DEUTDEFF
Beneficiary: Bank Japan Post Bank
Branch : Head Office
Beneficiary Bank Address 3-2, Kasumigaseki 1-chome, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo
100-8798, Japan
Beneficiary Bank BIC (SWIFT Code): JPPSJPJ1
Beneficiary Bank CHIPS UID : No-need
Detailed information on remittance:
"Deposit to Japan Post Bank Account"

Mar.16, 2001

Statements of Met.Daniel of Tokyo Archdiocese and All Japan and Bishop Seraphim of Sendai. (Japanese)

Websites of Eastern Japan Diocese and Sendai are recovered

-Eastern Japan Diocese


Through the person finder site, we could know some parishioners are alive and staying at a shelter. But still no information about Fr. Vasillii Taguchi Michio and Matushka Maria. He has been Dean of Ishinomaki parish and in these months convalesced at home near coast.

Mar.15, 2011

Eastern Japan Diocese

Thanks God, Bishop Seraphim, Fr. Clement Kodama, Fr. Vasilii Kato are fine. The Holy Annunciation Cathedral in Sendai and Diocese office buildings were not seriously damaged.

Holy Ascention church in Ichinoseki, Elevation of Cross Church in Morioka are safe, too, even though small damages were found.

We have made contact with Fr. Michail in Morioka and Fr.Mark in Ichinoseki.

However, the church located on the Sanriku coast were supposed to be destroyed; Annunciation Church in Yamada, Holy Resurrection Church in Kesennuma, Holy Protection Church in Joghe-dzutusmi and St. John the Theologian church in Ishinomaki. The Diocese has not yet contacted with the parishioners of those church. 300 members are registered in the coastal area.

In addition to them, there are no information from three church and parish located further from the coast; Holy Transfiguration Chapel in Sanuma, Transfiguration Church in Takashimizu and Prophet Isaiah Church in Wakuya, in total, 80 members are registered.

Communication and electric sytems are seriously destroyed. Telephone, cell phone or internet are still in limited use. Roads and railways were cut off and, gas stations do not work. There are very few ways to contact with parishioners.

We have been searching missing people on google and picasa websites and found some members are alive

This afternoon, we received happy news, that the Ascention Church in Sakari exists and many of the parishioners are alive, too.

Tokyo and Kanto Area

In Tokyo, Met. Daniel, clergies, seminary students and office staffs were safe. The Cathedral and other buildings had small damage; window glass broken or cracks on the wall. We have not got any report any members seriously damaged.

The other churches in Kanato area and parishioners supposed not damaged, either.

When we have any news, we will upload as soon.