Photo/IllutrationEiji Suzuki and his wrecked house in the Kitakama district of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, which was devastated by the tsunami caused by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. (Yosuke Fukudome)

NATORI, Miyagi Prefecture--A seriously damaged house is being left to stand all alone here as a witness to the 2011 tsunami that savaged this coastal area.

The partially collapsed roof and walls and the exposed pillars and floors of the house will remind the next generation of the terrifying nature of the disaster, which ripped apart the Kitakama district.

“We need no words,” said Eiji Suzuki, the owner of the house, which was built in 1986. “If people look at this, they can immediately sense the horror of the disaster at first glance.”

The two-story wooden structure was strengthened at the end of 2017 to prevent it from totally collapsing.

Suzuki, 76, survived the tsunami by the skin of his teeth, fleeing the home with the first floor submerged and escaping to nearby Sendai Airport.

Before the disaster, there were 123 households in the district, which is located between the coast and the airport.

When the area started to be reconstructed, damaged houses were demolished one by one.

Although some people say, “it’s painful to remember the disaster whenever we see the house,” Suzuki decided to leave the shell of his house standing as compelling evidence.

He also feels attached to the land that his father worked as well as the house, which is filled with memories of living with his three grandchildren and his eldest son and son’s wife.

“I want to preserve this house as long as it doesn’t hamper regional redevelopment efforts,” said Suzuki.