Dead Japanese Mayor saves Citizens from Tsunami

Mayor Kotaku Wamura of Fudai City in Japan built a 15.5M floodgate and seawall in the 1970s. It took 12 years to complete, and with a lot of skepticism. During the recent Mar 11 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami the floodgate was closed, saving all 3,000 residents and houses. Without this floodgate the city certainly would have been destroyed. Wamura died in 1987 at the age of 88. Twenty four years after his death he returns to save his town from certain annihilation. His tenacity and foresight should be applauded. Ganbatte.

Mayor Kotaku Wamura returns from the grave to save Fudai City from certain extinction. His floodgate saved his people and homes from the Mar 11 2011 earthquake and tsunami

Mayor Kotaku Wamura returns from the grave to save Fudai City from certain extinction. His floodgate saved his people and homes from the Mar 11 2011 earthquake and tsunami

This is infrastructure development at its best. Maybe a little slow, but when needed, his public works project was resoundingly vindicated. Why cannot we, here in Toronto, even build a new subway?

At his retirement, Wamura stood before village employees to bid farewell: “Even if you encounter opposition, have conviction and finish what you start. In the end, people will understand.”

1 thought on “Dead Japanese Mayor saves Citizens from Tsunami

  1. David Ing

    Don, the foresight of city planning in Sendai to construct a floodgate that would be used 24 years later reflects Japanese diligence in the 1970s. I agree that such preparedness should be applauded. However, I wonder if the world has changed, as that floodgate was conceived in the days before supply chain management and lean production become lean six sigma.

    In the 1970s, we had Jane Jacobs as one of the figures in the demise of plans for the Spadina Expressway. In Sendai, the Japanese style of consensus would have required patience to continue, whereas in Toronto, persistence was required to stop.

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