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Looking for the location of Saito village in Miyagi Prefecture

gerankel

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Konnichi wa minna-san,
I hope this is not too off topic but I'm hoping someone can
help me find the location of or at the least the kanji place name for
a village in Japan that was completely destroyed in the 2011 Tohaku
earthquake.
There are a good many articles about the village and many
photos of the utter devestation of the area on the web. I have looked
everywhere for almost a year and a half now on every Japanese map I
could find, including Google Earth to no avail. Apprently the village
was so small and obscure that it's never been listed in English or
Romaji on any map.
I will try to give as many details as I can as to the village
and it's possible location.

The village name is Saito:

1. Miyagi Prefecture
2. Wider Minamisanrikucho area
3. Population approx 250 people 70 houses (before quake)
4. In a narrow tree lined cove (yes, I know - aren't they all?)
5. View of ocean with a tree covered island just off the coast in the
semi distance
6. Had a small two lane road running through it as well as a small
train station (I know for a fact that there were 23 stations destroyed
in this area alone).
7. A large hill about two kilometers, or roughly a mile, from the
beach
8. Has/had a two story high sea gate (or did at least).

Here is a link to the most complete article I have been able to find
on the Internet about the village.

Saito, Japan Town, Completely Vanishes After Tsunami

Hope someone can help. Thanks for reading.

Cynthia
 

undrentide

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Japanese address goes from wider area to smaller area, Prefecture, then city (-shi) or county (-gun), which is followed by ward (-ku) town (-cho/machi), area (-chiku), etc. The name of the unit (chi, gun, ku, cho, chiku, aza, etc.) varies depending on the local administrative boundary.

宮城県本吉郡南三陸町

宮城県(みやぎけん) Miyagi ken/Miyagi Prefecture
本吉郡(もとよしぐん) Motoyoshi gun/Motoyoshi county or area
南三陸町(みなみさんりくちょう) Minami sanriku cho/Minami Sanriku Town

Actual address goes like this:
南三陸町志津川字黒崎99-17
みなみさんりくちょうしづがわあざくろさき99-17
Minamisanrikucho Shizugawa Aza Kurosaki 99-17
(It's the address of a hotel in Minamisanrikucho.)
窶愿ャナスO窶板、窶卍ャナ?テ焦津オ窶ケツヲ窶ーテッツ|窶愿ャナスO窶板、ニ築ニ弾ニ停?ケナ?テ鞘?芭(窶ーc窶ケテ??吮??)

Minamisanrikucho is rather large area for a town and there are at least 182 towns/areas under it.
Here is the list of the 182 towns in Minami Sanriku Cho.
テ・ツョツョテ・ナクナステァナ毒津ヲナ督ャテ・ツ絶?ーテゥニ陳。テ・ツ坂?氾、ツク窶ーテゥ邃「ツクテァ窶敖コ テ・ナ督ーテ・窶コツウテッツシヒ?、ツスツ湘ヲ窶ー竄ャテ、ツク竄ャティツヲツァテ」ツ≫?ケテ」窶壺?ーテヲツ、ナ禿ァツエツ「テッツシ窶ー テッツシナ。テ」ニ椎セテ」ニ停?敕」窶堋ェテ」ニ陳ウ
And a place called 'Saito' is not found among them.
It seems that there are four main districts called
入谷(いりや) Iriya
歌津(うたつ) Utatsu
志津川(しづがわ) Shizugawa
戸倉(とくら) Tokura
And they are split into smaller areas but there's no area called Saito (さいとう or さいと).

I'm not 100 percent sure, but it could be a mistake made by the author of the article.
斉藤(さいとう) Saito(u) is one of the common family name in Japan.
Perhaps mixed up the name of the place and the name of the person interviewed?

You can see where is Minami Sanriku Cho at Wikipedia.
Minamisanriku, Miyagi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The area coloured in yellow on the map on top right.
 

Mike Cash

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Sadly, that story could have been written about any number of locales, and since the reporter was too sloppy to get his facts down right and failed to give the station name there isn't much we can guess about it.

Why your interest in this one tiny spot in particular?
 

gerankel

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Sadly, that story could have been written about any number of locales, and since the reporter was too sloppy to get his facts down right and failed to give the station name there isn't much we can guess about it.

Why your interest in this one tiny spot in particular?

I don't really know why I'm so obsessed with finding this town. I've always loved researching places I've read about on the Internet. I can spend whole evenings pouring over maps of anywhere in the world. Searching Japanese maps has really increased my kanji skills though so it hasn't been a total loss. :)

I'm coming to the conclusion that the writer of the article (as well as other internet references to the town) was mistaken about which area it was in. So I guess I'll probably never find it without accurate info.

Thanks though.

Cynthia
 

Mike Cash

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There are a couple of small(ish) islands right off the coast of the town, only one of which seems to be particularly close to a train station. You might try using Google Earth satellite view and/or terrain view to see if that area fits the description in the article.
 

nice gaijin

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I'm in Minami Sanriku right now, helping out an aid organization: Home - O.G.A. For Aid Eastern Japan Earthquake Tsunami Relief Aid テヲツ敖アテヲ窶板・テヲナ督ャテ・ツ、ツァテゥナ凪?。テァツ?ステヲ窶「窶佚ヲツ渉エテ」ニ椎禿」ニ陳ゥテ」ニ陳ウテ」ニ停??テ」窶堋」テ」窶堋「

I'll ask but especially if the name is wrong there's little hope of finding the specific place; the article describes a lot of places that were hammered on 3/11. We drove down to Ishinomaki today and the coastline is dotted with hamlets in various states of destruction or repair. There's still a lot to be done.
 
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