Dozens of volunteers donned white disposable jumpsuits, rubber boots and hard hats at the 370-year-old Jionin Temple cemetery Friday, sacrificing holiday time to help shovel away layers of tsunami mud and debris.
Hands-on: College student Takuya Komoto, 20, changes clothes by his friend’s tent after volunteering to clean houses in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, on Friday. AP PHOTO
Others did more intricate work, tenderly wiping dirt off Buddhist statues and stone carvings.
It’s not the way out-of-towners normally spend the start of the Golden Week holiday, when people commonly leave big cities to visit their hometowns, take hot springs vacations or travel abroad. But after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami decimated northeastern coastal towns and left an estimated 26,000 people dead or missing, these are not normal times.