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Rikuzentakata, Iwate facts for kids

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One pine tree of hope
Location of Rikuzentakata in Iwate
Location of Rikuzentakata in Iwate
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Iwate
 • Total 232.29 km2 (89.69 sq mi)
 • Total 23,302
 • Density 100/km2 (300/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- Tree Cryptomeria
- Flower Camellia
- Bird Common Gull
Phone number 0192-54-2111
Address 110 aza Tatenooki, Takatachō, Rikuzentakata-shi, Iwate-ken
Website Rikuzentakata City

Rikuzentakata (陸前高田市, Rikuzentakata-shi) is a city in Iwate, Japan.

The 2010 census counted 23,302 people living in the city. (2005 showed 24,709). The city was founded on January 1, 1955. Much of the city was heavily damaged by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.


The area of the city is 232.29 km² and the population density is 100 people per km².

Politics and government

Rikuzentakata City Hall

The mayor of the city is Futoshi Toba.


As of 2011, oyster farming produced ¥40 million in annual sales for the city.


There is one railroad line with six stations in Rikuzentakata.

  • Ōfunato Line: Rikuzen-Yahagi Station, Takekoma Station, Rikuzen-Takata Station, Wakinosawa Station, Otomo Station

2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami effects

Rikuzentakata was reported to have been "wiped off the map" by the tsunami following the Tōhoku earthquake. According to the police, every building smaller than three stories high has been completely flooded. Buildings taller than three stories were partially flooded. At the city hall, water also reached as high as the third floor.

On 14 March, a BBC report showed a picture of the town. The report described the city as "almost completely flattened." Reporters could not tell how many people had survived. The city did have tsunami shelters. The shelters were designed to protect people from a wave 3 to 4 meters tall. However, the tsunami of March 2011 was 13 meters high in the city. The wave covered the areas that were supposed to be safe. Local officials estimate that 20% to 40% of the cities people died. "Rikuzen-Takata effectively no longer exists." The city had a 6.5 meter high seawall, but it was not enough. More than 80% of 8,000 houses were destroyed by the tsunami.

As of 3 April 2011, 1,000 people from the town were confirmed dead with 1,300 still missing.

Sixty-eight city officials, about one-third of the city's municipal employees, were killed. The town's mayor, Futoshi Toba, was at work at the city hall and survived. His wife was at their seaside home and she died.



Takata-Matsubara (高田松原) is part of the coastline, two kilometers long. About seventy thousand pine trees used to grow there. It was selected as one of the 100 Landscapes of Japan (Shōwa period) in 1927 and in 1940 it was named a Place of Scenic Beauty. After the 2011 tsunami only one tree was still there. A single, ten-meter tall, two hundred year-old tree is all that is left from the forest. The tree is only five meters from the sea and may be damaged by too much salt. The Association for the Protection of Takata-Matsubara along with the city and prefectural governments are trying to protect the last pine tree.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Rikuzentakata para niños

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