2021 / To commemorate 10th anniversary of Tsunami disaster, NHK documentary series to be premiere in the U.S. on Jan. 8 & 15

The aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami in Japan. (Courtesy of NHK World-Japan)

3/11 -The Tsunami, Two-part Series that Captures Japan’s Largest-ever Natural Disaster, Makes International Broadcast Premiere on NHK WORLD-JAPAN, Episode 1 on Jan. 8, Episode 2 on Jan. 15

Marking 10th Anniversary of Japan’s “Triple Disaster,” Series Combines Footage from NHK and Eyewitnesses to Convey Impact and Recovery Efforts

Tokyo — January 2021—NHK WORLD-JAPAN, the English-language international service of Japan’s sole public broadcaster, NHK, announced the world broadcast premiere of 3/11-The Tsunami, a new two-part documentary series that recounts Japan’s largest recorded natural disaster set off by a massive earthquake that rocked Japan on March 11, 2011, and the country’s recovery efforts of the following year.

To create the series designed to mark the 10-year anniversary of the disaster, NHK amassed hundreds of hours of film shot by NHK camera crews as well as mobile phone and other footage captured by citizens who were on scene during and after the earthquake and tsunami. NHK edited and wove the footage together in chronological order to create this compelling series—and cautionary tale—that captures the magnitude and emotions of the unprecedented mega-disaster.

Episode 1 of the series, “The First 3 Days,” tells the story of the horrifying moments following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku, Japan on March 11, 2011 at 2:46pm, triggering a massive tsunami and nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The mega-disaster destroyed cities and towns throughout the region, crumbling buildings, crushing cars, causing massive flooding—and taking more than 18,000 lives in the process.

Episode 2, “The First Year,” depicts the painstaking recovery efforts undertaken by Japan over the following year, as the country worked tirelessly to rebuild homes and buildings that were either completely destroyed, as well as repair or rebuild ports, dams, roadways, and other infrastructure devastated by the disaster.

Along the way, the series tells stories of the personal experiences of those who were affected by the disaster, using first-hand accounts to depict people’s experiences that day as well as the hardships they faced during the aftermath.

Episode 1, The First 3 Days, will air on Friday, January 8 at 8:10pm EST, then Saturday, January 9 (three separate air times), and Friday, January 15.  Episode 2, The First Year, will air on Friday, January 15 at 8:10pm EST, then Saturday, January 16 (three separate air times) and Friday, January 22 (see local television listings for all air times).

NHK WORLD-JAPAN is presented in 13 major US markets through its partnerships with public television broadcasters in each market. The service is also available on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV as well as via a free downloadable app and streaming on the website: nhk.jp/world.

In the 10 years that has followed this mega-disaster, NHK WORLD-JAPAN has increased its commitment to providing its viewers around the world with unparalleled news coverage and information related to 3/11 and potential natural disasters. Additionally, they’ve unveiled a multi-tiered disaster prevention and preparedness service, “Stay Safe with NHK WORLD-JAPAN.” This five-part service includes a smartphone app that automatically issues a warning/advisory about an earthquake or tsunami; live news updates; disaster prevention and preparedness information and guidance; and programming on past natural disasters around the world.