This fan-shaped stone memorial in Japan memorializes the 18,000 people who died or were declared missing after the devastating 2011 earthquake. Tokyo-based Koishikawa Architects placed the 70-square-foot structure, called Ishi-no-kinendo, on a hillside between a temple and a cherry tree in Ishinomaki, a city ravaged by the earthquake.
The laminated stones stacked to create the curving walls represent the victims and are topped with a mirrored stainless steel and slate shingles. The architects, Hiroya Kobiki and Noritaka Ishikawa, used building materials from a nearby house demolition to realize their design. Lines radiating from the mirrored top indicate the locations of the area most severely affected by the earthquake, including Miyako, Kamaishi, Minamisoma and Rikuzentakata. Thanks to these lines, those who come to pay their respects to the victims can face towards the right place.
The cherry tree above the memorial blooms in spring, at the time when the earthquake struck Japan. The architects said, “Because the cherry blossoms are reflected in the mirrored stainless steel, people remember that day every year in spring.”
Photos by Koji Fujii/Nacasa & Partners