Asanobu Kitamoto, associate professor at the National Institute of Informatics, created a website that was dedicated to the events of the Great East Japan Earthquake. It shows a slow-moving chronological table of the disaster. “I wanted to think of different ways to keep memories of the disasters alive after time passes by through the use of information and data,” he said of his website, called 311 Memories.
The website features a solemn piano music continuously playing in the background. On the bottom of a black screen, there is a scale labeled “Present” on the leftmost part and “March 11, 2011” on the rightmost part. Simultaneously, words that are automatically chosen from disaster-related news will scroll on the screen from right to left. Kitsmoto explains that this will create more impact and immediately bring back memories if you see the words passively rather than searching for them.
Kitamoto felt that as an information engineering expert, he had a duty to find ways to keep the memory of the disaster alive. This is also because he experienced first hand the difficulty the event has caused; he was one of the many commuter-refugees in Tokyo who could not go home on the night of the disaster.
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