In the small northern town of Japan’s Otsuchi, a resident came up with the idea of calling the dead from a telephone booth.
Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture is situated on the height of high hills on the coast of northern Japan. It is the atmospheric condition of this place that summoned the idea of the ‘wind phone’. In Otsuchi there are many pine trees and a strong wind blows through the hilly region. An old telephone booth is placed facing the ocean. Inside the booth, is an old fashioned black telephone which is visibly disconnected.
However, thousands of people have still used the phone to connect to their lost relatives since the tsunami disaster in 2011. About 2000 residents lost their lives in the tsunami disaster.
“I knew nobody would respond to me, but I felt that my wife was there”, says a man who used the phone booth to connect to his dead wife. She left him to take care of their four children. “I told her that our daughters and I were looking for her for a long time and we almost gave up and on the last day we went searching we found her. And I told her that, ‘I know you cannot come back, but I can go to you in the future.’ It’s like you close your eyes but still feel that someone is listening to you. ”
Another man who lost his son to the tsunami, calls him during the springtime. The stories are touching and the phone booth offers respite to the relative. Started by a resident who lost his cousin before the tsunami; he placed an old telephone booth in his garden with a disconnected wire. Today the booth has a different purpose; to make a call to loved ones lost during a tsunami.