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  • Age
    42
  • Occupation
    Consumer Technology Supervisor
  • Company
    Citigroup
  • Location
    Tokyo, Japan

When the magnitude 9.0 Tōhoku earthquake and then massive tsunami struck Japan in March 2011, they took the lives of 15,000 people and devastated the city of Sendai. Tens of thousands of people lost their homes and were evacuated to shelters. Kazuhiro Takeda just wanted to help, as best he could. Beginning that April, Takeda came to Sendai virtually every weekend of 2011 (and nearly every other one in 2012 and 2013)—spending his Saturdays and Sundays clearing debris, assisting a local fishery, and searching for remains of the missing (including those of his great-uncle). An estimated 2,600 people who disappeared in the disaster have yet to be found. Many of those who survived, but who lost their homes and businesses, “still don’t have their lives back,” says Takeda, who now gets to the city on the volunteer bus from Tokyo once a month. The Citicorp technologist says he’ll keep coming as long as he can help.

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