Bamboo lanterns made to commemorate victims at 2011 tsunami-hit school

In an event to mark Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami, people gathered to assemble memorial bamboo lanterns at an elementary school in northeastern Japan. The school was devastated in the disaster.

About 30 people from across the country took part in the event on Sunday at Okawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.

The 2011 quake and subsequent tsunami killed 84 students and teachers at the school. Bereaved family members of the victims plan to light the lanterns on Saturday to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the disaster.

The organizer invited participants nationwide to give them an opportunity to think about the importance of life. They were seen polishing the decorative bamboo and installing LED lights.

A third-year university student from Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, decided to join the event as she is studying quake disasters and anti-disaster education. She hoped that many people would come to see the lanterns when they are lit up.

Sato Kazutaka, an organizer of the project, lost his third son in the disaster. He thinks memories of the incident are fading, but he wants as many people as possible to remember it by taking part in the event.

He said March 11 will be a day when people quietly recall the earthquake and tsunami.