San Francisco, California

The Phone of the Wind

Krissy Howard:

In 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake tore through northeastern Japan and triggered a devastating tsunami. Together, the events destroyed the country, causing more than $300 billion in damages and resulting in the loss of more than 15,000 residents. Some survivors are still grieving over the loss of their loved ones, and one coastal town has come up with a unique way of coping.

Positioned atop a grassy hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a phone booth in Otsuchi, Japan allows living people to call their dead relatives and loved ones. Called the “phone of the wind,” the disconnected rotary phone positioned inside a glass booth allows callers to send verbal messages to those they’ve lost, which the wind then carries away.