The author, Futoshi Toba, is the current mayor of Rikuzentakata, which was one of the hardest-hit cities by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The death toll has risen to over 1,500 in the city and he himself lost his beloved wife.
In this book, he describes how he behaved and felt on the very day and in the aftermath of the catastrophe. He also presents a vision of reconstruction and expresses frustration over regulation and sectionalism of the central government.
Mr. Toba was elected as the mayor just a month before the disaster.
He regrets he would have survived with his wife if he didn't win the election and feels responsible for not having been able to take care of his two surviving children due to hectic reconstruction work.
He says the motivation of writing this book is a concern that Rikuzentakata will gradually be forgotten as time goes by and media coverage decreases, even though there is still much to be done for recovery.
What is written in this book is tragic beyond words.
As the second anniversary of the disaster approaches, I've thought back on what has happened in Japan since 3.11.
What led me to this book is the following recent video. It's also thought-provoking and I strongly recommend it.