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The Globe and Mail

The 3.11 Portrait Project: Faces of Japan's tsunami survivors

The 3.11 Portrait Project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of earthquake survivors in Tohoku, many of whom lost all of their family pictures in the March 11, 2011 disaster. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

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A resident has her hair done by a stylist volunteering as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region, December 17, 2011. The 3.11 Portrait Project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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A resident has her hair done by a stylist volunteering as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region, December 17, 2011. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Chieko Takeyama (L), a makeup artist, puts final touches to the hair of Katsuko Abe, who is holding her dog Kaede, before getting her portrait taken as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Residents have their hair and make-up done before having their portraits taken for the 3.11 Portrait Project at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region, December 17, 2011. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Residents have their hair and make-up done before having their portraits taken for the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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A resident wearing a baseball hat waits for his turn to be photographed as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Photographer Kenichi Funada sets up a makeshift studio to take pictures of residents as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Photographer Kenichi Funada encourages an elderly couple to hold hands before having their portrait taken as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Photographer Kenichi Funada takes a portrait of Tsugiko Miyajima as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima, December 17, 2011. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Photographer Kenichi Funada takes a portrait of Katsuko Abe with her pet dog Kaede as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Photographer Kenichi Funada takes a portrait of Misako Yokota as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Misako Yokota (C), flanked by her daughter and son in law, pose for a portrait as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Photographer Kenichi Funada (L) shows Tsugiko Miyajima her portrait on his iPad after taking part in the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Photographs of residents who took part in the 3.11 Portrait Project are displayed on an iPad at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima, December 17, 2011.The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Misako Yokota poses for a portrait as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Sixth grade students from Keimei Gakuen elementary school in Akishima, on the outskirts of Tokyo, write letters and frame portraits of earthquake survivors as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project, February 14, 2012.The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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A sixth grade student from Keimei Gakuen elementary school in Akishima, on the outskirts of Tokyo, holds up a portrait of an earthquake survivor that he will frame as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project, February 14, 2012.The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yurkio Nakao/Reuters

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Sixth grade students from Keimei Gakuen elementary school in Akishima, on the outskirts of Tokyo, hold up a portraits of Katsuko Abe (R) and Shizuo Aizawa as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Chiho Himeno, a sixth grader at Keimei Gakuen elementary school in Akishima, on the outskirts of Tokyo, writes a letter to Katsuko Abe as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project, February 14, 2012. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Japanese photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi talks to a sixth grade student from Keimei Gakuen elementary school in Akishima, on the outskirts of Tokyo, as she writes a letter to an earthquake survivor as part of the 3.11 Portrait Project. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Katsuko Abe, 71, looks at her framed portrait after receiving it from 3.11 Portrait Project volunteers at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region, February 27, 2012. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Misako Yokota shows her framed portrait after receiving it from 3.11 Portrait Project volunteers at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region, February 27, 2012. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Kazuya Hirose (L) and Shizuo Aizawa show their framed portraits after receiving them from 3.11 Portrait Project volunteers at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region, February 27, 2012. The project was conceived by photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi who takes portraits of Japan's earthquake survivors. The portraits are then sent to schoolchildren from non-disaster areas, who frame the portraits and send them back to the survivors along with personal messages of support.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Katsuko Abe, 71, holds her dog Kaede as she shows framed portrait after receiving it from 3.11 Portrait Project volunteers in her living quarters at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region, February 27, 2012.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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Katsuko Abe, 71, holds her dog Kaede as she looks out from her living quarters at the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region, February 27, 2012.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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An elderly resident walks through the Midorigaoka temporary shelter in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region, February 27, 2012.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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