The farmhouse sits at the end of a mud-caked, one-lane road strewn with toppled trees, the decaying carcasses of dead pigs and large debris deposited by the March 11 tsunami.
An elderly farmer found stranded in an empty Japanese town…alone since the Tsunami.
Stranded alone inside the unheated, dark home is 75-year-old Kunio Shiga. He cannot walk very far and doesn’t know what happened to his wife.
His neighbors have all left because the area is 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant — just within the zone where authorities have told everyone to get out because of concerns about leaking radiation.
When a reporter and two photographers from The Associated Press arrived at Shiga’s doorstep Friday, the scared and disoriented farmer said: “You are the first people I have spoken to” since the earthquake and tsunami.
“Do you have any food?” he asked. “I will pay you.”
...The journalists spotted the relatively undamaged house about 500 meters (yards) away. Unable to drive on the road because of the debris, they navigated the rest of the way on foot, sometimes crawling over large branches.
Shiga was seen wandering in front of his house but went inside. The journalists went to greet him.
He said he spent his lonely days since the disaster sitting in bed in his dark home and listening to a battery-powered radio. A scruffy beard covered his face.
"The tsunami came right up to my doorstep,” he said. “I don’t know what happened to my wife. She was here, but now she’s gone.”
...“I‘m old and I don’t know if I could leave here. Who would take care of me?” he said, staring blankly through his sliding glass doors at the mess in his yard. “I don’t want to go anywhere. But I don‘t have water and I’m running out of food.”