It's been over a year since the devastating tsunami and resulting nuclear catastrophe struck Japan, but the traumatic images beamed around the world at the time are still fresh in our minds.
Last autumn, Denis ROUVRE spent a month travelling along the battered coast, photographing both the ravaged landscape and the faces of the most elderly survivors.
The resulting portraits were published in the magazine section of The New York Times and are without doubt the most hauntingly beautiful yet moving images of the disaster’s aftermath.
Deeply carved wrinkles in the faces of these old people tell the heartbreaking stories of war, natural disasters and nuclear meltdown.
They seem as old and permanent as the mountains themselves, so it’s all the more jarring when Rouvre juxtaposes their faces with images of the desolate countryside, which seems incredibly vulnerable and depressed by comparison.
When looking at these landscape images it becomes clear to the viewer that the next generation of island folk face great challenges in the future – however, it is also apparent that their elders can help by teaching them about the hidden strengths of willpower and resilience.