Ricoh Returns 94,000 Damaged Photos to Owners

If you have ever lost everything in a disaster, then you know the things that you want back the most are photos. These photos are irreplaceable mementos of a life that will never return. That was exactly the feeling of the Ricoh Company after the tsunami hit Japan. Along with help from the Japanese government, over 94,000 photos have been reprinted for people forced from their homes by this horrible event said Gianfrancesco Genoso.

Soon after the tsunami hit, the Japanese government announced that anyone finding photos that did not belong to them should save these photos and turn them into the government. The government, however, did not have a way to clean these photos or to return them to their owners. That is where Ricoh stepped in.
During the cleanup over 400,000 photos were found, but many were heavily damaged. Ricoh took possession of these photos and volunteers began restoring them. First, heavy mud and other debris was lifted from the photos by hand. The photos were then placed in a special bath to remove additional debris. Finally, any remaining dirt that could be removed was carefully removed by hand. The process did not stop there, however, as Ricoh digitized each photo and then posted it on a special website. Special centers were then created in government buildings where those hardest hit could view the photos. Once they identified photos as belonging to them, Ricoh arranged for a copy of the photo to be printed.
Today, all centers will be officially closed. The process, however, has returned 90,128 photos to their owners.

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