A relatively small stone--just four feet high--is being credited with saving the lives of those living in a small Japanese town when the tsunami hit. Carved into the stone is a warning: "Do not build your homes below this point!" That's because beyond that point, the homes would be at risk to be hit by a tsunami.
The Daily Mail reports:
The villagers obeyed the ancient warning and the tiny community of just 11 houses and 34 residents were rewarded with survival at a key geographical point.
Aneyoshi, in the mountains of stricken Iwate Prefecture, bears a significant mark of the national natural disaster.
Just 300ft down the hil from where the stone sits is a blue line painted on the road. It marks the point in Japan where the tsunami water reached its hightest point - 127.6 feet.
The previous record height reached by flood waters in Japan was 125.3ft, which was also reached in Iwate Prefecture during a tsunami in 1896.
It is Japan's history of tsunami's that led to these warning stones becoming a familiar sight along the coast of Japan as ancestors tried to warn future generations of the dangers. Some of the stones are 600 years old.