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Nikon repairs Mount Ontake victim’s broken camera, returns photos to family

10 Comments
By Michelle Lynn Dinh

The unexpected eruption of Mount Ontake on September 27 claimed the lives of 56 hikers, leaving family members to try to understand why their loved ones had been taken so suddenly. But out of this tragedy comes a heartwarming gesture, giving the family of one victim the chance to get back a small piece of their father who never made it down the mountain that day.

The gravity of the Mount Ontake eruption is hard to convey in pictures, but the video below taken of the recovery efforts by the Ground Self-Defense Forces shows just how much damage was done.

As you can see, the entire area is covered in a thick layer of ash and cabins that were built on the mountain side have been ripped open by flying debris and rocks. The several hundred nature enthusiasts who took advantage of the autumn weekend on September 27 were completely caught off guard, many unable to flee the nightmarish scene when the mountain suddenly and violently erupted.

Sadly, 66-year-old Kazuo Wakabayashi of Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, was among the victims. An avid photographer, Wakabayashi would frequently go on fishing and photography trips, his hike up Mount Ontake just a part of his hobbies. He took a newly purchased Nikon camera with him on his hike, which was later returned to his family on October 1, broken and covered in ash.

When the folks at Nikon read about Wakabayashi’s story after it was published in the Yomiuri Shimbun, they reached out to his family and offered to repair the broken camera. Over the course of 10 days, the lens, filter and all interior parts were fixed and the red body of the Nikon camera that had been grayed with ash was restored to its original vibrant color, free of charge. The restored camera was returned to Wakabayashi’s second daughter, along with 200 photos that Nikon also managed to recover.

Source: Livedoor News

Read more stories from RocketNews24 -- Mount Ontake: some hikers “died taking photos of the erupting volcano”, pathologist says -- Geographical Survey Institute posts 184 images of Mount Ontake eruption online -- Sunrise Over a Sea of Clouds at Nearly 10,000 Feet

© RocketNews24

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.


10 Comments
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How thoughtful, good job Nikon.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Yes, how well thought out!! Do a quick repair, do the right thing and get some free press out of it.

Plus amazing (profitable photos) and PROOF that Nikon can survive anything.

Gotta give em credit. Can't unravel this one. Timing is perfect too. I still remember what Olympus did. Nikon knows how to punch it's competition.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

how well thought out!!

I'm not so sure. I once asked a J publisher to repair my torn dictionary, and they repaired it for free.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most Japanese companies I've dealt with over the last 30+ years for my 'electronics' did the same sort of honourable service work. Next to build quality, this is the reason I support and pay more for Japanese made products. Going that extra step shows you care and wins you customers for life.

Did Nikon do this to score points? Ask yourself why you would need to ask that question and that will answer if you would have likely gone out of pocket to help someone after a tragic loss. I know I'd help because that's just me and maybe the reason I appreciate these stories because it's nice to see others doing the same thing to help others out. Treat others as you would like to be treated and you'll find, if you try, life around you tends to be kinder. It's hard to be in a bad mood when everyone is in a good mood.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

That's really cool that they could and did do this. Bravo Nikon

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It depends. Did the family tell the press or did Nikon issue a press release?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

only the true cynic would put Nikon at the level of looking for additional Company Good Will to impress the stockholders. I doubt they need it. It was a minor expense for the repair and recovery of photos to the corporation yet it meant a lot to the family.

that is all - not a publicity stunt

Another thing- the video- i cannot say enough about the Firefighters, Mountain Rescue or the JSDF; the dedication and service constantly astounds me.

if anyone states- it's just a job- think of doing that remains recovery for a day instead of sitting in the office - then state it's just a job

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It's too bad this article neglects to mention the number of still missing, presumed dead, in addition to the 57 confirmed dead.

@JWithers It's rather sad that any good deed done by a company brings out those who purport to know that it was a self-centered act. Eventually the poisonous atmosphere created by that attitude could cause companies and individuals to do NO good deeds so as to not have to deal with the nasty comments and distrust. Would that make you happy? Is your attitude helping to create a nicer world?

I am glad the family in this article got the camera and last photos taken by their father.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nikon exhibited good corporate citizenship, in my view.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Did Nikon do this to score points? Ask yourself why you would need to ask that question and that will answer if you would have likely gone out of pocket to help someone after a tragic loss. I know I'd help because that's just me and maybe the reason I appreciate these stories because it's nice to see others doing the same thing to help others out. Treat others as you would like to be treated and you'll find, if you try, life around you tends to be kinder. It's hard to be in a bad mood when everyone is in a good mood.

only the true cynic would put Nikon at the level of looking for additional Company Good Will to impress the stockholders. I doubt they need it. It was a minor expense for the repair and recovery of photos to the corporation yet it meant a lot to the family.

that is all - not a publicity stunt

Just one question... who alerted the press about the repair, cleaning, and return of the camera? It may be cynical, but corporations have to look at the cost/benefit ratio for any action that's not part of their normal business model. In this case, the goodwill generated by the gesture exceeds the cost - but ONLY if the public hears about the event. And how do you guarantee that happens unless you inform them yourself?

What downside could there be that Nikon had to consider? Receiving every camera ever damaged during a disaster where the owner died during the disaster and the survivors expecting Nikon to repair the camera.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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