After an earthquake and tsunami that left around 20,000 dead or missing, Japan, the world's third-largest economy, is still reeling from the blow.
Tourism is down, the fishing industry battered and, on top of it all, there's the issue of a nuclear meltdown at the damaged Daiichi plant in Fukushima - and the energy shortage that accompanies it - to contend with.
I was in Japan in March, right after the earthquake and tsunami struck (and just as the Daiichi plant was burning, exploding, and kicking out all kinds of smoke), when things looked at their worst.
Six months on, I'm back. What I'm seeing is a country pushing forward with the mighty task of repairing communities and lives up and down its northeast coast while trying to come to terms with its energy consumption and what it means to have 54 nuclear power plants on its seismically active land.
[Photos by D. Parvaz/Al Jazeera]