Olympians taking the podium at the Tokyo 2020 Games boast medals hanging from their necks, but the normally overlooked floral bouquets they hold aloft represent something even more poignant and powerful than athletic excellence and victory: their petals are symbols of resilience, recovery and reconstruction for the Japanese people.

On March 11 2011, the Tohoku earthquake hit the Japanese peninsula, causing widespread damage and a series of tsunamis that devastated many coastal areas of the country.

But following the aftermath of one of the worst earthquakes in Japan's history, residents across the affected prefectures of Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi started planting seeds in the hope of bringing back some of the color their regions had lost. EFE