A few stories of heroism and bravery emerge from the rubble.
There's little doubt that there will be many stories of heroism in the face of this terrible catastrophe. NPR has a lead on one such story, as reported on Twitter by Japanese journalist Chie Matsumoto:
"People received the warning through the city speakers that are set up outside. They heard, 'A big tsunami is coming. You need to evacuate.' Shortly after, they heard, 'Run!'
"The announcement was cut off and the people never heard from the speakers, or the people who announced it, again. The few people assigned to announce it were at the disaster prevention center, and they went missing.
"They sacrificed their lives to send everyone else to a safer place. They gave priority to others' safety. The disaster prevention center is now under the mud brought on by the tsunami."
NPR has the rest of the story.
Meanwhile, a "handful of heroes" remain at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, trying to bring the plant under control and "prevent a wider environmental and public health catastrophe."
In other more uplifting news, a four-month old baby was rescued from the rubble in Ishinomaki and reunited with her father this morning. And here's some BBC video of another man who was found alive this morning after 96 hours in the rubble.
These are small boosts to the spirit in the face of such a widespread disaster, but the Japanese people are proving courageous and resilient beyond all reasonable expectations.
A quick reminder that we're constantly updating our list of ways to help and support the rescue and relief efforts in Japan.