19
Dec

0

A small connection through the Kizuna Newspaper

My name is Nakamura Mitsutoshi Nakamura. I’m a photographer, in charge of the photos for this blog.

I would like to introduce a personal episode, that happened in November when I visited the temporary housing with staff and volunteers to report on the volunteers delivering the Kizuna Newspaper.

An elderly lady, about 70 years old, told us “Thank you for your hard work. Please come on inside and have some rest.” She and her husband had by then been regularly receiving the interview, and so two male volunteers and I accepted her kind offer, and went inside where we were welcomed with hot tea and sweets, and listened to their stories.

They talked about their house swept away by the tsunami,
about the city drastically changing after the earthquake,
and about the childhood of their son who comes by from time to time.

The time went by so quickly.
Among many stories was a story of the husband’s previous work. He had been working in the fishing industry on a large ship and went overseas many times.
He said, “I passed through the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal several times. The first time I passed through, it impressed me so much… but the pictures I took were all swept away.”

His story renewed the horrors of the tsunami and the void feeling of losing precious memories. At the same time, the word “Suez Canal” reminded me of the scenery of the time when I had also passed through there myself.

On that day, we left, thanking them for their treat and time. But when I went back to my accommodation, I opened my computer and checked for pictures I had taken at the Suez Canal.  “Would they be happy to accept this picture if I gave it to them?” This idea stuck in my head.

Eventually, the next week I went to their home again and gave them a framed photograph of the Canal. As a former sailor, the husband was so interested in the picture, and asked me many questions about the size and other details of the Peace Boat (The Oceanic), and about where I had taken the photo from. They happily accepted the picture.

Of course, the picture I gave them won’t replace the pictures that were swept away. But if it can decorate their home and become a topic of conversation when their family or guests visit, I myself and the picture can be happy as well.

The “Kizuna Newspaper” gave me this little connection. I think the accumulation of such connections will truly create a bond, “Kizuna” between volunteers and disaster victims.