Jul 2012


A New Project in Ishinomaki – Painting ‘Tairyo-ki’ on Containers!

A new voluntary project has launched since May 2012 in Oshika Peninsula, Ishinomaki City. As a part of the ongoing fishing support, Peace Boat is assisting to paint Tairyo-ki (large colorful flags that symbolizes the wishes for a good catch and safe fishing) on the side-face of containers that have been used as storage.
First of all, please watch this slide show to see how it is painted!

Each fisherman had their own storage room for fishing tools like ropes and nets before the earthquake. Since the tsunami swept them away, individual fishermen and groups purchased these containers to store their tools, with financial support from the prefectural government.

As the containers are plain brown, they are not a very appealing sight on the landscape, sitting on bare soil. So, in response to a request from fishermen from Koami-Kurahama, Peace Boat agreed to help make these containers instead into a symbol of recovery.

We collaborated with the ‘Onagawa Art Guild’, a group of designers and painters born and raised in Onagawa. Local paint dealers Kyoritsu Toryo and Komatsu Toryo provided paints and other tools. Peace Boat volunteers first prepared the case with anticorrosion and white paint, then began to draw the flags.
The first project was the container owned by Mr Okabe Kinya, a fisherman from Koami-Kurahama on the Oshika Peninsula. Its dimension was 2.4m x 2.6m x 12m, with a very bumpy surface. The volunteers first began by rinsing the container and removing the rust, and continued to consult with Mr Okabe about the final image.

The work was somewhat delayed by rain, and the paint also takes some time to dry. Thus, the work was planned in an efficient way, carrying out work on different stages of different containers at the same time – washing one container while painting another white, while the flag was being drawn on the next container, and so on.

It took eight days to complete the painting painting of the first container. The beautiful flag gives hope and motivation to whoever see sit. Mr Okabe is also happy, sharing that “people stop their cars and take photos of the flag. It is now my treasure.”

Peace Boat plans to continue this project, painting flags on 40 containers here and in and various fishing villages nearby.