15
Aug 2011

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5 months since the disaster – Volunteer Coordinator interview

Peace Boat staff member Kobayashi Shingo (30) entered Ishinomaki together with three other colleagues on March 17, 2011. For the past five months, he has been based there working daily to build the “circle of aid” linking governmental and civilian agencies and groups there. Kobayashi was involved in the launch of the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council (IDRAC), and has been the local coordinator between various volunteer groups, the local Social Welfare Council, the City Hall and the Self Defence Force.

10
Aug 2011

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Nigerians in Japan support survivors in Onagawa

Peace Boat has been carrying out its relief operations with the support of many individuals and organisations both within and outside Japan. As well as the international volunteers featured in reports on this site earlier, many members of the international community living in Japan have been greatly active in supporting the relief and recovery efforts going on since March. One such group is the Nigerian community in Japan, who gathered to support Peace Boat’s project for people moving into temporary housing in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture.

09
Aug 2011

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Tsunamika – a gift from South India

These dolls are “tsunamika” – gifts to citizens of Ishinomaki from the Auroville community in south India, who were greatly affected by the 2004 Sumatra tsunami. “Having overcome the tsunami ourselves, we are alive here today. These small dolls are a living symbol of that. As we were able to become independent, we also believe that you will be able to recover,” is the message sent by these dolls from India to Japan.
When Peace Boat visited India in April and May in 2011, many tsunamika were brought to the ship to be given to survivors of the tsunami which hit Japan this year. Thanks to Peace Boat’s volunteers, these tsunamika have now reached the hands of the community in Ishinomaki. These dolls remind us of the importance of supporting each other, even across the sea. Thank you to the people of Auroville!

05
Aug 2011

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Ishinomaki Kawabiraki Festival Report Vol. 3

On August 1, the second day of the Kawabiraki Festival, there were many high-spirited voices flying about the shopping arcade on Tachi town’s main street. 4 and a half months after the disaster occurred, the street which had previously been full of sludge and piles of broken housing and furniture was clean enough to hold a parade. The liveliness of the area is continuing to come back bit by bit.

04
Aug 2011

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Ishinomaki Kawabiraki Festival Report Vol. 2

The “Ishinomaki Recovery Market” was set up at the Kawabiraki Festival to sell local and traditional products of stores that had re-opened since the disaster, with proceeds of sales further contributing to recovery efforts. Another popular area was the Ishinomaki Childrens’ Play Area, set up to provide somewhere for children to enjoy themselves – still rare in Ishinomaki, where many parks cannot be used. We hope that Peace Boat was able to contribute in a small way to the revitalization of local industries through the Ishinomaki Recovery Market. Thank you so much to all of the volunteers, and particularly to the people of Ishinomaki who came to the festival and offered such warm encouragement!

04
Aug 2011

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Ishinomaki Kawabiraki Festival Report Vol. 1

The Ishinomaki Kawabiraki (“River Opening”) Festival held on July 31 and August 1. Alongside the people of Ishinomaki, many volunteers including people who came from afar and many who have been helping with the relief operations in Ishinomaki together participated in a variety of events and activities that were held during the 2-day festival. It was very much a home-made festival, with each part carefully and lovingly prepared in the short preparation period.

27
Jul 2011

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UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne visits Ishinomaki

Jeremy Browne MP, Minister of State at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and British Ambassador to Japan David Warren visited Ishinomaki on July 10.
After meeting with officials at the City Hall, Mr Browne then visited Peace Boat’s Central Kitchen in Ishinomaki together with Mayor Kameyama Hiroshi and Ito Shuki, Chair of the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council (IDRAC) in order to see the actual activities to support survivors and the recovery of the affected areas.

26
Jul 2011

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Ishinomaki Scenery

On this day, our blog reporter did was conducting office work rather than being at the field work sites, so instead of a report about the Peace Boat led relief activities, we are posting several photographs showing the scenery around Ishinomaki at sunset.

We hope these photos will serve to remind everyone of the beauty of Tohoku, and the strength of its people now working to revive their region!

25
Jul 2011

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Reviving the oyster farms – for harvesting 2 years from now

Peace Boat volunteers have been assisting in the salvage and repair of ropes, buoys etc in the fishing ports from earlier, and from today also were involved in helping with oyster farming. Two days earlier, as volunteers had been helping together to salvage fishing items, the local fishermen asked Peace Boat if volunteers could also assist them – which was how they came to be involved today. Of course, it was the first time for all volunteers to be involved in oyster farming, so they were full of both nerves and excitement.

21
Jul 2011

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Tokyo volunteer interview

“After I volunteered in Ishinomaki, I wanted to make sure it didn’t just end as a ‘good experience’ and I wanted to keep doing as much as I can even back in Tokyo.”
After volunteering in Ishinomaki between May 20-28, Mr Sekine Masataka is now active volunteering to support the relief efforts from Tokyo.
Many people felt that they wanted to contribute something immediately after the earthquake, and yet many people are have not been able to directly go to the disaster affected areas due to work duties or physical capacity. Peace Boat has many opportunities for such people to support the activities even from in Tokyo.