Miyagi Prefecture and Ishinomaki in particular are famous for producing the delicacy sea squirts. However, the tsunami greatly affected this industry, with none able to be harvested last year. The Peace Boat fishery and coastal support team has conducted activities to support those committed to the coastal recovery, and reviving the fishing industry. This article explains the process to produce sea squirts.
This is a report on Peace Boat’s disaster relief activities after the heavy rain and flooding in Takeda City, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu.
At midnight on July 20, 5 days after the Peace Boat advance team entered Takeda City, 9 staff members including the first volunteer team arrived at the site together with materials and equipment for relief work. They then began to meet with staff members of the local Disaster Volunteer Center run by the Takeda CIty Social Welfare Council, and launched relief efforts for mud shoveling and cleaning.
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.
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.
“Oraho’s experience” (“my experience” in Tohoku dialect) is a new volunteer programme launched in 2012, in which participants can interact more with local people in the disaster affected areas by talking, eating, and sleeping together, not just working together. Peace Boat initiated this programme in the hope that participants can gain a rich experience based on direct personal connections with the local community, and that this programme can bring people closer together and inspire more ideas for the future.
This article features an interview with Komori Shizu, a participant in the 2nd program held in Oginohama, and local fisherman Fushimi Kaoru who hosted her.
The fishing village of Funakoshi sits on the northern side of the Ogatsu Peninsula, about a one-hour drive from central Ishinomaki. Today, there is no sight of children at the Funakoshi Primary School, where the 17m-high tsunami flooded up to the 3rd floor. In the school building, however, you can hear the laughter of the ‘Funakoshi Ladies’ in their workshop, furnished with tatami-mats in the hallway.
The ‘Funakoshi Ladies’ now famously make and sell necklaces and cellphone straps made from Ogatsu Stone, as well as “Kai-no-Netsuke (shell charms)”, a popular charm for happiness in marriage.
As Peace Boat volunteers went around distributing copies of the “Kasetsu Kizuna Shimbun” newspaper, the residents of these facilities often shared their troubles with us. It was their voices which inspired the volunteers to start creating maps of the local area, bus schedules and information about other local services for the communities living in temporary housing facilities.
The first fishing experience programme was held in Sudachi/Fukiura, Ojika Peninsula. The first day was action packed, ranging from an excursion to the Ishinomaki Fish Market, trying gill net fishing, removing oyster shells, a study tour around the community, and exchange with the local fishermen, while the second day was Wakame seaweed harvesting offshore! Participants also participated in workshops entitled “considering the future of the fishing village.” Although the progra,,e was only one night and two days, participants absolutely fell in love with Sudachi/Fukuira. This programme is a new initiative in uncharted territory of “volunteering,” which we hope will provide an opportunity for many people to consider the future of fishing villages in the Tohoku area.
Peace Boat conducts Disaster Relief Volunteer Training both in Japan (in Tokyo and the earthquake and tsunami affected areas of Ishinomaki, Miyagi) and onboard its ship throughout global voyages. This onboard programme not only equips participants with the knowledge and skills to volunteer in a disaster situation, but also gives them first hand experience of disaster mitigation and relief programmes around the world. This video shows the programme onboard and in Cuba during Peace Boat’s 75th Global Voyage, 2012. A film by Chloe White
Peace Boat conducts Disaster Relief Volunteer Training both in Japan (in Tokyo and the earthquake and tsunami affected areas of Ishinomaki, Miyagi) and onboard its ship throughout global voyages. This onboard programme not only equips participants with the knowledge and skills to volunteer in a disaster situation, but also gives them first hand experience of disaster mitigation and relief programmes around the world. This video shows the programme onboard and in Cuba during Peace Boat’s 75th Global Voyage, 2012.
After losing its own premises in the tsunami, Minato Daini Junior School is now located in temporary prefabricated buildings on the grounds of another local junior school. However, none of the facilities enjoyed by the students as before are yet available. Upon request from the school, Peace Boat has worked with the PAL System Cooperative Association to provide the school with 13 child-oriented computers for lesson purposes, successfully installed on March 1.