As the local needs change with every day, the Peace Boat volunteers are also required to adapt to developments in their varied activities. This report follows Cleaning Team Assistant Director Ichijo Kenji for a day. Mr Ichijo, known as Mantle, has been in Ishinomaki since March 21 when he travelled ahead to prepare to receive the first 50 volunteers, and since then has been responsible for debris clearance and home cleaning activities.
Since Peace Boat launched its relief activities in Ishinomaki, the food provision team has prepared a total of more than 100,000 meals. This report follows the Assistant Directors (ADs) who have long been working with this team, Morinaga Yoko (in charge of the kitchen) and Kitamura Kazumi (in charge of support towards self-sufficiency).
Assistant Directors are responsible for coordinating volunteers, in groups of around five persons each. Peace Boat appoints ADs for each kind of work, according to their experiences and skills. These staff work in the field long-term, and through being familiar with the changes in required relief activities play a vital role in ensuring that the work undertaken is safe, smooth and efficient.
The “Orahono Recovery Festival – Ishinomaki/Onogawa/Higashi Matsushima” will be held on Sunday October 16.
Despite recent difficulties including the severe damage caused by Typhoon 15, local youth associations, fishing and agricultural industry representatives, the chamber of commerce and tourism association have come together to hold a “recovery festival.” The cities of Ishinomaki, Onagawa and Higashi Matsushima will work together to hold a recovery festival in the Ishinomaki region for the first time since the disaster.
Orientations, training and safety measures for volunteers have been developed greatly as the activities have proceeded over the past six months. Read here for further information about such issues.
On September 11, 6 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused unprecedented damage, 10 high school students from Tochigi Prefecture came to help with Peace Boat’s debris removing volunteer activities.
One of the students said, “I am sure that I will happily remember this day one day when I eat fish that are caught in Miyagi. That’s what I am looking forward to!”
We hope that the students tell their family and friends from school about their experiences after returning home and that these experiences become something that they will benefit from in the future.
Taylor Anderson was an assistant English teacher from the United States who lost her life in the tsunami. Taylor was teaching English at 7 schools in Ishinomaki city, a place she was known to love. Four members of her family came to Ishinomaki on September 8.
Peace Boat was contacted by Taylor’s family because they wanted to volunteer. As a result, the Anderson family participated in Peace Boat’s clean-up activities in the Shintate region.
We interviewed Taylor’s father Andy about his visit to Japan and his motivation for joining the volunteer activities.
Over the past two weeks the number of visitors to the public baths, “Kizuna no yu” and “Fudou no yu” that were opened to the public on August 22 exceeded 3500 people!
In conjunction with the conclusion of the bathing facilities that had been provided by the Japanese Self Defense Forces, and upon consultation with local city hall officials, public baths were constructed by the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council Inc, with Peace Boat in charge of the operation of the baths including changing the water, cleaning and reception duties. Many people use the baths everyday, most of whom are living in evacuation centers or in the surrounding areas where infrastructure has not yet been restored.
Slate stones are a traditional industry of Ogatsu town, near Ishinomaki. Volunteers have been working to collect these resilient stones, many of which were washed away in the tsunami, to enable them to be reused for various things such as roof tiles, accessories and ink stones.
The main activity of volunteers in Ishinomaki, the city severely damaged by the tsunami, was clearing mud and cleaning the area.
To date, Peace Boat has completed the cleaning of over 1,200 locations in Ishinomaki, including homes, shops, schools and other public institutions, drains, cemeteries and so on.
This post features photographs showing the differences in scenes of April 10 (one month after the tsunami) and August 30, thanks to the cleanup work of volunteers participating in efforts including the Machinaka Smile project.
A moment of silence – marking six months since the disaster struck.
At 2:46pm on September 11, six months since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, all volunteers and staff together held a moment of silence to pray for the souls of those who lost their lives.
The members’ dedication to both remembrance and recovery became even stronger as they gazed upon the now calm ocean.
We will continue to work together with the people of Ishinomaki one step at a time.