Photo gallery from the biggest local festival, the “89th Ishinomaki Kawabiraki (“River Opening”) Festival,” held in Ishinomaki on July 31 and August 1, 2012.
The Peace Boat Center Ishinomaki opened on June 2. The acceptance of the local community has been growing, and there are now around 20 local visitors each day. Including the many large-scale events, the Center has welcomed over 1,000 people in the six weeks since it opened.
This report outlines a day at the Peace Boat Center, including volunteer activities, events, and more.
Kinkasan around 20 minutes by boat from Ayukawa on the Oshika Peninsula, Ishinomaki. Located in the Pacific Ocean, the entire island of Kinkasan is considered to be sacred areas of Koganeyama Shrine. Because it is said that if you visit this shrine for three consecutive years, you will never be in financial difficulties for the rest of your life, the shrine attracts many visitors from throughout Miyagi and other prefectures every year around the new year.
The road connected to the approach, however, was collapsed after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and subsequent typhoons. The island’s only souvenir shop was inundated with dirt and sludge, as was the water tank that holds the water required for daily life. Thus, the island was not in the condition to host visitors. To once again enable people to visit the island comfortably, organizations belonging to the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council (IDRAC) gathered and implemented the “Kinkasan Support Project” between December 19 and 23.
The documentary, “One Step Towards Recovery – Ties Between Survivors and Volunteers” is now available on line! It is a 24-minute-long film featuring the Kawabiraki festival held in Ishinomaki this summer, interviews with local survivors, and footage of relief activities such as provision of meals, mud clearance and fishing industry support.
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From November 23 to 27, “Tomoni-Mae-e-Ganbaru Shotengai Matsuri” (Let’s Work Together Together to Move Forward Shopping Street Festival) was held in the center of Ishinomaki, near the headquarters of the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre. Aitopia-dori, Hashi-dori and Kotobukichominami-dori were the main streets of this festival. As well as a sale held by all the stores on the shopping streets, many events and activities were planned. These included supporting shops from all over the country, giving away saury fish for free; Ishinomaki’s traditional “Hidakamitaiko” (Japanese drum) and street performers, amongst more. With all these, the few days were filled with energy strong and warm enough to blow away the cold. This report will mainly cover an event of the first day of the festival, making a Jumbo Norimaki (sushi roll).
On Sunday October 16, the “Orahono Recovery Festival – Ishinomaki, Onagawa, Higashi Matsushima” was held at the Ishinomaki City General Sports Park. Many people attended and enjoyed the lively booths and performances.
“Oraho no” translates to “Our” in the local dialect. The day was blessed with beautiful weather, and around 8,000 people joined the events including Mayor Kameyama Hiroshi of Ishinomaki, as a step taken together towards recovery. This was the first large event to be held by all three cities together in the aftermath of the disaster. When the Kawabiraki Festival was held 2 and a half months ago, volunteers were involved in coordinating much of the preparations and operations. Yet this time, this was reversed and volunteers served only a small role, with the local community taking full initiative. While much time is still needed for life to return to as it was before the disaster, the Orahono festival really demonstrated that energy, courage, and life is returning more and more to the area. The efforts of the local community to coordinate this festival are certainly going to play a great role in encouraging recovery efforts.
From October 8 to 10 the “Ishinomaki Light & Art Festival – Light a Candle in Prayer for Recovery” was held in the Kashima-miko Shrine grounds at Hiyoriyama Park.
Candles laid in the shape of the Kashima-miko Shrine’s crest in the temple grounds overlooking the coastline which suffered catastrophic damage in the disaster.
Please enjoy this report about the songs, dances, musical performances and light displays.
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.
On September 25, the 8th Tricolore Music Festival was held in Ishinomaki! It was uncertain whether or not the festival would be held this year because of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, but the local residents’ passion for music and strong desire to work towards recovery and revitalize the local community was the driving force behind this year’s festival.
On September 9 approximately 30 volunteers participated in the Festival at Hayamahime Temple Festival Temple, which is located in the Oginohama area of the Oshika Peninsula. Volunteers participated in the festival because they have been assisting with debris removal and work in the fishing industry in the Ogihama area for a long time, as well as helping with cleaning activities around the temple in the lead-up to the festival.
This was a wonderful day which no doubt gave both the local residents and volunteers lots of energy and inspiration to continue on with from here.