Messages from Citizens of Ishinomaki, 7 Years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

It has been 7 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the affected areas, has changed a lot in the time since the disaster. Rather than happening suddenly, the changes have gradually accumulated during the 2555 days of these 7 years, making the city become as it is today. Here, we interviewe three citizens of Ishinomaki, who have both witnessed and devoted themselves to these changes. We greatly appreciate their cooperation. Meanwhile, we hope this interview can help readers understand more about Ishinomaki, and think about what individuals can do for the city today.   Ms Abe Kiyoko Owner, Restaurant […]



“3.9 Letter Campaign” – The Gratitude we always wanted to show-

Two years have passed since March 11, 2013. The city of Ishinomaki began a campaign to commemorate March 9 as a day of gratitude (as the pronounciation for 3 (San) and 9 (Kyu) in Japanese sounds like “thank you”).
The “3-9 Letter Campaign” initiated by the local community is an opportunity to thank all of the volunteers who came to help after the earthquake, and all the people who have visited Ishinomaki for travel or to attend events. A letter from a person you met in Ishinomaki may come to you too.
The first letter from Ishinomaki Mayor Kameyama Hiroshi is featured in this post.



Current Activities – 2013

2013 has begun Peace Boat’s Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre’s respective projects are well underway. These projects all correspond to disaster relief, meaning that the project plan is being constantly reconsidered and revised as it is being implemented. It is important for our volunteers and also the organisation itself to remember to “think flexibly, and move according to the circumstances.” This report gives an overview of the main ongoing activities for 2013, including those which are now accepting volunteers, donations and other support.



The first six months – Peace Boat Center Ishinomaki

The Peace Boat Center Ishinomaki opened on June 2, 2012. In the six months since then, many people have visited every day from near and far, interested in events, using the internet and other facilities there, or visitors coming to Ishinomaki for the first time since the earthquake. In this time, there has been more than 5000 visitors and participants in various events. This report details the events held in this time.



Event Report: Forum on creating a long-term support and recovery network for the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster areas

On October 17, with the cooperation of NGO/NPOs and corporate partners, Peace Boat hosted an event focused on creating a network to quickly and efficiently provide support after disasters in Japan.
The event was organised by Peace Boat’s Disaster Volunteer Centre, with the help of sponsors including the Civilian Disaster Prevention and Disaster Area Support Network; corporate partner IBM Japan; intermediate support organizations such as Just Giving Japan; and NGO/NPO On the Road.



International Standards for Humanitarian Aid: HAP and Sphere

Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre Programme Officer Maho Takahashi participated in the Training of Trainers (ToT) for the “Sphere Project” held between October 20-26 in Seoul, Korea. The Sphere Project sets minimum standards in humanitarian response for NGOs and NPOs, aiming to improve the quality and accountability of actions taken during disaster response.



Ishinomaki Musical “A COMMON BEAT”

Create a musical with 100 people in 100 days!

At the Peace Boat Centre Ishinomaki, people are now talking about rehearsals for a musical which is going to be performed in Miyagi in January next year.

This musical programme was set up by the NPO Common Beat. After the disaster struck last year, the group has been arranging ‘volunteer buses’ to take many of its members to volunteer in Ishinomaki.

The musical which they will perform, COMMON BEAT, was originally started by a non-profit group in the US. As young people from all over the world came together to perform the musical, they learned about each others cultures and lives. It has since come to be used in international-based education.

The next aim of Common Beat, which has thus far carried out programmes onboard Peace Boat and sent volunteers to Ishinomaki, is to carry out the first Tohoku Project on January 19-20, 2013. Since it was difficult to find a suitable venue in Ishinomaki, it will be performed at Taga City’s Culture Centre, also in Miyagi Prefecture. The important thing in starting out with this project was to get local people in Ishinomaki to become interested in joining the cast. Working with the Peace Boat Centre in Ishinomaki, central members of Common Beat have gone to Ishinomaki many times to give trial performances at local events and festivals.



Australian volunteer Paul Bilney – in Ishinomaki four times

Mr Paul Bilney tells us, “I’m back here in Ishinomaki!”

Paul first came to Ishinomaki all the way from Australia in April last year soon after the disaster struck. A veteran international volunteer, Paul he has now joined Peace Boat’s disaster relief efforts four times, playing an important role in the reconstruction process of Ishinomaki and support of survivors.



Growing sea squirts

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.

Page 1 of 15