Photo gallery from the biggest local festival, the “89th Ishinomaki Kawabiraki (“River Opening”) Festival,” held in Ishinomaki on July 31 and August 1, 2012.
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.
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.
The ”Oraho’s Machizukuri Oen” programme held as part of the Ishinomaki volunteering experience offers a rich and intense two-day program to see sides of Ishinomaki which cannot be experienced in other ways.
This programme’s highest priority is the chance to meet with local people. Participants can create their visions of the future together with the local people while listening to their passions and plans to rebuild their community and businesses.
“Please come and visit Ishinomaki to find new attractions of Ishinomaki as a revitalizing town, not only as the disaster-affected Ishinomaki. You will also be able to feel where Japan is going through these two-day programs. We are really looking forward to meeting you all in Ishinomaki.”
The “Peace Boat Center Ishinomaki” was officially opened on June 2, after renovation taking place since the Golden Week break in May. The grand opening for this community exchange space took place with an event in which local community members and many other people who have been involved and supported Peace Boat’s activities in Ishinomaki over the past 1 year and three months.
Peace Boat was honoured to receive a certificate of appreciation, a towel commemorating the team’s entry into the Koshien national tournament, and an original photo stand from the Koshien Committee of the Ishinomaki Technical High School, whose baseball team made their first entry into Koshien this spring.
“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.
A group of 3 sixth grade students from the Canadian International School Tokyo have been visiting Peace Boat and learning about disaster relief activities, as part of a class project to learn about NGOs and NPOs. Thank you to the students for their efforts to raise awareness and funds for Tohoku!
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.
Among the beautiful cherry blossoms filling the Ishinomaki Senshu University campus, you could hear the chatter of happy children from a parking lot. On April 30, about 40 local primary school kids gathered there for a cycling school ‘Wielerschool,’ which is held in over 30 locations every year throughout Japan.
The school is hosted by the ‘Chainring Project for Kids’ which was established by volunteer cyclists after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.