At the end of April, cherry blossom season finally arrived in Tohoku. These photographs show the scenery in Ishinomaki, Onagawa and the region.
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.
Messages of support for the Ishinomaki Technical High School competing in the national high school baseball championships!
Thank you so much for such warm support from around the world. Please see below for messages from the Ambassadors of Panama and Cuba to Japan, as well as former MLB player Bobby Valentine.
A report on the opening of the national high school baseball tournament, in which the Ishinomaki Technical High School was selected for the first time to participate. A public viewing was set up at the Aitopia Shopping Mall/former Coop Miyagi, where local residents and volunteers joined together to cheer on the team.
Ishinomaki Technical Highschool (Ishiko) appeared in “the 84th National High School Baseball Championship”, a spring championship at Koshien where heated competition is still taking place.
This was the first time for Ishiko to appear in the National Baseball Championship. Although both their school buildings and facilities were heavily affected by the disaster, leading to poor conditions for training, they managed to win second place in the prefectural championship. Not only playing baseball, the team also was helping the rehabilitation and reconstruction of their community including mud clearance. In late January, a great surprise was delivered to them – an invitation to the national championship in a special “21st-century selection” slot.
On March 13 (Tuesday), the ambassadors of Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela and Uruguay from GRULAC (the Latin American and Caribbean Group) visited Ishinomaki and Onagawa once again after their first visit in April last year. Impressed by the progress of recovery and the efforts of the local community and volunteers, they also expressed hope that the coordination model of Ishinomaki can be used in disaster situations worldwide.
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.
After going to Ishinomaki as a member of Peace Boat’s advance team in March 2011, then working as a volunteer coordinator in Tokyo, Takeda Nobuhiro is now working to coordinate support for Fukushima. He himself is also from Fukushima – from Koriyama City, also deeply affected by the 3.11 disaster. This interview tells of his activities in Ishinomaki, coordinating in Tokyo, and planning ongoing support for Fukushima including youth temporary evacuation projects and opportunities for dialogue amongst citizens.