The Peace Boat fishing industry assistance volunteers have been active at many ports and coastal areas of the eastern part of Ishinomaki City and the Oshika Peninsula, as introduced on this page previously. This time, the team is also active on land, helping to build vegetable plots.
This newspaper has been handed since October 2 by hand to 4000 households at over 80 temporary housing areas in the area. 6 newspapers have been published so far, and the 7th edition will be published and distributed on November 12.
The newspaper team is composed of regular volunteers every week. The newspapers are published every Friday, and distributed to each household over the week by the hands of 4 to 5 volunteer teams of 20 to 25 members each.
Matsumura Junichi has been working long term as a volunteer in charge of one of the volunteer accommodation facilities – a vital aspect of Peace Boat’s volunteer programme. Initially, volunteers were asked to bring their own tents during their stay in Ishinomaki. In conjunction with volunteer activities becoming long-term, more diverse and increasing in scale, volunteers are now provided with accommodation facilities with a roof and four walls. It is from these facilities that they depart each day to carry out volunteer activities.
“Mattsun” (Matsumura Junichi) has been in charge of operating one of the volunteer accommodation facilities located in a store called “Kaska Fashion.” This entry tells of the facilities provided and Mattsun’s experiences in Ishinomaki.
A volunteer team from the Malaysian Association of Youth Club (MAYC) spent five days in Ishinomaki between 18-22 October, working together with the local community to help support the recovery of the local fishing industry.
To date, international volunteers from 49 countries have worked together with Peace Boat.
The 20 members of the Malaysian Association of Youth Club were in their 20s-40s, and came all the way from Malaysia to contribute to supporting Japan. Having experience in disaster relief activities in their own country, they were able to play a large role in the activities, particularly supporting the recovery of the local fishing industry.
Peace Boat is now creating a weekly newspaper to be delivered to temporary housing throughout Ishinomaki as part of its relief activities. Currently it is being delivered to around 4000 households in 70 different locations. (The newspaper itself can be downloaded at the bottom of this report.)
As of October 11, 7 months since the disaster, all evacuation centres of Ishinomaki City have been closed. This report introduces the situation as people move into evacuation centres, and Peace Boat plans to continue supporting the local community such as through provision of newspapers to temporary housing.
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.
On October 13 the “Report on emergency relief efforts 7 months on from March 11 – ‘Creating a system to utilize volunteers’” report session was held at the JICA Global Plaza in Hiroo, Tokyo. Many guests attended the event including people who came all the way from Ishinomaki. This report covers the report session which included information from the mid-term report.
Approximately 500 people including, including representatives of media organisations, embassies and corporations, attended the event at the JICA Global Plaza. Many of the individual participants were people who had experience as volunteers in Ishinomaki and there were joyful reunions here and there prior to the commencement of the event.