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.
One Step Towards Recovery – Ties Between Survivors and Volunteers – Documentary showing the activities of the Peace Boat Disaster Volunteer Centre in Ishinomaki, Japan following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. (Japanese language, subtitled in English). Documentary / 27 minutes / Director: Yamakawa Takuya September 2011 / Created by Funnypro in cooperation with Church World Service
Pal System Consumers Cooperative Union has been carrying out relief activities since soon after the disaster, cooperating with Peace Boat in the provision of meals and dispatch of staff members as volunteers to assist mud removal and cleaning activities. Since before the earthquake, Pal System had been distributing products of the Maruto Takahashi Tokuji Shoten, however this was forced to stop after the factories were severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Yet after volunteer cleanup efforts, the products are now back for sale as part of Pal System’s “Reconstruction Assistance Project.”
The Ishinomaki port and surrounding areas are some of the areas most severely affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Many factories and industries affiliated with fisheries suffered serious damage. This is a report of relief being carried near the ports, focusing on the Mitsuwa Seihyo Ice Factory, to eventually lead to the recovery of the fishing industry.
On October 1, the long-standing business of the Takahashi Tokuji Store, established in 1905, recommenced business operations.
At the time of the disaster in March, a 7-meter tsunami hit the store which was producing kamaboko (minced fish products) and the store was filled with mud of 20cm in depth.
This report is about the “fire-lighting ceremony” which was held to celebrate this occasion.
The second half in the report following Cleaning Team Assistant Director Ichijo Kenji, who has been in Ishinomaki since March 21 and is responsible for debris clearance and home cleaning activities.
As the local needs change with every day, the Peace Boat volunteers are also required to adapt to developments in their varied activities. This report follows Cleaning Team Assistant Director Ichijo Kenji for a day. Mr Ichijo, known as Mantle, has been in Ishinomaki since March 21 when he travelled ahead to prepare to receive the first 50 volunteers, and since then has been responsible for debris clearance and home cleaning activities.
The main activity of volunteers in Ishinomaki, the city severely damaged by the tsunami, was clearing mud and cleaning the area.
To date, Peace Boat has completed the cleaning of over 1,200 locations in Ishinomaki, including homes, shops, schools and other public institutions, drains, cemeteries and so on.
This post features photographs showing the differences in scenes of April 10 (one month after the tsunami) and August 30, thanks to the cleanup work of volunteers participating in efforts including the Machinaka Smile project.
On August 7, the closing ceremony of the Dougenin Temple evacuation center (“Dougenin”) in Ishinomaki was held. Dougenin was established soon after the earthquake and tsunami occurred and has been helping to protect the residents of Ishinomaki ever since. The Dougenin evacuation center taught us the important lesson that in the face of disaster, “Relationships with other people and helping each other can save lives.”
Short-term and weekly volunteer positions for September are now open. We are now in need of volunteers to help with diversifying needs including cleaning of graves, fishing industry support, provision of bath facilities, delivery of daily necessities to temporary housing facilities assistance with town-building activities.
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