On September 25, the 8th Tricolore Music Festival was held in Ishinomaki! It was uncertain whether or not the festival would be held this year because of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, but the local residents’ passion for music and strong desire to work towards recovery and revitalize the local community was the driving force behind this year’s festival.
Orientations, training and safety measures for volunteers have been developed greatly as the activities have proceeded over the past six months. Read here for further information about such issues.
New 15-second videos Vol. 8 to 11 covering Peace Boat’s activities in Ishinomaki have been uploaded to Youtube by the Ganbatte 365 project introduced earlier on this website.
See below for two clips of Peace Boat efforts supporting the production of Ogatsu stone accessories and Peace Boat volunteers interacting with local shop owners.
On September 11, 6 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused unprecedented damage, 10 high school students from Tochigi Prefecture came to help with Peace Boat’s debris removing volunteer activities.
One of the students said, “I am sure that I will happily remember this day one day when I eat fish that are caught in Miyagi. That’s what I am looking forward to!”
We hope that the students tell their family and friends from school about their experiences after returning home and that these experiences become something that they will benefit from in the future.
Taylor Anderson was an assistant English teacher from the United States who lost her life in the tsunami. Taylor was teaching English at 7 schools in Ishinomaki city, a place she was known to love. Four members of her family came to Ishinomaki on September 8.
Peace Boat was contacted by Taylor’s family because they wanted to volunteer. As a result, the Anderson family participated in Peace Boat’s clean-up activities in the Shintate region.
We interviewed Taylor’s father Andy about his visit to Japan and his motivation for joining the volunteer activities.
On September 9 approximately 30 volunteers participated in the Festival at Hayamahime Temple Festival Temple, which is located in the Oginohama area of the Oshika Peninsula. Volunteers participated in the festival because they have been assisting with debris removal and work in the fishing industry in the Ogihama area for a long time, as well as helping with cleaning activities around the temple in the lead-up to the festival.
This was a wonderful day which no doubt gave both the local residents and volunteers lots of energy and inspiration to continue on with from here.
Peace Boat has started to recruit volunteers to assist with cleaning efforts in the aftermath of the Typhoon #12, which caused severe damage to the Kii Peninsula in Western Japan.
Over the past two weeks the number of visitors to the public baths, “Kizuna no yu” and “Fudou no yu” that were opened to the public on August 22 exceeded 3500 people!
In conjunction with the conclusion of the bathing facilities that had been provided by the Japanese Self Defense Forces, and upon consultation with local city hall officials, public baths were constructed by the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council Inc, with Peace Boat in charge of the operation of the baths including changing the water, cleaning and reception duties. Many people use the baths everyday, most of whom are living in evacuation centers or in the surrounding areas where infrastructure has not yet been restored.
Slate stones are a traditional industry of Ogatsu town, near Ishinomaki. Volunteers have been working to collect these resilient stones, many of which were washed away in the tsunami, to enable them to be reused for various things such as roof tiles, accessories and ink stones.
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.