Miyagi Prefecture is proud to cultivate the second largest volume of oysters in Japan. Volunteers are active helping to collect scallop shells to use for the cultivation of oysters. This is especially important as the recovery of the fishing industry is vital for the local community, yet many local residents working on this are elderly people living in temporary housing or partially damaged houses.
Volunteer carpenters work to build a wooden deck for the “Onagawa Container Village Shopping Centre” in Washinokamihama, Onagawa, next to Ishinomaki City. This opened in July 2011, and is greatly supporting the lives and employment of local people. The deck was built in December-January to help deal with the cold winter and with further expansion of shops.
On December 23, a special Christmas event was held at Hashiura Elementary School in Ishinomaki. The event included a special class by Mr Ototake Hirotada, well-known for his book “No One’s Perfect,” a live performance by FUNKIST and a concert by the “music volunteer club” formed by students of this school.
Kinkasan around 20 minutes by boat from Ayukawa on the Oshika Peninsula, Ishinomaki. Located in the Pacific Ocean, the entire island of Kinkasan is considered to be sacred areas of Koganeyama Shrine. Because it is said that if you visit this shrine for three consecutive years, you will never be in financial difficulties for the rest of your life, the shrine attracts many visitors from throughout Miyagi and other prefectures every year around the new year.
The road connected to the approach, however, was collapsed after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and subsequent typhoons. The island’s only souvenir shop was inundated with dirt and sludge, as was the water tank that holds the water required for daily life. Thus, the island was not in the condition to host visitors. To once again enable people to visit the island comfortably, organizations belonging to the Ishinomaki Disaster Recovery Assistance Council (IDRAC) gathered and implemented the “Kinkasan Support Project” between December 19 and 23.
Peace Boat activities to support the local fishing industry in the Ishinomaki area were carried out in 16 coastal locations in Ogatsu and the Oshika Peninsula, on 160 days in 2011. Throughout 2011, a total of 10,300 volunteers (7,757 Peace Boat regular and short-term volunteers (including international volunteers) and 2,543 corporate volunteers) took part in this operation.
While providing assistance for aqua-farming season may be restarted in 2012, Peace Boat would first like to extend our appreciation to all those who participated in activities this year, and report on the results of 2011.
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
Blog photographer shares a personal episode meeting an elderly couple while distributing the Kizuna newspaper in Ishinomaki’s temporary housing. The accumulation of such connections will truly create a bond, “Kizuna” between volunteers and disaster victims.
Since the Kizuna Newspaper was launched in October, it has received many compliments, with residents giving thanks for the deliveries, and expressing that they look forward to talking with the volunteers. These compliments come as a result of all the efforts made by Peace Boat volunteers, symbolized by the Peace Boat blue bibs, including efforts in meal provision, cleaning and assistance in evacuation centres in Ishinomaki.
The first term of the “Disaster Relief Volunteer Leader Training,” in which 15 people participated from November 5-11, has successfully finished. From November 19, 13 participants also joined.
This report interviews two people who participated in the first term, sharing their impressions of the seven days.