Photographs of scenery in and around Ishinomaki, by Nakamura Mitsutoshi.
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 Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre has started a monthly magazine of information from Ishinomaki, to share with people who have joined volunteer activities in Ishinomaki to date.
Although only available in Japanese, the magazine is now available online here: “Ishinomaku Tsuushin – Omoi Tendenko”
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.