The Chime of Hope Shopping Center was opened on 29 April this year on the grounds of the Onagawa High School, consisting of 50 shops. Peace Boat has been working together with the local community, volunteers and other groups to create commercials of the various shops in the centre. as a way to disseminate more information about the recovery process in Onagawa.
Mr Paul Bilney tells us, “I’m back here in Ishinomaki!”
Paul first came to Ishinomaki all the way from Australia in April last year soon after the disaster struck. A veteran international volunteer, Paul he has now joined Peace Boat’s disaster relief efforts four times, playing an important role in the reconstruction process of Ishinomaki and support of survivors.
Miyagi Prefecture and Ishinomaki in particular are famous for producing the delicacy sea squirts. However, the tsunami greatly affected this industry, with none able to be harvested last year. The Peace Boat fishery and coastal support team has conducted activities to support those committed to the coastal recovery, and reviving the fishing industry. This article explains the process to produce sea squirts.
This is a report on Peace Boat’s disaster relief activities after the heavy rain and flooding in Takeda City, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu.
At midnight on July 20, 5 days after the Peace Boat advance team entered Takeda City, 9 staff members including the first volunteer team arrived at the site together with materials and equipment for relief work. They then began to meet with staff members of the local Disaster Volunteer Center run by the Takeda CIty Social Welfare Council, and launched relief efforts for mud shoveling and cleaning.
The Peace Boat Center Ishinomaki opened on June 2. The acceptance of the local community has been growing, and there are now around 20 local visitors each day. Including the many large-scale events, the Center has welcomed over 1,000 people in the six weeks since it opened.
This report outlines a day at the Peace Boat Center, including volunteer activities, events, and more.
A new voluntary project has launched since May 2012 in Oshika Peninsula, Ishinomaki City. As a part of the ongoing fishing support, Peace Boat is assisting to paint Tairyo-ki (large colorful flags that symbolizes the wishes for a good catch and safe fishing) on the side-face of containers that have been used as storage.
As the containers are plain brown, they are not a very appealing sight on the landscape, sitting on bare soil. So, in response to a request from fishermen from Koami-Kurahama, Peace Boat agreed to help make these containers instead into a symbol of recovery.
The ”Oraho’s Machizukuri Oen” programme held as part of the Ishinomaki volunteering experience offers a rich and intense two-day program to see sides of Ishinomaki which cannot be experienced in other ways.
This programme’s highest priority is the chance to meet with local people. Participants can create their visions of the future together with the local people while listening to their passions and plans to rebuild their community and businesses.
“Please come and visit Ishinomaki to find new attractions of Ishinomaki as a revitalizing town, not only as the disaster-affected Ishinomaki. You will also be able to feel where Japan is going through these two-day programs. We are really looking forward to meeting you all in Ishinomaki.”
We have heard voices from Ishinomaki such as “please spread the word to the volunteers who helped us, about the vegetables that have grown so big.” It’s been months since our last report, and we would like to share the latest story about the “vegetable gardens we helped cultivate.” Peace Boat has been helping people in Ishinomaki cultivate vegetable gardens since November 2011.
“Oraho’s experience” (“my experience” in Tohoku dialect) is a new volunteer programme launched in 2012, in which participants can interact more with local people in the disaster affected areas by talking, eating, and sleeping together, not just working together. Peace Boat initiated this programme in the hope that participants can gain a rich experience based on direct personal connections with the local community, and that this programme can bring people closer together and inspire more ideas for the future.
This article features an interview with Komori Shizu, a participant in the 2nd program held in Oginohama, and local fisherman Fushimi Kaoru who hosted her.
The fishing village of Funakoshi sits on the northern side of the Ogatsu Peninsula, about a one-hour drive from central Ishinomaki. Today, there is no sight of children at the Funakoshi Primary School, where the 17m-high tsunami flooded up to the 3rd floor. In the school building, however, you can hear the laughter of the ‘Funakoshi Ladies’ in their workshop, furnished with tatami-mats in the hallway.
The ‘Funakoshi Ladies’ now famously make and sell necklaces and cellphone straps made from Ogatsu Stone, as well as “Kai-no-Netsuke (shell charms)”, a popular charm for happiness in marriage.