A massage from Disaster Areas
Two and a half years have passed since the March 11 earthquake. This section showcases the efforts towards recovery by the people living in the affected areas. For this round, we feature Mr. and Mrs. Kikuchi, who run“Tairyo-Maru” (roughly translated as the “good catch boat” ) at the Fukko Yatai Mura, Kesennuma Yokocho, a“temporary mall” for reconstruction in KesennumaCity. The food stall serves traditional fishermen s fare.
We used to run a horumonyaki (barbecued beef and pork offal) restaurant inKesennuma City, before it was washed away by the tsunami. When we were thinking of starting all over again, we happened to find out about the plan for the “temporary mall’ village.” So we started “Tairyo-Maru” in November 2011 along with the opening of the village.
With Masao’ s 30 years of experience working as a chief on a deep sea tuna fishingboat, we serve traditional fishermen’ s fare made with fresh tuna and bonito at ourfood stall. One of our signature dishes, the hoseki-don or “gemstones rice bowl”consists of a rice bowl topped with salmon roe, sea urchin, and fresh shrimp andcosts 3,000 yen each. Some might think it is too expensive a dish to be served at amakeshift food stall, but many customers are satisfied when they tried our dish. We use local ingredients and never compromise on taste. We also providelocal sake, which goes well with our dishes.
Many volunteers from across the nation come to Kesennuma City and drop by our stall. Some people sent us lettersand called us, even after they had left Kesennuma City.
We have to close our stall by the end of November because the period of operations for this mall will end then. Iwant to continue this business for the sake of those who have come and grew to like Kesennuma and our food stall.
We have a dream of starting a guest house in my hometown island of Oshima off the coast of Kesennuma. Likeeveryone else, we need to think about our future. We may not know what the future holds but we will move forward enthusiastically.
A Message from Disaster
Two years and seven months have passed since Civic Force started activities to support reconstruction indisaster-hit areas of northeastern Japan. This section showcases the people who live in the affected areas andcontinue positive efforts towards recovery. As the 8th person, we interviewed Mr. Hisao Murakami, the owner of“Rakusho” , a Japanese-style pub called “izakaya” , in Sendai city.
Rikuzen-haranomachi Station is the third stop from Sendai Station on theSenseki railway line and after walking 30 seconds, you’ ll reach “Rakusho” , theizakaya I run. My hometown is Kesennuma city, so I offer local food of the Kesennuma region. Some of my customers are from Kesennuma city. When the disaster occurred, the inside of my shop became a mess because of the strongearthquake. But my main concern was my friends in my hometown who were affected by the tsunami. So for two months after the disaster, I kept my izakaya closed todeliver goods and prepare meals while traveling back and forth between Sendai and Kesennuma.
Thanks to the network of my former teammates from the Morioka Chuo HighSchool baseball team, many people including professional baseball players of Rakuten Rakuten Eagles visited to cheer us up. I was also engaged in activities such as holding baseball lessons by professional baseball players and inviting residents of temporary housings to baseball games. Because of the disaster, I gained new acquaintances who came to support us from all over the country including Shizuoka prefecture. While I wished to respond to their warm feelings, there were moments when I also felt people are becoming disconnected from each other due to the disaster.
The recommendations at my izakaya are fresh seafood, Kesennuma-style barbecued pork offal, and local foodsuch as “azara” . I want this shop to be a place where people gather to have a cheerful time and feel positive. Iam hoping to open an izakaya in Kesennuma city as well.
If you need further information, please find attachment and our hompage(www.civic-force.org)
Two years and eight months have passed since Civic Force started activities to support reconstruction in the disaster-hit areas of northeastern Japan. This section showcases the people who live in theaffected areas and continue positive efforts towards recovery. For this issue, we interviewed Mr.Masayuki Sakai, president of Kesennuma Fukko Inc., whose company takes care of the administrativework of temporary housings in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture.
In September, 2011, after the disaster, I established Kesennuma Fukko Inc. and have been operating variety of businesses such as, reception and distribution of reliefgoods, maintenance of temporary housings, providing services for temporary housing residents, and sales of temporary housings.
Before the disaster, I was a board member of the Chamber of Commerce andIndustry while running a dry cleaners shop in Kesennuma City. For a few months after the disaster, I was engaged in the management of an evacuation center in Kesennuma City where I received and distributed relief goods from members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and acquaintances all over the country. I worked to meet the needs of those taking shelter at places with lesser help byreceiving information gathered through local relationships. Later, I set up Kesennuma Fukko Inc. by request from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, etc. to change the situation of Kesennuma City where reconstruction was not progressing as expected.
One of the roles of our company is to connect the supports that are offered to the disaster-affected areas. Since the disaster, I have continued activities only capable by a local person who knows Kesennuma City from old times, as I saw cases in which appropriate aids were not offered due to lacking knowledge of the area. Now my focus is on“Rental-bin” , a service in which users can rent trucks with a driver on a pay-by-the-hour system. While the needs for maintenance work on temporary housings are decreasing, the needs for moving out from temporary housings will increase going forward. I hope to expand our business irrespective of scope of services and create employment.
If you need further information, please find attachment.