Keep tsunami-stricken isatomae community alive

Jan 14, 2013

Exploring Ways to Support Future Developments

Mountain School Office in Shop Tent
Mountain School Office in Shop Tent

In two months, the disaster-stricken Tohoku will be holding the second memorial service of the Higashi Nippon Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster which took place on March 11, 2011. Although many people have found their daily routines and ways of sustaining their lives, situations for many have not really improved. To make the situation worse, supports to them are diminishing day by day, forcing them to face real struggles for survival.

Our shop tent located in the mountain side of Isatomae in Minami-sanriku-cho, Miyagi Prefecture, is presently used only by a mountain school providing nature training to children throughout a year. It is used mostly on weekends. At a glance, it turned into a storage for keeping goods to be sold at the Fukko Temporary Shops down close to the ocean side. In a sense, the tent is still a useful facility to people in Isatomae. Learning about the development of an Isatomae rebuilding plan, I found that a consensus has not yet been well established delaying the start of reconstruction. Besides, I learned that the Fukko Temporary Shops will be moved to a closest place, while the main planned shop area will be elevated, thus reusing the tent as tent shops may not work out. But since it is located right next to a new community to be established in the mountain side, it will be used for community activities and continuously remain important to people in Isatomae. 

Since the population of Isatomae has dropped, shop owners are looking for ways to bring customers from outside of Isatomae. They are trying to reorganize traditional festivals to bring outside Isatomae supporters to take part in festivals. They also happen to receive huge supports from the J League Soccer teams, thus having a large number of Japanese soccer team flags. They are trying to expand this flag collection to international soccer teams, to bring their attention to Isatomae redevelopment. Any kind of your help in expanding this effort is very much appreciated. 

Talking about a new redevelopment plan, I came to recognize that diverse unique ways exist to link between new dikes and the characteristics of Isatomae community and to possibly be used to attract people from outside. I am contacting several friends of mine to see if certain projects can be started, though it is quite premature to disclose new ideas. In a visit, several hours are spend to exchange ideas and search for ways to link to the DSIA network. Thus, the DSIA help is shifting from sustaining the tent to providing ideas and linkages them to people in Tokyo to see if any future-oriented supports can be developed. 

Shop Tent Functioning as a Storage
Shop Tent Functioning as a Storage
J League Soccer Team Flags
J League Soccer Team Flags



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Project Leader

Yoshitaka Okada

Tokyo, Tokyo Japan

Where is this project located?

Map of Keep tsunami-stricken isatomae community alive