Tohoku Youth Venture


Dear GlobalGivers,

We are very thankful for your warm support. it has been 5 years since the earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku and 4 years since we started Tohoku Youth Venture project. Now we have 52 Tohoku Youth Venture teams who are working for the revival of the Tohoku area.

We would like to introduce  Tomoki Yoshihama, one of our Tohoku Youth Venturers who joined YV community in March 2015.

I love Miyako, my hometown.
But lots of my friends in the town say, "Miyako is boring," "this town has nothing," and "I want to leave here as soon as possible."
In addition, after the earthquake, Miyako has been losing its own liveliness even though lots of volunteers came to our town and encouraged our town.

I was wondering what I can do for Miyako.

I planned to create an event that all generations can enjoy and to accomplish it only with the power of our youth as much as possible.
We started a high school student organization SYM in April 2015. Since its establishment, we have volunteered for and run a booth at some existing community events.

Finally, we had SYM FES in February 2016! About 30 high school students joined as staff. We had stage performance like Japanese drums, dances and so on and ran some booth. Over 100 people came and enjoyed our performance.

I believe that our activity will give opportunities for Miyako's youth to recognize the strength s of our town, which I hope will lead to young people's return to the region and to the prevention of the decline of our community. I will keep working on energizing the town and inspiring local youth.

Dear GlobalGivers,

This is Hiroaki Yabe, Ashoka Japan’s Tohoku Youth Venture Programmatic Leader.

I am very thankful for the support we have received in the past. It has been almost 4 years since we started this project and we are delightful to inform you that now we have 48 Tohoku Youth Venture teams and individuals who are working for the revival of the Tohoku area that was hit by massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

I would like to introduce Yuki Terasaki, one of our Tohoku Youth Ventures who joined our community in Norvember 2014.


I grew up in Kamaishi. I was in the town when the earthquake hit Tohoku, only two days before the graduation ceremony of my Jr. high school. My family moved to Kyushu soon after, but I had no chance to share my disaster experience to the people whom I had met there. I thought nobody could understand my pain.   

Three years after the earthquake, I participated in an event where I could interact with students from Tohoku. The encounter with the young people eventually changed my perception of the earthquake and made me want to do something for disaster prevention. 

I don’t want to see the tragedies occurred to my friends in Kamaishi happen to those whom I met in Kyushu- the determination is the true motivation for my current project.     

I mainly organize the following two programs. One is the concert in which the audience learns about the importance of loving each other. In the event, I talk about true disaster stories and describe the detail of my project along with music performed by guest musicians. The other is the development and distribution of picture books that also describe the stories of the Tohoku earthquake and educate the readers the necessity for disaster preparedness. 

I believe that music and pictures will help people of all generations, including those who are not necessarily interested in disaster-related topics, find the need for getting to know about the earthquake in Tohoku and for taking specific actions in preparation for next unpredictable disasters.  




Yuki Youth Venture
Yuki Youth Venture

Thank you for your kind support and donations for the Tohoku Youth Venture program by Ashoka Japan. 

Tohoku is the area where tsunami hit in 2011. 4 and a half year has passed from that huge earthquake. Now many young powers are needed and many youth's activities encourage local adults.

Tohoku is the "disaster area" but young people are creating new Tohoku.


We have 48 Tohoku Youth Venturers until now. Some are victims of tsunami and some lost their schools or houses. But they all take actions for their hometown and next generation as high school students. Their activities also have made new venturers around them.  


I would like to introduce to you a Youth Venturers who live in Tohoku.



Yuki (Kamaishi High School)


I live in temporary housing in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture for 4 years.

One day, I had one question;


"Why do people at temporary housings call their houses as "KASETSU"(temporary) not "IE"(home)?" 


I asked my friend. The answer was so simple.


"I can't call "IE" such a gray box!"


I wondered what could help them to call the houses "IE".


People feel a sense of familiarity and ownership towards hand-made things.


So I started a project where I and the residents work together to turn gray temporary housings colorful using colored magnets. (Because the housings made by steel.)


I hope to brighten the town through this project.

Yuki Youth Venture
Yuki Youth Venture
She sometimes has workshop for children.
She sometimes has workshop for children.

Dear GlobalGivers,

This is Hiroaki Yabe, Ashoka Japan’s Tohoku Youth Venture Programmatic Leader.

I am very thankful for the support we have received in the past. It has been two years and half since we started this project and we are delightful to inform you that now we have 41 Tohoku Youth Venture teams and individuals who are working for the revival of the Tohoku area that was hit by massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

I would like to introduce Makoto Sasaki, one of our Tohoku Youth Ventures who joined our community in May 2014.

My town suffered terribly from the Great East Japan Earthquake. But what made me wonder was, despite our town having experienced multiple tsunamis in the past, why were there so many deaths? We had prevention classes ever since elementary school. However, they were too complex for me at that time. It's the same today. So I decided to take action by teaching children about disaster prevention through fun, illustrated picture books and story cards. During my story-time programs, children never have to sit still quietly - instead, they get to be physically active and use their entire bodies and loud voices. 

I teach in other cities, like Nagoya, Kobe and Sendai. I am always surprised by how much the children actually know.

I: "What will come after earthquake?"

Children: "Tsunami!"

I: "Is it good to go back after running away?"

Children: "NO, NO, NO!!!"

I: "Why?"

Children: "Tsunami is coming! You will be washed away!"

I: "I wanna go back to take my lovely game."

Children: "NO!!!!! NEVER!!!"

I hope to speak to more children. And I learn more and more together.

Ashoka Japan will continue to provide a network to support young entrepreneurs. Your kind support and donations enable them to keep moving forward for the future of the Tohoku, and thus Japan. Thank you again for your support and please look forward to hear more about our work with aspiring young generations in Japan. 


Dear Global Givers

This is Hiroaki, Ashoka Japan’s Tohoku Youth Venture Programmatic Leader. 

We have selected 41 teams of Youth Ventures for 2years. I would like to introduce you to two unique youths.



I am from Wakayama Prefecture. Although large earthquakes are predicted to take place in the region, it is a big problem that people in the region are not very interested in the issue.

After I went to volunteer at areas affected by the earthquake, I tried to discuss with people in my region about the current situation in the devastated areas and showed them photographs. But their responses were that such issues are not very related to them. I felt a strong sense of crisis.


In those time, I met with Ikumi Nakazawa who live in Kesennuma and experienced the earthquake. She thought that in order not to render the lives of people who died from the earthquake meaningless, she needed to alert people in other regions of her experience to prevent the same tragedy from being repeated.


So I decided to convey the horror of tsunami and earthquake with her and created a plan to heighten the awareness toward prevention of disaster and conducted lectures and workshops in schools in Wakayama Prefecture. By listening form her directly, I thought that students in Wakayama Prefecture will feel more closely related to the issue.


What I learned from the experience was that it is very difficult to change people’s mind. No matter how much time you give them, it is meaningless unless every person gets prepared for the prevention of earthquake. Because I do not want my loved ones to die any more, I will continue to work to increase the awareness toward disaster prevention to as many people as possible.


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Organization Information


Location: Shibuya- ku, Tokyo - Japan
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Nana Watanabe
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Japan
$17,019 raised of $25,000 goal
110 donations
$7,981 to go
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