Build Back Better Tohoku

$69,945 $5,055
Raised Remaining
Oct 31, 2012

Tohoku Reconstruction Update: October 2012

November 2012 Tohoku Newsletter Banner


Temperatures have dropped, the days are shortening, and Fall foliage is currently at its best in the Tohoku region, fully signifying Autumn.  November begins with Culture day (bunka no hi) on the 3rd, promoting culture, the arts, and academic endeavor.  Many culture related events occur this month, so take this opportunity to participate!  Later in the month is Labor Thanksgiving Day (kinro kansha no hi) on the 23rd, commemorating labor and production and giving thanks to one another.  We would like to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to everyone who has supported us in our efforts!

With November just around the corner, our activities are ramping up!  We have had some exciting news in the past month, and special events coming up, including Global Giving's Japan matching campaign beginning November 1st.  Please read below for details! 

As always, we hope you enjoy seeing where your support has taken this program, and our doors are always open for feedback.

We hope you're enjoying season and are happily welcoming the upcoming winter.




Double your impact in supporting our efforts in Tohoku!  

Global Giving is running a special matching campaign from November 1 - 15, for projects working on Tohoku recovery and relief efforts.  During this period, Global Giving will match 100% of all donations made through their site, up to $1,000 per donor per project until funds run out.  

Please take this opportunity to support us in helping the Tohoku region.  Any amount can go a long way!

There is only a limited amount in matching funds available, so please consider supporting us as soon as it begins at 12:01 EDT on November 1, 2012 (13:01 JST on November 1st) on our Tohoku fundraising page.  Please also tell your friends, family, and colleagues about this special opportunity - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation!  

We greatly appreciate every donation made, as it helps ensure that we continue helping the Tohoku region.


Office Opening

We are happy to announce that we will be opening our Ishinomaki office in just a few weeks!  This is our first regional office in Japan, and will act as a business support center for affected small and medium enterprises to aid in the development of a new and sustainable economic system in the Tohoku region.


First Job Creation

Yukino HaranoWe recently had the opportunity to provide advice  and presentation training to Harako Yukino in her application for a subsidy from the Cabinet office.  We are very happy to hear that she was able to pass the screening and receieve a subsidy to start up her business in Ishinomaki - something she could not have done without the money.

She will start an acupuncture clinic (home visit service) geared towards: elderly who live in temporary housing who would otherwise have difficulty receiving these services, and young mothers who are under much stress, raising children in their community without relatives to rely on.  She will also provide oil massage seminars for mothers to eventually hire as an assistant or independent therapist, thus creating new job opportunities for locals.

We're looking forward to seeing her success!




looking above to catch rice cakes being thrownKitakami "We Are One" Market and Youth Center (in construction)

The ridgepole-raising ceremony (jyotoushiki) was held on October 15th.  This ceremony is held across Japan to pray for the continued safety of the workers and project construction.  Following the ceremony, carpenters climb up scaffolding with boxes full of red and white colored (colors used at celebratory events) sweet rice cakes and coins wrapped in paper and thrown out to the community.  Many neighbors came out to celebrate and pray for this unique event.  Check out a video of this special event made by our Japan staff here!


Banya building near completionShizugawa Fishermen's Workplace "Banya" and Oyster Bar (in construction) 

On October 26, our design fellow Toru met with Mr. Sato (our client) at the site to check the state of construction.  Construction of the roof has been completed, and sashes installed.  With only a few minor fixes to make, the project is very near completion!


Maeami reviewing drawings on siteMaeami-hama Community House (in construction)

On a breezy and cold Sunday morning, staff from KMDW (architect of record), local fishermen, and AFH design fellows, joined contractors in preparing for the concrete pour of the foundation.  Holes were drilled into the perimiter of the existing foundation,  portions of the site were excavated, and rebars set in place.  Unfortunately, concrete is still difficult to obtain in this region (especially on schedule) with the many rebuilding projects occuring in this area.  With only the concrete pour remaining, construction of the foundation will be complete, once the concrete is delivered.




Tohoku Recovery Matching Campaign

During November 1 00:01 EDT - November 15 23:59 EDT, all donations to our Tohoku project through Global Giving will be matched 100%.  Double your impact by participating in this campaign!


Seminar by MAKOTO

Business development seminars in Ishinomaki.  

Dates:  November 23, December 7, December 14, December 21, January 11, and January 25 from 18:00~19:30

Place:  AFH Ishinomaki Office

For more information and to register, email us with your name, address, phone, and email.




In Progress
Shizugawa Fishermen's Workspace "Banya" - CA 95%
Kitakami "We Are One" Market and Youth Center  - CA 50%
Maeami-hama Community House - CA 05%

Akahama Covered Alley - Completed Jul/2012
Oshika House - Women's Collaborative - Completed Jul/2012
Paper Crane Sculpture - Completed Jan/2012
Shizugawa Judo Juku - Completed Dec/2011
Ohya Green Sports Park - Completed Dec/2011
Hikado Marketplace - Completed Jul/2011

CA Construction Administration / ; CD Construction Documents / ; DD Design Development / ; SD Schematic Design / ; PD Pre-Design /  - About the Phases



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Project Leader

Hiromi Tabei

San Francisco, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Build Back Better Tohoku