Build Back Better Tohoku

by Architecture for Humanity
Feb 6, 2013

Tohoku Reconstruction Update: February 2013

Tohoku Newsletter Banner January 2013


2013 has quickly kicked off, and our projects are moving along!  Kitakami "We Are One" Collaborative officially opened last month, Maeami-hama Community house is scheduled for completion in the next few weeks, and we have welcomed many into MakiBiz with seminars and consultations.  Read updates below for a glimpse of what's been happening.  

February brings three holidays commonly celebrated in Japan (only one is a national holiday).

Feb. 3rd - Setsubun (beginning of Spring)
Although this is not a national holiday, it is celebrated by many nationwide.  This event occurs one day before spring, according to the Japanese Lunar Calendar and is now most commonly celebrated with the ritual of throwing roasted beans around the house and at temples and shrines yelling "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!"  This scares out the evil spirits from entering, and keeps happiness inside.

Feb. 11 - Kenkoku kinenbi (National Foundation Day)
On this day in 600 BC, the first Japanese emperor was crowned.  This is the only national holiday in this month.  However, celebrations of this day are relatively muted since expressions of nationalism are rare.

Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day
In Japan, this day is celebrated slightly differently where only women give chocolates to men.  Men return this gift a month later, on "White Day" (March 14).

The coldest month of the year has passed, and we can look forward to a slight rise in temperatures as we move into February.  This coming month, two of our staff will be heading to Tohoku.  Look forward to reports from them when they return.

Stay warm and take care!


Architecture for Humanity

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


MAKOTO seminar January 11MakiBiz

Our first regional office in Japan, MakiBiz has been up and running since the end of November.  Our staff has been providing business support for many clients, and have completed hosting our series of 6 MAKOTO Business Seminars, over a period of 3 months.  The seminars were attended by many in the community, with high satisfaction.  Look forward to new seminars to come.


Kitakami project completedKitakami "We Are One" Market and Youth Center  (completed)

Construction has been completed and the center officially opened its doors on January 23rd!  With the center open, several programs have already been scheduled to take place in the new building.  See images and a more detailed report here.


Maeami-hama interior under constructionMaeami-hama Community House (in construction)

Construction is still moving along.  Most of the building was assembled in a matter of weeks and the building is targeted for completion at the end of February.

Again, frequent construction updates on this project can be found on KMDW (the architect of record)'s facebook page (in Japanese only). We will also be providing periodically summarized updates from these posts here, so stay tuned (our most recent post found here)!



3.11 Anniversary

The two-year anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami is coming up.  We will be launching a campaign to commemorate this event in support of the people in Tohoku who are still working to recover and rebuild.  Stay tuned.




In Progress
Shizugawa Fishermen's Workspace "Banya"  - CA 98%
Maeami-hama Community House  - CA 70%

Kitakami "We Are One" Market and Youth Center  - completed Dec/2012

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



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

Organization Information

Architecture for Humanity

Location: San Francisco, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Architecture for Humanity
Project Leader:
Hiromi Tabei
San Francisco, CA United States

Retired Project!

This project is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Find another project in Japan or in Disaster Recovery that needs your help.
Find a Project