Since March, we have had impact by COVID-19 pandemic. As you might know, Japan is also affected by the virus and there are still numbers of infected daily. The government planned voluntary lockdown for the month of April in and also in May for greater Tokyo and surrounding prefectures. Although infection rate is relatively low compared to western countries, things are quiet.
MORIUMIUS have not had children visiting since April and will be closed for June and maybe July. We have been living quietly and seeking timing to restart the center, but it is difficult to predict how and when pandemic will be calmed. We believe it will be a long process for things to calm down and have to come up with new ideas to operate MORIUMIUS as well as find creative new step in education.
Since April, we have been providing online programs sending fresh local seafood from fisherman to home, connecting families online to slice whole fish and cook. Not only cooking, we show live footage of how MORIUMIUS and surrounding natural environment with animals we live with. Many groups and families planning to visit were able to see/ hear the environment through PC/ tablet felt like they traveled to MORIUMIUS. Also, children were serious and joyful facing whole fish t slice as well as to cook for family’s dinner dish. Since the experience took place at home, children seemed relaxed and parents were supportive. Attched link is an article from Japanese magazine LEE on the program.
Many comments were sent to us from families like, "Saw what I normally would not be able to see from my child, really felt the possibility of him.", "Made our family realized how important food/ meal is. To cook together, understanding where the food comes from, and enjoy eating together made us all happier.", "Because we are all at home every day, it was a great opportunity to take time to focus on what we eat.".
We are now planning to provide our online program to the next level. Connecting to orphanages and foster homes to provide active engaging online programs to children who live in a difficult circumstance. Children in Kumamoto will be invited once this pandemic is over.
Please consider supporting our programs so that MORIUMIUS itself could be sustainable in this difficult time.
Thank you very much for your support. We were able to invite elven children from Kumamoto through three day holiday on Februay 22 to 24. Because of the typhoon in October, original tour date was postphoned, but this time it was a great success.
We have been inviting children who were affected from the mega earthquake in Kumamoto in 2016 every year. There are children who are still living in tenporary houses and not able to go back to their hometown. This winter has been very warm even in northern region of Japan. Children who are coming from sourthern region with warm climate were expecting cold weather and snow. Surprisingly we had snow storm on the second day, children were running outside trying to catch or eat snow.
In Japan, traditionally we make fermented soy bean paste called Miso. Miso is one of the most important Japanese seasoning, used mainly for soup. We have invited specialist to make miso with children. Using organic soybeans, fermented rice, and salt, children seemed excited to mash cooked soybean into paste. Mixing the paste with salt and fermented rice, keeping in plastic container for six month until fermentation is complete.
Through their time here at MORIUMIUS, children seemed to be relaxed in nature and released their stress, but also learned other areas in Japan affected by natural disaster. Meeting with local people and listening to storyteller, children were able to see the future of their region and gave strength to move forward.
Thank you again for your support to create this tour. We were not able to invite children without your kindness. We are going to organize another invitation tour in 2020 or in 2021.
Thank you for your continuous support. Unfortunatley, the invitational tour planned for October 12 to 14 was postponed because of mega typhoon Hagibis. One of the largest typhoon in recent history passes over Japan on October 12 causing severe rain. Miyagi prefecture where we are was one of the prefecture to have record breaking rain, close to 600mm of rain in 24 hours. Some roads in Ogatsu was flooded and trees have fallen causing blackout for a day.
Although we were ready to receive eleven children from Kumamoto, flight was cancelled the day before and we could not organize the tour planned. Many children were looking very forward to it and we felt bad. We are going to give another try to organize the tour in Spring 2020.
We will keep you posted for the tour in we will organize next yeat. Thank you again for your support.
Summer is here, and MORIUMIUS is full of children gathering from all over the world.
We are getting ready ready to organize another invitation tour from Kumamoto. Date is set for October 12 through 14. We have started to work with the local partners in Kumamoto. Both local city's board of Education as well as non profit working for children's education have started to advertise the tour in October. We will keep you updated with the tour.
Thursday, July 18 was our fourth anniversary. Celebration started with 30 kg big blue fin tuna slicing it with children gathered for this occations. Four years was fast, since opening its door in 2015, MORIUMIUS has recieved over 6,000 guests. Although we have gained experiences with children in nature together with locals, revitalization of the community is still far. Locals are finally back to their houses after the construction of permanent houses have finished this year. We believe community design will take place in the next few years and MORIUMIUS will be taking part of the long journey to create brighter future. Thank you for believing to our cause and showing your support.
Our prime summer program has started from July 27. Everyweek, group of children gathed from not only Japan but also from abroad will spend time in the nature, with local people to learn about sustainability as well as local culture including natural disaster. From fisherman to storyteller, local residents will be working with us to share local culture and their experiences from tsunami in 2011 as well as how they have lived their lives since then. We will work hard to provide valuable learnings for children and to revilatize the community.
2018 was another special year for us, going into third year in operation receiving over one thousand children locally as well as internationally.
Eight years have past since the disaster in 2011. The city have built a memorial in Ogatsu where former local hospital was there. There was a memorial service on March 11 for the victims of tsunami. We have been in operation for over three years, and helping the community for close to eight years. Permanent houses are finally completed, people are starting to move back to their own community. Ten meter concrete wall have been constructed to cover the bay to prevent another giant tsunami if in case it happens. The city is finalizing plan to create agricultural park in the center of Ogatsu. Things are slowly developing, finally going into a next fase. We are trying to take part in this plan so that children have more opportunities to learn and to be part of the community.
We have organized third invitation tour of Kumamoto children last fall, participating to our three day holida weekend program. Working with acclaimed chef who have worked in Italy, Spain, and Peru, provided unique time to cook food using local ingredients. They seemed happy to be away from the disaster area, seemed relaxed and enjoyed spending time with other children.
We are going to start preparing for another invitational tour this fall. As Tohoku region becoming leader in reconstruction from disaster, I feel that we will keep trying to invite children from other disaster areaso that the children invited can feel the energy of reconstruction and empower them.
Thank you again for your support. Without it, we would not be able to provide unique learning opportunities as well as interaction to local communities. I hope to grow and continue this great venture so that the community will revitalize through education.
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