Gouta (right) with a Fellow
Before 3.11, Gouta Matsumura, the president of ISHINOMAKI 2.0, used to support communities in the coastal city of Ishinomaki. The earthquakes and tsunami on March 11th severely affected his office, which was situated nearby a river, causing flooding on the ground floor and demolition of nearly the half of the building. In the beginning of the disaster recovery, he was working hard to clean mud and rubles. Gradually, more and more people, including volunteer staff from less affected regions, also joined the cleaning.
This was how ISHINOMAKI 2.0 started as an established organization that aims to involve both the locals and volunteers in community re-building in Ishinomaki. Declaring a mission of making Ishinomaki a city of openness and creativity, the organization has actively developed a variety of activities, such as publishing free magazines, organizing events, providing spaces for community activities, broadcasting radio programs, and running an affordable accommodation. Two staff members newly joined the organization in April, 2013, and since then, they have contributed to accelerating the organizational development.
Gouta hopes that, towards 2017, ISHINOMAKI 2.0 will catalyze more bottom-up initiatives for the town of Ishinomaki, which will hopefully boost communication between the locals and non-locals within the community.