一般財団法人 連帯 東北・西南 RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN

一般財団法人 連帯 東北・西南 RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN

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2018.02.19 16:25

The 7th Symposium on Self-Supporting Efforts

On March 11th 2018 or the 7th anniversary of the earthquake, we are going to host a symposium to commemorate the calamity. During the first session of the symposium, disaster victims will talk about the tremendous efforts to rebuild their lives in honor of the theme: "Thank You from Tohoku". Following the speeches, we will have a panel discussion about how Tohoku is connected to the world and how it has been saved by love from around the world.

To sign up for the symposium, please fill in the form and fax it to us.

<Download an application form>

Categories:Staff reports

2018.02.19 16:25 admin

2017.12.24 08:36

Dinner Meeting (12/23, 2017 at Senmaya International Club, Senmaya, Iwate)

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The Rentai Tohoku hosted a dinner party with about 30 guests at Senmaya International Club where the foundation is based, inviting some local people in Senmaya area. In addition to the guests from Senmaya, we welcomed Mr. and Mrs. Yonezawa from Rikuzentakata City, Mr. Bill Lewis from Oshu City, and Mr. Sugawara from Hiraizumi Town. Seeing their faces, we felt as if we were a one big family.

Whenever we have a dinner party at the club, Mr. and Mrs. Hatakeyama prepare Sukiyaki hotpot for the occasion. However, they missed the event this time as Mr. Hatakeyama suddenly fell ill and was hospitalized. We were extremely worried about his health. To our great relief, however, Mr. Hatakeyama recovered quickly and was soon discharged from hospital. We were very pleased to hear that he was able to enjoy New Year holiday with his family at home. All of us at the foundation wish him good health.

At the party, each guest made a speech and we listened to their honest opinions. We were able to exchange love among people in Tohoku, Japan and the rest of the world. The board chairman, who travels around the world, is particularly openhearted when he speaks about his thoughts and love for Tohoku and the world.

Mr. Yuichi Yonezawa, the managing director of Yonezawa Shokai in Rikuzentakata, had had a shop selling wrapping materials until the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11th 2011. Now he continues his business at a temporary shop. After the earthquake, he first evacuated to the rooftop of a three-story reinforced concrete building. However, the tsunami reached to the rooftop and he had to climb the chimney to escape the raising water. Sadly, his parents and younger brother who tried to evacuate elsewhere lost their lives.

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Although the city requested Mr. Yonezawa to sell both the building and the land, he declined the request as it is the place where he narrowly survived the tsunami. He wanted to keep the building to remind the future generation of the horror of the tsunami.

As there is a plan to construct the new train station of Rikuzentakata near Mr. Yonezawa's building, the city heaped up earth in the neighbouring area along the railway track to make the land 8 meters higher than the original level. Luckily, his building is located outside the construction area and is going to be conserved for the moment.

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Mr. Yonezawa put a sign indicating the tsunami water level on the chimney he climbed at the time of the earthquake. It represents his wish to keep the memory of the tsunami fresh and save lives next time the disaster hits the town. As a miraculous survivor, he is determined to live his life to the fullest, never regret and always keep his promises with others.

Many visit the building and Mr. Yonezawa spends a lot of time to guide them around. The board chairman has a plan to put a statue of Mr. Yonezawa on the chimney with the sign of the tsunami water level. It will show that the water reached 1 inch below Mr. Yonezawa while he was clinging onto the chimney. We believe he survived for a reason and admire what he has been doing since then.

We take his wish seriously and are going to work hard to carry out the plan to place the statue.

We are now preparing for an event in February, the coldest time in winter, for people who still live in temporary houses in Sanriku area. Also, we are hosting the 7th Anniversary Memorial Symposium at Mita Campus, Keio University on March 11th, 2018. The theme of the symposium is "Thank You from Tohoku!"

We hope that many will join us from various places with the spirit of love and peace.

Categories:Staff reports

2017.12.24 08:36 admin

2017.12.24 08:24

Christmas Event (12/23, 2017 at Taiyo Gakuen Children's Home, Ofunato, Iwate)

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We were first introduced to the children at Taiyo Gakuen when we had one of our Tomodachi Curry® events on September 26th, 2015 at the children's home. After the event, we managed to host two marine events for them with generous cooperation from Mr.Murakami, a local fisherman who lives in Otomo Town, Rikuzentakata. Thanks to him, the children could enjoy short cruises on his large fishing boat.

This time, we visited Taiyo Gakuen to bring Christmas gifts for the children. Our board chairman was dressed up as Santa Clause and delivered various gifts.

Although only a small number of children were at the children's home, they had prepared curry and invited us for lunch. We had a great time together.

About forty children aged from two to eighteen live in the home separated from their parents. The building has seven flats with smart kitchens and a small group of children live together in each flat. We visited some of the flats and surprised the kids with Christmas gifts.

There are a great number of children's institutions like Taiyo Gakuen in Japan and approximately 35,000 children live there. It is heart breaking that the number of children who are living in difficult circumstances without being admitted to such institutions are more than 10 times that of those who are admitted.

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We met two brothers who live in Taiyo Gakuen together, away from their parents. The brothers seemed happy and carefree. They asked if they could try on the costume of Santa Clause after lunch. Mr. Sata took off the costume and let the boys to dress each other. They were extremely pleased.


After we left the children's home, we visited Mr. Yuichi Murakami, a fisherman in Otomo Town, Rikuzentakata. Mr. Murakami has been a great sympathizer of our activities and helped us in many ways. As we mentioned, he has invited Taiyo Gakuen's children to cruise around the bay on his boat twice, donated fresh seafood for barbecue, offered his boat for the memorial ceremony on the sea and more. He is truly the kindest, most generous man we ever met. When we visited him, he told us that he was ready to help us host yet another event and was looking forward to inviting children to his boat once the weather became warmer and the sea calm in May. We are truly grateful for Mr. Murakami and his family's generosity.

Categories:Staff reports

2017.12.24 08:24 admin

2017.07.02 18:36

Meeting at Senmaya International Club(7/1 2017 in Ichinoseki, Iwate)

At seven in the evening on July 1, 2017, we had a meeting on the theme of "True Happiness in the Future", inviting our local supporters.

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Dr. Hiroyuki Iwamoto, a neurologist who runs a clinic in Senmaya, led the discussion with Seyed Taher of Rentai Tohoku Seinan as the facilitator.

Despite the ambiguous theme, we are grateful for free-spoken comments from the attendees and all the trouble Dr. Iwamoto took to encourage exchange of opinions. Those who attended the meeting for the first time might have been shocked by our board director's direct comment. However, hopefully, his good intentions were understood and taken as a statement from his compassion and sympathy toward Senmaya.

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During the after party we were able to exchange various opinions in the relaxed atmosphere. We hope that the people in Senmaya and Iwate are going to be self-reliant and make a true recovery from the calamity.

Categories:Staff reports

2017.07.02 18:36 admin

2017.07.02 18:32

Kids Event (7/1 2017 in Rikuzentakata, Iwate)

On Saturday July 1st , 2017, we hosted an event for children who were staying in a children's home in Otomo Town, Rikuzentakata City, Iwate. Like last year, Mr. Yuichi Murakami, a fisherman of Otomo Town, helped us make preparation for the event, from planning, arrangements of both the venue and the boat, food procurement and so on.

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Although we had a lot of trouble because of the rain last year, the weather this year was great and all the preparation works went smoothly at the barbecue site. There was no missing charcoal plate this time. All the appliances for barbecue safely arrived.

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The first event was held last year to offer an opportunity for children who lived in a local children's home to experience the fun of fishing. Mr. Murakami, who did everything to make it happen last year, was very enthusiastic about this year's event. At ten o'clock in the morning, fifteen children aged from three to eighteen led by six staff members from the children's home arrived at Otomo Harbour and the event started.

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Everyone squealed with delight to see ocean-fresh octopuses, scallops and sea squirts landed from Mr. Murakami's fishing boat, Tenyo Maru. The biggest attraction of all was a huge octopus weighing 25kg. Not only the children but also the adults including the children's home's staff all happily exclaimed.

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As we had heard that the children had been looking forward to fishing, our fishing-savvy staff members brought along some rigs with them. The tools turned out to be wonderfully useful. This year, the kids were able to catch a lot more fish than last year thanks to those special instruments, and were so completely absorbed that they even almost forgot lunch. (When they caught small fish, the fishermen told the children to release them back to the sea for sustainability.)

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While the children had great fun catching fish, some local fishermen and the foundation staff were working to fix lunch.

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We had three barbecue tables ready this time so that we could grill meat, vegetables and seafood separately on each table. Mr. Murakami skilfully made scallop sashimi, looking particularly an authentic man of sea.

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The barbecue site was soon filled with mouth-watering flavour and the lunch started at last. Little children sat on the ground and ate minding their manners.

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After the meal, a young woman volunteered to sing popular songs from anime shows to entertain children. Although they were sitting quietly and simply listening to songs at first, as they felt relaxed, everyone stood up and got perky. We are very grateful for the singer's wonderful hospitality.

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At the end of the perfect day, what awaited the children was the bay cruise on Mr. Murakami's boat which they had been so looking forward to. As the capacity of the boat was limited, the children split into two groups and enjoyed the 20-minute cruise. Some kids held on to the must at the bow and pretended to be fishermen hunting for fish.

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Although our contributions are small in scale, Rentai Tohoku and Seinan is going to continue various activities with help from our local supporters in order to encourage those who suffered from the earthquake in Tohoku to become self-reliant.

Categories:Staff reports

2017.07.02 18:32 admin


Staff reports

Field-based staff blog

Latest articles

  • The 7th Symposium on Self-Supporting Efforts
  • Dinner Meeting (12/23, 2017 at Senmaya International Club, Senmaya, Iwate)
  • Christmas Event (12/23, 2017 at Taiyo Gakuen Children's Home, Ofunato, Iwate)
  • Meeting at Senmaya International Club(7/1 2017 in Ichinoseki, Iwate)
  • Kids Event (7/1 2017 in Rikuzentakata, Iwate)
  • Symposium on Self-Supporting Efforts: Toward the Light (3/11 2017 at Ichinoseki City, Iwate)
  • Memorial Service (3/11 2017 at the former site of Okawa Primary School, Ishinomaki, Miyagi)
  • Curry Event(12/18 2016 at Sandanbashiri Kohoku Temporary Housing Estate, Ishinomaki, Miyagi)
  • Play with Kids Event (7/9 2016 at Rikuzentakata City, Iwate)
  • Joining Meal Services (4/23-24, 2016 at Mashiki Town, Kumamoto)