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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2016.03.12 14:02

Great Eastern Japan Earthquake Memorial Service on the sea (3/11 2016 at Otomo Town, Rikuzentakata City)

On March 11, 2016 (Fri), the fifth anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, we held a memorial service for the victims of the earthquake on the sea near Otomo town, Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture. Mr. Yuichi Murakami offered meticulous support to the event, from planning, the arrangement of both the venue and the boat for the ceremony, and even food preparation for the after-party "Naorai". We would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Murakami and Mr. Teruo Toba, the chairperson of the neighbourhood association, for their generous help.

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Before the memorial service, as usual, we cooked "Tomodachi curry" for lunch under the instruction of Taher. At 9 o'clock, our team was warmly welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Murakami and Mr. Toba. After the quick exchange of greetings, we started preparation of the meal.

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Following the opening speech by Yasuhiko Sata, Board Chairperson of the Foundation, Mr. Yugi Iinuma, who is a Sendai based local historian made a speech as a special guest. Mr. Iinuma is known for his books and articles which reveal historical facts suggesting that the Sendai Plain has been hit by 12 tsunamis with a period of 180-220 years during the past 2000 years. Although he had issued warnings more than a few times about the government's insufficient disaster-prevention measures, his alerts had been completely ignored until the occurrence of 311. Mr. Iinuma continues to sound the alarm about tsunami which will inevitably hit the Japanese coast line sometime in the future.

His valuable advice was followed by a speech by Mr. Toba, the chairman of the neighbourhood association, and finally, "Tomodachi curry" was served.

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Although there was a limited time before the memorial service, thanks to the sunny and warm weather, tables on the terrace started to fill up quickly. The tables outside appeared to be more popular than the tables inside the building and everyone enjoyed their meals even for the short time. 18 kg of chicken was generously donated by Mr Keishi Onodera (former chairman of the local Rotary Club) and 20 litres of fresh milk was, as ever, kindly offered by Mr. Nobuaki Sudo from Senmaya to make spiced tea.

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The lunch was followed by the prayers for the repose of the souls of the disaster victims, led by religious representatives. A series of prayers started from Mr Ritsu Sato, chief priest of Kumano Shrine. The chief priest, the board chairman, Mr. Toba and representatives of the townspeople offered prayers individually, followed by the collective prayer by the entire attendees.

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Master Eigo Takahashi, abbot of Kokuseki-ji temple read a sutra, and finally, Sayed Taher from the Foundation, read the Quran and beautifully chanted Adhan toward the sea as a representative of Muslims. Thus, the prayers for the tsunami victims were offered beyond religious or national borders.

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After the ceremony, the party moved to the port and a small group of people got on Tenyo-maru, a fishing boat owned by Mr. Yuichi Murakami. For safety reasons, only a limited number of people including Mr. Sato, the chief priest of Kumano shrine, took the boat.

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On the boat, at a sign from the captain of the boat, the group threw flowers in the sea in remembrance of the dead and paused for a moment of silence.

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Those who stayed behind at the port waited till 14:46, the instant of the quake, and observed a moment of silence with Master Fujinami.

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After the memorial ceremony on the sea, the participants joined a traditional party called "Naorai" and enjoyed home cooked food and local delicacies of the sea.

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Mr. and Mrs. Yasuo Yosikawa from SWTJ (SOLIDARITY WITH TOHOKU, JAPAN) based in Shiga Prefecture joined the event and brought a variety of delicious western food for the party.

A story of the event appeared in Iwate Nippo with some photographs.

Iwate Nippo dated 3/12, 2016

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Categories:Staff reports

2016.03.12 14:02 admin

2016.01.24 10:12

Curry Event (01/23 2016 at Kaisei Temporary Housing Complexes, Ishimonaki, Miyagi)

On January 23rd (Sat), we organised the first "Tomodachi Curry®" event in 2016 at Nikkori Sunpark Temporary Housing Complex in Jusanhama Village, Kitakami, Ishinomaki, Miyagi and had a great time with the residents.

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We held "Tomodachi Curry®" event at Nikkori Sunpark in April 2015 and this was our second visit.

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From early in the morning, we did the preparation in the meeting room of the Complex with help from residents of the building. As it was the second time round, guests came to help us without feeling shy and everyone enjoyed the cooking.

We prepared naan bread instead of rice to serve with curry and the spiced tea we made after meal was greatly enjoyed by everyone. As ever, 20 litres of fresh milk to make tea was generously donated by Mr Nobuaki Sudo from Senmaya, Ichinoseki.

One of the residents sang some songs playing guitar after the meal and we truly had a good time. The movie of the event can be watched from the link.

Categories:Staff reports

2016.01.24 10:12 admin

2015.09.17 21:34

Meal Service at Joso City Community Center (9/16 2015 in Joso City, Ibaraki)

On Thursday September 10, 2015, the levees of Kinugawa River collapsed due to heavy rain, causing devastating floods in the area alongside the river. On September 16th and 17th, Rentai Tohoku and Seinan provided free meals (Tomodachi Curry) to evacuees who were forced out from their homes to stay at the Joso City Community Center.

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From our experience at shelters in Tohoku immediately after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, we could easily imagine the confused and chaotic state in the disaster-stricken area. At the direction of the board chairman, Taher of the foundation drove to Joso City with required equipment and foodstuff. First he visited the city hall and discovered that the city community center was functioning as the shelter as well as the distribution station of relief goods. He headed for the center and immediately got on with the relief work.

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The community center is called by its nickname "Toyota Castle" by local people. Apparently, the Toyota clan, a branch of the Heike clan descended from Emperor Kanmu, used to control the surrounding lands and it was said that they built a castle called "Toyota Castle" on the Kokaigawa River in the east part of their territory. The nickname was taken from this castle.

The new Toyota Castle was opened in 1992, complete with a 1,100 capacity hall, a library and an exhibition room aimed to introduce the history of Ishige.

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We were allowed to use the platform which functioned as the receiving dock for relief goods. We made fire outside the building to cook curry but prepared ingredients in the sitting area for volunteers. Some of the volunteers kindly helped us chopping vegetables. We made fire outside the building to cook curry but prepared ingredients in the sitting area for volunteers. Some of the volunteers kindly helped us chopping vegetables.

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On the first day, we made thorough arrangements with the staff from the city hall and the foundation's staff members did all the hard work once the pot was put on fire.

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On the second day, as none of the foundation staff could join the meal service, local women volunteered to cook and serve curry. Ms. Hasegawa from Moriya City, who helped us on both days, became the leader of the volunteer group and made sure that the cooking went smoothly.

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Tomodachi curry® was ready just in time for lunch and was first served to evacuees at the evacuation center. After that, the meal was served to fire fighters and volunteers who were working at the shelter. Initially, we planned to serve bread delivered as relief food to accompany curry. However, when we were cooking it, an elderly man came to us and asked if it was possible to have some warm cooked rice. Apparently, the evacuees had had nothing but cold rice balls and bread for the past few days.

We turned to some local volunteers for help. Despite such a short notice, they happily complied with our request and brought some cooked rice. People at the shelter were overjoyed when they saw steaming hot rice. As the following day was cold and wet, the volunteers prepared a lot of rice to keep the evacuees warm. They seemed to enjoy the hot meal greatly.

In Tohoku, Rentai Tohoku and Seinan has been active to promote and encourage communication among those who suffered from the earthquake and are forced to live in temporary houses. This time in Ibaraki, though, as we provided hot meals to evacuees, we felt as if we returned to our starting line as a disaster relief organization.

We regret that there were no tables or chairs available at the shelter to serve meals properly. However, we were happy to see people enjoying our Tomodachi curry® and felt proud that we could make our little contribution to cheer up people who were exhausted under unaccustomed circumstances.

We wish the best of health and happiness to the people who we met at the evacuation centre at Joso City Community Centre.

Categories:Staff reports

2015.09.17 21:34 admin

2015.07.12 10:06

Curry Event (7/12 2015 at Shimowano Housing Complex, Rikuzentakata, Iwate)

On July 12th, we cooked and served "Tomodachi Curry®" and spent some wonderful time with the residents of Simowano Housing Complex, Rikuzentakata, Iwate. 84 households live at the complex.

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We had a group of residents help us prepare the ingredients early in the morning. As usual, with the purpose to break the ice among the participants by friendly conversation during preparation, Mr and Mrs Sugawara, who are our constant supporters, encouraged the residents to join in. Mothers and some young daughters seemed to have fun chopping and pealing vegetables together just like in a cooking class.

Once lighting the cooker, our staff members and some junior high school teachers who came to give us a hand took charge of the pot.

We put a large table and chairs in the parking lot so that everyone could join the meal. It was a pleasant surprise that Dr Ishiki, former director of Rikuzentakata Hospital, popped in the party. He is living in a temporary house nearby. Dr Ishiki explained that turmeric in curry was good to reduce the risk of dementia and his mini lecture on the spice attracted everyone's attention. The doctor became even more popular than Tahir, who is usually the centre of attention at curry parties.

Categories:Staff reports

2015.07.12 10:06 admin

2015.07.11 10:01

Meeting at Senmaya International Club (7/11 2015 Ichinoseki, Iwate)

We were devastated realising the fact that on top of a number of orphans due to the Earthquake, there are so many lonely children who are victims of domestic violence. We find it appalling that such tragedies still exist in a developed, wealthy country like Japan. To explore a way to remedy the situation, we held a meeting with local people to exchange opinions.

Nine guest participants joined us Rentai Tohoku staff at the meeting, including Mr and Mrs Hatakeyama, Mr Atsushi Sekiguchi (Uniadex Co., Ltd. His mother is a Pakistani.), Ms Yuka Shimizu, Master Daigo Fujinami (Buddhist monk), Ms Masae Kimura (Junior high school teacher), Mr Akiyoshi Kosaka (Junior high school teacher), Ms Etsuko Nitta (Junior high school teacher) and Kentaro Koyama(Junior high school teacher).

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Current situation of Children's Nursing Homes in Japan

Currently, there are 599 children's nursing homes in Japan (59 in Tokyo, 38 in Osaka, 6 in Iwate) and 30,000 children are living there. Age distribution of the children is as follows: 0-3 years (n=1,406), 4-6 years (n=4,082), 7-9 years (n=5,005), 10-12 years (n=5,961), 13-15 years (n=6,852) and 16-18 years (n=4,888). The number of reports of child abuse cases is growing from 1,101 in 1990 to 17,725 in 2000, 56,000 in 2010 and even as many as 73,765 in 2015.

We discussed the situations and problems which may lead to domestic violence and the possible solutions. The lack of communication was the most critical issue pointed out by many of the participants. In order to keep up with the fast-paced society, people cannot afford to care about or communicate with others, eventually falling into the individualism. As a result, the weakest in society, children in this case, often become victims of abuse.

Though it is difficult to transform the current social structure altogether, we found it meaningful to share with the participants our concern about domestic violence. We hope that our attempts will make a small difference in the future.

Categories:Staff reports

2015.07.11 10:01 admin

Information

RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN Support activities
Reports of our activities

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)