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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2013.06.29 09:20

Curry Event at Otsuchi Town Hall (June 28th 2013 at Otsuchi Town Hall in Iwate Prefecture)

On Friday, June 28th, we provided Tomodachi Curry® free of charge at Otsuchi Town Hall in Iwate Prefecture, to support the City Hall staff.

The town of Otsuchi lost 40 of its senior staff including the Mayor Mr. Koki Sato, paralyzing the administrative functions of the town. The long distance from Morioka City further worked against them, as it was difficult for the news of the damages to reach the city. As such, Otsuchi continued to be isolated from the surrounding areas for some time. From August 6th last year, the school building of former Otsuchi Elementary School became the temporary office building of Otsuchi Town Hall. Mayoral election was held on August 28th, and former chief of the Administrative Division Mr. Yutaka Ikarigawa was elected mayor and continues to be till today. However, even now almost half of the current 280 staff is a support staff coming from all over the country.

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We became close with a priest Mr. Takahashi at Kichijyo-ji of the Soto Zen School in Kirikiri, Otsuchi, from the connections of Tahir from our Foundation. His temple was spared from the tsunami as it was high on the hills, and as such, soon after the Earthquake, accepted close to 250 people who were affected by the disaster. When we reported that we were planning to provide Tomodachi Curry® at Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital on June 20th to encourage the staff, we received a request to hold a similar event at the town hall, which resulted in this event. Hearing that there are also temporary housings of police force and fire department in the Town Hall premises, we began to plan the event for a total of around 280 people.

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It is approximately 2.5 hours by car from our base of the Foundation in Senmaya (Ichinoseki City) to the town of Otsuchi, so we left at an early hour of 5 a.m. so that we could start our preparation at the venue from 8 a.m. On the day before, we did our preparations at Minami Exchange Center in Senmaya to minimize the work to be done at the venue. Mr. Keishi Onodera from the Rotary Club in Senmaya kindly provided us 36 kg of poultry, again free of charge. And the JA (Japan Agriculture) in Daito provided us a large amount of tomatoes at a greatly discounted price.

There were some drizzles in the morning on the day of the event, but by the time we arrived in Otsuchi the rain had stopped. Though it was a chilly day for the end of June, it was good enough for the event. As soon as we arrived, we began preparing for the event by starting to set up a large tent between the Town Hall and the fire department building.

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By the time the spicy scent of the curry from the pot started to fill the air, more people came to visit us to see how we were doing. It was the happiest moment when Mayor Ikarigawa himself came to the preparation site and gave us words of thanks. He even gave a tour of the Town Hall for our Representative Director Sata and Tahir, visiting each department holding the curry himself and telling the staff about the curry which was to be served.

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From 12 noon, we started serving Tomodachi Curry® using trays with lid to efficiently serve them in a short period of time. Many of the staff came as a representative of their department, and there was even a case where two people brought back curry for 25 people.

A long line instantly formed in front of the table where we served the curry, so we quickly changed our formation of role-sharing. Until then, we were serving every dish with the lid, but we changed this to ask our guests to take the lids themselves if necessary. This was effective and shortened the waiting time to a large extent, enabling us to finish serving in about 15 minutes.

Whenever we prepare Tomodachi Curry® for the events, we always make sure to prepare more than 1.5 times the expected number of guests so that there wouldn't be anyone left without the curry. This time, we provided 400 servings (including the additional helpings) which far exceeded the scheduled 280 servings.

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We thanked everyone for their strenuous efforts with our curry, and were greatly thanked in return by the mayor and the Town Hall staff, coming from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south. Dr. Iwata, the hospital director of Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital where we held a Tomodachi Curry® event on June 20th, took the time to come to the venue together with the chief of Head Office and other doctors to show appreciation and joined in the luncheon event.

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After the curry event, we visited the temple of the priest Mr. Takahashi who gave us the chance to hold this event, and had the honor of listening to the stories of the situations soon after the Earthquake. We imagine how hard it must have been to take care of 250 people for nearly two months after the Earthquake, just by himself and his wife. We were all humbled by his self-effacing and modest manner, repeating words of appreciation for the event we held.

Mrs. Takahashi, who had sealed off preparing matcha (powdered green tea) after the disaster, greeted us by resuming her matcha. It was a touching moment where we felt that our event had brought about a change in some way.

There is only so much we can do for the people of Otsuchi who suffered extensive damage, but we are determined to continue our activities to support self-reliance of this community.

Categories:Staff reports

2013.06.29 09:20 admin

2013.06.23 09:08

Curry Event (June 20th 2013 at Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital Temporary Clinic in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture)

On Wednesday, June 20th, we provided Tomodachi Curry® at Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital Temporary Clinic free of charge to encourage the staff.

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Otsuchi Hospital (60 beds), a prefectural hospital in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, was completely destroyed by the tsunami which engulfed up to the second floor of a three-floor building. A temporary clinic was built a month and a half later but there is no inpatient facility, and the extent of its capacity is to treat outpatients. There seems to be a plan to rebuild a hospital ward which can house 50 beds including a treatment room and a full testing system, but the completion of the facility is 2015 at the earliest when the breakwaters along the coast is scheduled to be completed.

The plan of rebuilding the hospital ward aside, there also is a problem whether or not sufficient staff could be secured. Even before the Earthquake, there were only three full-time doctors, all in the internal medicine department. The hospital was maintained by accepting part-time doctors from other hospitals for departments such as surgery or ophthalmology. As such, the 66-year-old hospital director, Dr. Chihiro Iwata, continues to work saying "I cannot quit until there is a certain prospect in sight." We prepared and held this curry event to thank Dr. Iwata and his staff for their efforts and also to encourage them. Mr. Masaru Sasaki, the senior manager and chief of Head Office was most helpful in preparing this event.

Rentai Tohoku-Seinan had been holding curry events mainly at temporary housing complexes, and this was our first experience at a clinic. As with the events at the Rikuzentakata City Hall and Hiraizumi Town Hall, our time was limited so we did our preparation the day before, and minimized what we had to do on the day of the event at the venue.

The preparation was done at Senmaya Minami Exchange Center. Since it takes about 2.5 hours by car to get to Otsuchi from Senmaya, where we have our base of the Foundation, we left Senmaya Minami Exchange Center at an early hour of 6 AM and headed toward the Iwate Prefecture Otsuchi Hospital. It had been raining the day before in Otsuchi but cleared up on the day of the event and we were able to start preparing in a fine weather.

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Though the staff were limited this time, everyone worked efficiently and we were able to serve Tomodachi Curry® within the time available. Ms. Lee who had joined us from a few of our previous events was there to help us from the preparation stage, and was very active in her work on the day of the event as well. Mr. Keishi Onodera, the president of the Rotary Club in Senmaya, again was generous to offer 12 kg of poultry free of charge. Mr. Hideo Sato who owns a dairy farm collected fresh milk early in the morning, and provided this milk for the chai free of charge.

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Initially we had planned to provide Tomodachi Curry® to 70-80 people, but the number greatly exceeded to a total of approximately 120 people, with residents from nearby temporary housings and patients joining in to enjoy the dish. We first served Tomodachi Curry® with naan on the usual flat tray we use, and used trays with lids for the residents from the temporary housings which was a little confusing to some, but we were glad when everyone had their own curry.

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After everyone had enjoyed their Tomodachi Curry®, we served chai using fresh milk. By the time we had finished cleaning up and were ready to leave, the hospital director Dr. Iwata kindly said "Thank you for planning such a fun event.", and we all posed for a group photo. Dr. Iwata is a great doctor who supports community healthcare, and it was a moment we felt that he is sincerely admired by the local residents.

Categories:Staff reports

2013.06.23 09:08 admin

2013.06.21 17:21

ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk (June 1st, 2013 in Ichinoseki, and Hiraizumi, Nishi-iwai County, Iwate Prefecture)

On Saturday, June 1st, we organized the ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk for approximately 10 km from the entrance of Konjikido Golden Hall of Chuson-ji in Hiraizumi, Nishi-iwai County, Iwate Prefecture to the Nanohana Plaza in Ichinoseki.

Our Foundation has been active in self-reliance support mainly in temporary housing areas, so it may be rather late but we recently learned that there is a project to invite ILC near Ichinoseki. As we had been feeling that the recovery of Tohoku itself is not enough, we strongly felt that realizing the invitation of ILC will jump-start the process of development in Tohoku beyond its recovery. However, as we became keenly aware that the understanding and the enthusiasm were still lacking among the local residents, we decided to be of assistance even in a small way by organizing a walk to make an appeal.

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On Tuesday, May 21st, our Representative Director, Yasuhiko Sata made a guest appearance on a radio talk show "Asumo Sagozai" in the program "Nanohana Radio" (14:35-15:00) broadcasted in Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture and a part of Hiraizumi by FM Asmo, and explained the objectives and the content of the activities of Rentai Tohoku-Seinan. At the end of the talk, he announced the ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk (approx. 10 km from the entrance of Konjikido Golden Hall of Chuson-ji to Ichinoseki city center) to be held on June 1st and asked the listeners to participate in the event. From this time on, we did all the preparations in the remaining ten days (six actual working days) until the event, from setting the course, applying to the related contacts, making leaflets, and to creating banners.

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The weather was fine on Saturday, June 1st, and it was a perfect day for a walk. At 8:30 AM, the entrance of Konjikido Golden Hall of Chuson-ji was filled with excitement of the participants. Our Representative Director and a few others prayed at Konjikido before the walk for the safety of the participants and the realization of ILC construction.

The Representative Director spoke to the participants before the walk which was followed by a group photo shoot, and then we set off at 9AM.

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Banners used for the Walk from the third from the left to right:
  • Let's aim for the self-reliance of Tohoku with ILC
  • ILC, we welcome you! There will be dreams and hopes in Tohoku
  • Make Tohoku attractive for the children! ILC will lead into the future
  • ILC will jump-start Tohoku's development
  • ILC, we welcome you! New nation building of Tohoku with science
  • Let's make Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki area a pure land of love and science

We made two English banners and six Japanese banners, a total of eight different kinds of banners, and each participant proceeded with the walk step by step with hopes for the realization. We often took breaks and took water to avoid any sickness from the heat.

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One of the participants, Mr. Isao Aoki owns a factory at the remaining 5 km point, and it was provided as the first resting point.

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Going through the last shopping district, we safely reached our goal. There were approximately 70 participants at the start, and about 35 of us completed the walk. Every participant was filled with a sense of accomplishment, and it was a moment when we were all united toward the realizing ILC invitation.

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It was an unavoidable fact that the ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk was not well prepared due to the lack of time as there were only ten days from the announcement of the Walk to the actual event, but it would be an honor if it heightened the interest among the local residents. As we understand that the ILC candidate site will be chosen by the scientists in early July, we are considering holding the second ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk by the end of June to make it our last appeal.

The event was reported in the Iwate Nichi-Nichi Shimbun.

Article in the Iwate Nichi-Nichi Shimbun dated June 2nd, 2013

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ILC? - Q&A

The following is an easy-to-read explanation of the ILC in Q&A format inserted in the event leaflet.

Q:What is the "ILC (International Linear Collider)"?
A:It's an experiment facility attracting great attention from researchers around the world.
It's a linear accelerator about 30-50 km in length, and it enables collision experiments of electrons and positrons with the highest energy attainable today. The aim is to gain insight into the mystery of the origin of the universe, the mystery of time and space, and the mystery of mass by creating a high-energy reaction closely resembling that of early universe. It's said to be one of the "three major projects of human kind in the 21st century", along with the International Space Station and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. ILC will be an enormous facility in size as well as in significance, and will become the science and technology base in the future.
ILC Project website: http://aaa-sentan.org/ILC/

Q:What happens when the ILC is constructed here?
A:Economic effect of multi-trillion yen, increase in population and internationalization of the area can be expected.
In addition to the constructions of ILC and related facilities, we can also expect development in the industries aimed at researchers, resulting in a multi-trillion yen economic effect. The area is sure to become the mecca for the researchers as it becomes the research center with researchers in the most advanced technology flowing in from around the world. The entire area is expected to become internationalized with the increase of opportunities to communicate with people from various countries on a daily basis, and the population may reach 300,000 with the addition of new employees and researchers' families.

Q:Why is the area around Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture a candidate site?
A:First and foremost, it is because of the hard and stable bedrock which is probably the only one in Japan and unparalleled in the world.
ILC has a linear shape and is approximately 30-50 km in length, meaning that it requires a candidate construction site to be an expansive bedrock area. The Kitakami Mountains in Tohoku is very well suited for the purpose since it was created by the magma coming from deep within the earth to create granite, which uplifted the terrain to form mountains with extremely hard bedrock. There is no active fault in the area, another good reason to install the ILC.

Q:In addition to the construction of ILC, there seems to be many ways to utilize this hard bedrock.
A:Exactly!
Strong bedrock without an active fault should be worth consideration to a great extent as a relocation site of metropolitan functions. Considering that New York, London, and Hong Kong are built on hard bedrocks, it should also be an advantage in constructing tall buildings. For example, as in Fort Knox, U.S.A. where they utilize hard bedrock for the Bullion Depository, we may construct a huge shelter in this area for a possible Tokai earthquake. Another option may be to build an airport above this hard bedrock, giving a significant difference in the access level in the coastal area. Let's keep our hopes high for a big dream!

Categories:Staff reports

2013.06.21 17:21 admin

2013.05.22 15:53

Curry Event at Hiraizumi Town Hall (May 21st, 2013 Hiraizumi Town Hall, Nishi-iwai County, Iwate Prefecture)

On Tuesday, May 21st, we provided Tomodachi Curry® at Hiraizumi Town Hall in Nishi-iwai County, Iwate Prefecture free of charge to encourage the staff.

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Mr. Sugawara, the mayor of Hiraizumi, started supporting Rikuzentakata soon after the earthquake in cooperation with the cities Ichinoseki and Fujisawa by setting up a joint support headquarters and providing vehicles, large quantities of water and food, manpower, and accepting evacuees. He was very supportive of our cause for the activities when we provided the curry to the staff at Rikuzentakata City Hall in April, and helped us at the venue from before noon in between his official duties.

In addition to the support activities in the coastal area after the earthquake, the staff at Hiraizumi Town Hall went through a lot and put great effort toward the World Heritage registration of Chuson-ji. With our relationship with Mayor Sugawara going back to the early days of our activities, we decided to provide Tomodachi Curry® free of charge to the mayor and all his staff to show our appreciation.

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After finishing the curry event in Kesennuma in the afternoon the day before, we did our preparation at Minami Exchange Center to minimize the work to be done at the venue. Ms. Lee, who used to manage a restaurant in Roppongi joined us from Tokyo and helped us, and thanks to her efficient assistance we were able to finish the preparation in a relatively short period of time.

As with the staff at Kesennuma Social Welfare Council, it was good to know that the everyone at the Town Hall were also looking forward to the event. They greeted us with a big tent so that we could hold the event even in rain, and also with a lot of chairs and tables so that everyone could eat together.

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We began our preparation as soon as we arrived at the venue, and by the time we started adding the spices, the Town Hall staff came one after another to see how we were doing, intrigued by the smell of the spice. Some of them even lent us a hand with the cooking and was a great help. In fact, the mayor Mr. Sugawara also came to see us a few times and was checking the process of the preparation.

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Mr. Isao Aoki, the president of Yugen Kaisha Aoki Shoji, lent us a professional-use teppan-yaki frying griddle for baking naan to speed up the preparation. As with the day before, Mr. Aoki himself brought the griddle and helped us prepare them. In addition, Mr. Baba also came with his staff to help us, so the preparation went smoothly. Mr. Baba is the president of Baba Shoten Kabushiki Kaisha and is the tenant in the factory owned by Mr. Aoki.

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From 12 noon, we started serving the curry on everyone's plates. In addition to the usual members from Senmaya and Fujisawa, Father Takahashi from Mizusawa Church also joined us in serving the curry. The weather was nice and warm, and everyone had a good time having a good talk and enjoying the curry under the tent. The curry this time was for adults so we made it spicier than usual, and it was very well received. It seems someone even had three servings.

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As the event was held in Hiraizumi Town Hall, the priests from the nearby Chuson-ji and Motsu-ji also joined us and enjoyed Tomodachi Curry®.

After dinner, we served chai made using fresh milk, provided by a dairy farmer in Senmaya. The event usually ends here, but this time, Ms. Lee who joined us from Tokyo proposed to serve one of the Korean dishes, Chijimi (Korean pancake), to the staff and others who helped us. It was meant to be what we call a "makanai", a meal just for the kitchen staff. However, as Ms. Lee came from Korea, her Chijimi was so professionally made everyone loved it, so we made them to go as snacks for the staff at the Town Hall.

After the curry event at Hiraizumi Town Hall, our Representative Director, Yasuhiko Sata appeared as a guest on a radio talk show "Asumo Sagozai" in the program "Nanohana Radio" (14:35-15:00) broadcasted in Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture and a part of Hiraizumi by FM Asmo. At the end of the talk, Sata announced the ILC (International Linear Collider) Invitation Support Walk (approx. 10 km from the entrance of Konjikido Golden Hall of Chuson-ji to Ichinoseki city center) to be held on June 1st and asked the listeners to participate in the event.

The event was reported in the Iwate Nichi-Nichi Shimbun.

Article in the Iwate Nichi-Nichi Shimbun dated May 23rd, 2013

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Categories:Staff reports

2013.05.22 15:53 admin

2013.05.21 09:24

Curry Event at Kesennuma Social Welfare Council (May 20th, 2013 Kesennuma Social Welfare Council, Miyagi Prefecture)

On Monday, May 20th, we provided Tomodachi Curry® at Kesennuma Social Welfare Council of Miyagi Prefecture free of charge to encourage the staff and volunteers.

Our Foundation has been cooperating with Kesennuma Social Welfare Council since we began our activities, and we have lent out three four-wheel-drive cars soon after the earthquake as a means of transport for the volunteers to go to the affected areas. We have also been exchanging information on temporary housing areas where the communication among the residents has become less active, trying to determine where to hold the curry events. Many of the staff and volunteers at the Council are themselves victims of the disaster, but are working hard toward recovery. We prepared and held this curry event to thank them for their efforts and also to encourage them.

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This will be the third time to provide Tomodachi Curry® at a public institution following the event at Rikuzentakata City Hall held last month in April. We were glad to know that everyone at Kesennuma Social Welfare Council looked forward to the event. They greeted us and even prepared a big tent so that we could hold the event even in rain.

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As always, we made preparations the day before to minimize the work at the venue. It was done with the kind help from the local residents at Senmaya at Minami Exchange Center, also in Senmaya, where we are kindly provided with the use of the facility every time. As Mr. Onodera, the president of the Rotary Club in Senmaya, could not participate in the event, he generously offered 20 kg of poultry free of charge. In addition, Mr. Sato who owns a dairy farm provided fresh milk, also free of charge. On the day of the event, the curry was prepared and was ready in time with the assistance from the volunteer staff.

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Ms. Lee joined us from Tokyo and helped us prepare from the day before as she understood and agreed with our cause for these activities. She has been interested in volunteering, and has also joined the activities providing food in Sanya, Tokyo. It was impressive to see her work efficiently, as she used to manage a restaurant in Roppongi.

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Mr. Isao Aoki, the president of Yugen Kaisha Aoki Shoji, lent us a professional-use teppan-yaki frying griddle for baking naan to speed up the preparation. This time, Mr. Aoki himself brought the griddle and helped us prepare them.

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Everyone enjoyed the curry under the tent, chatting, and had a good time. They also liked the chai very much, which we prepared as an after-dinner drink using the fresh milk provided by Mr. Sato. Some of them even had refills. What we can do may be small, but we hope to cooperate with Kesennuma Social Welfare Council so that their support activities could operate smoothly.

Categories:Staff reports

2013.05.21 09:24 admin

Information

RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN Support activities
Reports of our activities

Latest articles

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