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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2014.10.25 13:44

Breakfast Gathering (10/25 2014 at Former Senmaya Junior High School Emergency Temporary Housing Complex, Ichinoseki, Iwate)

On October 24th (Fri), 2014, we organised the 4th Symposium on Self-Supporting Efforts with Ms. Mieko Osanai as a guest speaker. Taking advantage of the opportunity to meet the famous scriptwriter in person, we also held a breakfast gathering for people currently living at Former Senmaya Junior High School Emergency Temporary Housing Complex on the following day (October 25th, Sat).

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Though our volunteer activities are based in Senmaya district, Ichinoseki, we had never had a chance to organise an event at this Emergency Temporary Housing Complex so far. This time, however, we gained an acquaintance with Ms. Yuri Nagasawa, president of Senmaya Community Revitalisation Confederation, and with her kind cooperation, we were able to make one happen.

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We served sandwiches and fruits for breakfast which Sakaiya Confectionary and Konkin Glossary shops of the local Senmaya shopping street kindly offered at specially reduced prices for the gathering. They sympathised with our efforts and helped us cheer those who are living at temporary houses. We are grateful for their co-operation.

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Due to limitations of time on the part of Ms. Osanai, the breakfast gathering was rather short. However, many participants came to the venue earlier than the planned opening time and appeared to enjoy conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. We were pleased to have a lovely time and great conversation with everyone.

Though the Housing Complex is in Senmaya, it belongs to Kesennuma-City, Miyagi and the residents are also from Kesennuma. According to the participants, there are other temporary housings in the area where people from Kesennuma are living. However, personal exchanges seem to be non-existent.

Therefore, hoping to help them a little boost their self-support efforts, we are now planning "Tomodachi Curry®" event on December 6th, to offer an opportunity for the residents of these temporary housings to interact with each other.

We wish the best of health and luck for the people at Former Senmaya Junior High School Emergency Temporary Housing Complexes.

Categories:Staff reports

2014.10.25 13:44 admin

2014.10.25 05:41

The 4th Symposium on Self-Supporting Efforts "My Thoughts on the Great East Japan Earthquake" (10/24 2014 at Senmaya International Club, Ichinoseki, Miyagi)

We held the 4th Symposium on Self-Supporting Efforts with Ms Mieko Osanai as a main speaker at Senmaya International Club.

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Prominent scriptwriter, Ms Osanai was born in Tsurumi district in Yokohama, Kanagawa. Her debut is "The Leftover Happiness", one of the episodes of NHK TV drama series "TV Reserved Seat" broadcasted on February 2, 1962. Her later drama series including "San-nen B-gumi Kimpachi Sensei (Mr Kimpachi of Class B, Year 3)" and "Gosan (Miscalculation)" Series ("Oya to Ko no Gosan (Family Miscalculation)", "Hubo no Gosan (Parents' Miscalculation)" etc.) are based on her philosophy on education and child raising and, eventually made her a well-known figure in the educational circle. It was interesting for us audience to know the story of "Kimpachi Sensei" was not fictional but based on her own experiences. In fact, she made her thoughts and opinions voiced by the protagonist, Mr Kimpachi.

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n August 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait causing the outbreak of the Gulf War, Ms Osanai and other 6 volunteers went to Jordan and helped with the relief efforts at a refugee camp. This led them to form JIRAC (Japan International Relief Action Committee). During the speech, she went into detail about her experiences in Kurdish refugee relief at the border of Iran and Iraq in 1991, and support activities she joined with university students for Cambodian repatriated refugees at the border of Cambodia and Thailand from 1992 to 1993.

After the relief efforts in Cambodia were completed, Ms Osanai realised the need for building schools for children, and established "the School Building Committee for Cambodian Children" as a part of JIRAC on September 15th, 1993. The committee was reorganised as a membership-based organisation and renamed to "JHP School Building Committee" in April 1997. The number of schools they built has reached as many as 317.

However, she questioned the meaning of only constructing school buildings, and attempted to provide general educational programmes. Unfortunately, the attempt was denied by the Cambodian government except her involvement in music and art education. As part of her efforts, she sends musical instruments such as melodicas and treadle organs to Cambodia, fosters musical teachers and hosts musical contests. Also she assists art teachers to develop their skills, organises touring exhibitions and provides educational materials for art classes.

She also dispatches young Japanese volunteers including university students to Cambodia with an aim to promote global civic education. Those who participated in the project will learn some wisdom of living which they may not have a chance to encounter while studying in Japan, such as woodworking. Through accomplishing hard work together, young people will be able to acquire true friendship and she strongly enhances the importance of such activities. One of the students who experienced the volunteer work decided to become a journalist after graduation and is now a photographer at NHK. Another has quitted NHK and joined BBC. These people are now role models for student volunteers. She emphasised that the volunteer activities with students also enable her to learn a lot of things and create a large social circle.

● Through the Symposium

"This is the first time for me to visit Senmaya, but feel oddly familiar as the landscape of the area somehow resembles that of Cambodia", said Ms Osanai at the beginning of the Symposium. She, whose zodiac sign is the horse, felt a sense of affinity with people in Senmaya, a town known for the folk story that the famous medieval worrier, Minamoto Yoshitsune's horse, Tayuguro, was born in the area.

At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Ms Osanai and other volunteer members who worked with her in Cambodia rushed over to Tohoku with 1,000 packets of pot noodles donated by an actor, Mr Tsunehiko Watase, who was then in Kyoto.

The board chairperson, Mr Yasuhiko Sata, made a speech paying respect to her tremendous efforts for the past 25 years to collect a huge amount of funds to construct numerous schools. Her projects received empathy from many people and the donation reached some 2 billion yen in total. Though Rentai Tohoku Seinan has been providing assistance to the victims' self-supporting efforts, Mr Sata also expressed his wish to contribute to the revitalisation of depopulated villages in Tohoku region. He mischievously suggested Ms Osanai to write a drama set in Senmaya to cheer up the townsfolks.

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At the dinner party after the Symposium, the participants were free to talk with the guest speaker and enjoyed the rare moment. Ms Osanai emphasised that young people should not be stuck in the room studying only but connect with people through volunteer activities. "By such experiences, they will be able to mature as a person", said the scriptwriter.

Categories:Staff reports

2014.10.25 05:41 admin

2014.10.13 05:28

Tomodachi Curry® Event (10/12 2014 in Tokuda district, Fujisawa-cho, Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture)

On October 12th(Sun), we served "Tomodachi Curry®" at the harvest festival held at "Fureai Kizuna Suiden Gambatta(Rice Paddies Gambatta for Strong Community Bonding)" and shared the delightful time in harvesting our own food together

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Council houses for employment-boosting in Tokuda district are now used as temporary houses for those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in Kesennuma and Minamisanriku. In June this year, the residents in these temporary houses and local people got together and planted the Gambatta rice paddies and here came the time to gather crops. This year is the 4th year for locals and evacuees to harvest rice together.

Introduced by Mr Hiroshi Senda, the chairperson of the Fujisawa-Town Neighbourhood Community Association, we provided Tomodachi Curry® at the harvest festival last year as well. This year, we were requested to serve curry for about 100 people. It was very generous of the event organiser to provide us chicken and vegetables for the curry.

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At the event site, thanks to the people of Fujisawa Town who helped us making curry, the meals were ready nice and quick. The pot keeper was Mr Masayoshi Sugawara, the former town mayor of Hiraizumi Town, who came all the way from Hiraizumi with his wife to give us a hand.

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After finishing the harvest, about 100 people gathered at the event site and started to have lunch. Apart from our Tomodachi Curry®, many local people brought home-prepared food and we all had a great time.

This was the second time for us to join the festival. Before the meal, we were given an opportunity to introduce our activities as Rentai Tohoku Seinan. Hopefully we could let people know more about what activities we are being engaged in the disaster affected areas, especially why we serve Tomodachi Curry®. Through this event, we hope that we were able to help strengthening friendship between disaster victims and local people in some way.

Categories:Staff reports

2014.10.13 05:28 admin

2014.08.25 05:16

Tomodachi Curry® Event (8/24 2014 at Kaisei Temporary Housing Complexes, Ishimonaki, Miyagi)

On August 24th(Sun), we had an opportunity to serve Tomodachi Curry® and spend great time with the residents of Kaisei Temporary Housing Complexes, Ishinomaki, Miyagi.

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Kaisei Complexes are one of the largest temporary housing complexes in Ishinomaki, where 1,000 households, i.e. 2,455 people are living. Through kind mediation of Mr Hiroaki Endo, the chairperson of the residents' association of the 9th, 10th and 13th Complexes, we were given this opportunity to hold the event for 206 households living in these complexes.

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The event site was the open space in front of the 13th Complex. Though it was very hot and humid, the sky was clear and great for working outdoors.

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From early in the morning, all the preparation was done in the meeting room of the Complex where the event was held. We also asked residents of the building to come and help. Our aim was to boost the mood among the residents through friendly conversation during the preparation. As usual, Mr Mitsuru Hatakeyama, the director of Okago Christian Martyrdom Museum, came all the way from Okago to help.

We did not serve our usual naan bread this time but cooked rice together with the residents to create the atmosphere of collaboration. As ever, 20 litres of milk for the spiced tea to be served with Tomodachi curry® was kindly donated by Mr Nobuaki Sudo from Senmaya, Ichinoseki. Also 16kg of chicken was offered for free by Mr Keishi Onodera of the Rotary Club of Iwate Senmaya. We are truly grateful for their generous supports extended to us every time we have an event.

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After starting cooking, it was a battle against the summer heat. A young and muscular staff member of our foundation was in charge of the curry pot.

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Tomodachi Curry® was ready just before the lunch time. The participants received a plate of rice and queued up for two kinds of curry. Mr Sarath Dayananda from New Zealand, who served rice on a plate for everyone, was a supporter of our foundation and came from Kunitachi, Tokyo for this event. And it was Mr Ikuo Takeyama, the president of the Committee for the establishment of the Memorial Monument for Kamaya District, who put curry on rice. He lost his daughter, wife and mother all at the same time in Okawa district and is now living at a temporary house in Ishinomaki.

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In the comfortable meeting room which was large enough and equipped with an air-conditioner, we enjoyed food and conversation. Especially children gobbled Tomodachi Curry® as if they had a wolf in their bellies.

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We enjoyed every moment with people living at Kaisei Temporary Housing Complexes from preparation early in the morning to clearing up after meal. Through our Tomodachi Curry®, we continue to interact with those who are forced to live in temporary houses. "Fighting back against their current plight in life, I hope these children will grow up to work not only for the devastated Tohoku and Japan but also for the entire world", said the board chairperson, Mr Yasuhiko Sata. In response to the request, we are going to hold another Tomodachi Curry® event at the 12th Housing Complex of Kaisei Temporary Housing Complexes on October 26th (Sun).

Lastly, we wish the best of health and happiness for people at Kaisei Temporary Housing Complexes.


2014.08.25 05:16 admin

2014.06.24 22:21

Tomodachi Curry® Event(6/22 2014 at Shizu River Shizen-no-Ie Temporary Housing Complex in Minamisanrikucho, Minami-Motoyoshi County, Miyagi Prefecture)

On Sunday, June 22nd, we provided Tomodachi Curry® at Shizu River Shizen-no-Ie Temporary Housing Complex in Minamisanrikucho, Minami-Motoyoshi County, Miyagi Prefecture and had a chance to communicate with the residents.

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We held the event at this temporary housing complex through our relationship with Mr. Takahiro Inomata, the Executive Director of Minamisanriku Town Council of Social Welfare, who had given a lecture at the Symposium of Self-supporting Reconstruction held in Tokyo on March 11th, 2014. We tried to realize his hopes, who mentioned that "the road to recovery is yet to be seen in Minamisanrikucho. The awareness on the affected areas will steadily weaken as the memories of the disaster fade away throughout Japan", and that he wishes "the realities and the current situations of these affected areas be understood by as many people as possible and would like to request continuous support."

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We asked the residents to help us in the meeting room of the temporary housing complex where we used as the venue of the event, starting with the preparation first thing in the morning. Our purpose was to have friendly chats starting from the preparation stage. Several elementary school girls helped us cut the vegetables and uplifted the atmosphere in the room, and we were happy to see that people were able to chat with our staff as well.

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Mr. Hideo Sato, the dairy farmer (Senmaya) who had supported us since we began our activities and provided us with milk for the chai to serve with Tomodachi Curry®, unfortunately has recently withdrawn from the dairy business. As such, Mr. Nobuo Sudo, our new acquaintance, provided us with 20 L of fresh milk free of charge.

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Our staff continued to give instructions and explanations on the procedures after the ingredients in the pan were on the stove, and asked the residents to assist us. However, this is the time where the children gets bored, having have to wait. For this event, our Representative Director brought lots of firecrackers and balloons, and played with the children. In addition, the children asked to play tag and the game began with some of our staff joining in the fun. We leave it to you to guess who won.

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Tomodachi Curry® was finally ready before noon, but since the meeting room was not big enough, we asked to have a big tent outside and had the residents enjoy the meal with lots of conversation in an outdoor-activity environment. Thankfully the light rain we had during preparation had stopped by then and we had a good time, but unfortunately we could not find a place where many people could come and sit together.

Some benches were set in the corridor outside the housing complex near where we had our tent, and some people who could not find a space in the tent enjoyed the meal sitting on these benches.

Mr. Ikuo Takeyama, the Representative of Kamaya Memorial Building Committee, and Mr. Mitsuru Hatakeyama, the Director of Okago Christian Resource Center, who had given lectures at the Symposium held on March 11th joined us in the event. Dr. Shun Yonekawa of Yonekawa Clinic, whom our Foundation staff Tahir is close to, came from Nagoya to join us as well.

Mr. Onodera, the President of Nikko Fine Mecc Co., Ltd. in Senmaya provided us with blueberries harvested at his private residence. The blueberries went very well with Tomodachi Curry® and everyone loved this as dessert.

We held this event after hearing Mr. Inomata's words that "the road to recovery is yet to be seen in Minamisanrikucho", and we feel for the hardships the residents of the temporary housing complex must be going through.

We sincerely wish the best for the residents at Shizen-no-Ie Temporary Housing Complex.

Categories:Staff reports

2014.06.24 22:21 admin


RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN Support activities
Reports of our activities

Latest articles

  • Violin Solo Concert Tour "Hope to meet again"-until the day of meeting (5/18-22, 2018)
  • The 7th Symposium on Self-Supporting Efforts "Thank You from Tohoku!" (3/11, 2018, Mita Campus, Keio University)
  • 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)