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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2016.07.10 14:15

Play with Kids Event (7/9 2016 at Rikuzentakata City, Iwate)

On Saturday July 9th, 2016, we hosted an event for children at Otomo Town, Rikuzentakata City, Iwate. Mr. Yuichi Murakami, a resident of Otomo Town, helped us make arrangements for the event, from planning, finding both the venue and the boat, and food preparation. Mr. Murakami has been a great supporter to our activities since the establishment of our Foundation.

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Although our initial plan was to have a barbecue at the harbor, due to incessant rain which continued from early morning, we were forced to change our venue and set up a makeshift rain hood under the eaves of a building. There was another mishap and we discovered that some of the barbecue tools including charcoal plates were left behind when we packed. Luckily, someone found a few pieces of galvanized sheets to use as substitutes of the missing charcoal plates.

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Some women got together to prepare food indoors and the Foundation's members who were outdoor-savvy built a fire outside. The preparation went smoothly and we waited for the arrival of the invited children.

The event was originally planned to provide children living at an institution with an opportunity to experience fishery. Although there were some obstacles to materialize our plan, Mr. Kinno, who were sympathetic to our idea, took the trouble to convey our thoughts to the institution and convinced the management. At ten o'clock, 19 children and 6 staff members from the institution arrived at Otomo Harbour and the event started.

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Kids were all excited seeing ocean-fresh scallops landed from Mr. Murakami's fishing boat, Tenryu Maru. The volunteer members watching them were also full of expectation-- perhaps we could eat some barbecued scallops?

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Ignoring the adults who were contemplating only about food, the children divided into two groups. One group went for fishing and the other got on the boat. The Foundation member who loved fishing as a hobby put baits on hooks for children. He was probably more enjoying himself than anyone else.

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As the capacity of the boat was limited for safety reasons, it was dozen or so children who enjoyed the 40-minute cruise. During the cruise, Mr. Murakami, the captain, skilfully disassembled sea squirts, washed them with seawater and let the children taste some marine delicacy. On land, Mr. Murakami was a gentle, fatherly figure who smiled all the time but once getting on the boat, he transformed into a cool man of the sea with a stern look. The children who got on the boat enjoyed the cruise greatly and exchanged high-fives with Mr. Sata, the board chairman of the Foundation, as they left the boat.

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The excited children, dragging exhausted Taher, walked the short distance from the harbor to the barbecue site where they discovered scallops, oysters and meat all ready for barbecue. (The great amount of scallops they saw at the harbor all arrived for barbecue.)

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The staff member who cooked pan-fried noodles was also an outdoor enthusiast and he looked far happier than his usual self clad in a business suit. Mr. Sugawara, the former mayor of Hiraizumi Town happily barbecued scallops and oysters for everyone. He always joined us with his wife and the couple is now a popular fixture of our events.

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It was two teachers from Hanaizumi Junior High School who grilled meat. They have been helping us at several Tomodachi Curry® events since they met Taher when he had a lecture at the school. Taher and the teachers are now good friends and three of them drove together to and from the venue.

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The barbecue site was filled with hot, delicious smell and the children could no longer stay still. They squealed for joy when they saw hair crabs brought in.

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Kids loved barbecued meat and seafood, and almost forgot about the existence of Taher because he was not cooking his usual curry this time. However, as if he was determined to win back people's attention to himself, he started to grill his wife's specialty spicy chicken. It was the chicken Mrs. Taher marinated overnight in her authentic spicy sauce. Half of the chicken was less spicy so that children could enjoy also. The rest was seasoned with more spices and peppers to suite adults' taste buds. Our volunteer staff members quickly devoured the delicious meat.

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When the meal was over, Mr. Murakami, who had been anxiously watching over the barbecue site to see if everyone was happy, looked relaxed. Mr. and Mrs. Sugawara grilled oysters up till the end.

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When it came to a summer barbecue, we could not miss our traditional watermelon splitting game. Everyone tried to hit the watermelon in turn from the youngest to the oldest but it was not as easy as expected. The high school student who tried at the end managed to split the fruit at last. For many of us, it was the first game of watermelon splitting in a very long while. We enjoyed it thoroughly no matter the age.

Following the game of watermelon splitting, the children who were enthralled by fishing in the morning asked if they could also get on the boat. As the rain stopped, the second round cruise was pleasant under the cloudy sky. Some of the kids were lucky enough to get on the boat twice. All of them were ever so excited and yelped with delight. They pumped their fists together at the end of the cruise with wonderful smile.

Although our means are limited, Rentai Tohoku Seinan is going to continue various activities with growing number of local supporters to help those suffered by the earthquake in Tohoku become self-reliant once again.

Categories:Staff reports

2016.07.10 14:15 admin

2016.04.25 14:03

Joining Meal Services (4/23-24, 2016 at Mashiki Town, Kumamoto)

On April 14th and 16th, 2016, central Kumamoto was struck by two consecutive powerful earthquakes of magnitude 7.3. Humanity First Japan, a volunteer group organized by the Ahmadiya Muslim Community Japan based in Nagoya, was immediately dispatched and arrived in Mashiki Town, Kumamoto to undertake relief activities on April 17th. Mashiki Town was one of the most severely damaged areas in quake-struck Kumamoto by the two major earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or higher. Japan has never seen an earthquake which involves two consecutive quakes of that magnitude since 1949 when magnitude 7.0 was first introduced to the Japan Meteorological Agency magnitude scale.

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On April 20th, more HFJ rescue teams were dispatched by both the AMCJ Nagoya Headquarters and Tokyo Office and they arrived in Mashiki Town with food for 5000 people. As Syed Tahir who works for our Foundation had been closely cooperating with Humanity First Japan in Tohoku, he joined them in the evening on April 22nd to help their meal services.

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The rescue team was based in the Mashiki Town Hall and cooked curry and served hot meals to many evacuees sheltering at nearby evacuation centers. Although they could serve bean curry only immediately after their arrival in the wrecked town, luckily, they found and purchased 36 kilograms of chicken at a supermarket and were able to serve chicken curry on the 23rd and 24th, which coincided with the weekend, to cheer up the evacuees a little.

As the number of volunteers of Humanity First Japan was limited, they worked hard in rotation. Fortunately, some sophomores from nearby universities volunteered to help, they were able to serve curry in time for lunch.

After April 25th, fresh volunteers started to pour in from all over Japan and as their number was increasing, the Humanity First Japan teams went back to Nagoya. Seyed Taher also left Kumamoto.

Click the link below to see the movie by the Ahmadiya Muslim Community Japan.

For more information about the Ahmadiya Muslim Community Japan, click the link below.

Click the pictuer below to see a movie of the relief activity in Mashiki Town.

Categories:Staff reports

2016.04.25 14:03 admin

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


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


RENTAI TOHOKU-SEINAN Support activities
Reports of our activities

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