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08/30/2012

Summer community festival of Oomori housing estate in Ishinomaki takes place.

Oomori housing estate for disaster victims is situated in Futamata district about fifteen minutes by car toward north from the center of the city of Ishinomaki, which district is abundant in natural environment surrounded by mountains and rice paddies, and a total of 450 families of 867 people are living there as of August 1, 2012. It consists of four residential areas, among which the residents of the third and the fourth one got their residents' associations started respectively. It was in late July, exactly one month ago, when we got calls from Mr. Abe and Mr. Utsumi who were the heads of those associations. They said they were seeking to hold a summer community festival of Oomori housing estate on August 25.

They told me that they hand in hand with their residents hope to make a community festival success with the help of volunteers, organizations who are involved in this housing estate including JEN. JEN's community support group in charge of community outreach replied to them that we are happy to cooperate with them. Thus the festival plan was discussed and decided on August 14 in the second meeting and has led some organizations including JEN to cooperate with the residents' associations in opening their food or toy stalls in the festival. JEN' stall offered shaved ice--usually served with flavored simple syrup--and yo-yo fishing--yo-yo fishing is a Japanese festival game of fishing balloons(with loops attached), floating in water, out with a hook. On the day, it was sunny since morning with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees and clouded with many people throughout the day.

【Photo 1: the special stage set up for the festival of Oomori housing estate】
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【Photo 2: JEN's stall offers shaved ice.】
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【Photo 3: JEN's stall offers yo-yo fishing】
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A lot of entertainments were included in the festival; "Fureai concert"--a concert for promoting spiritual exchange--featured a "shovel-shamisen" --playing music with a shovel and a bottle opener as if it were a shamisenn, a three-stringed Japanese instrument--playing by a world champion; a performance of "Shishi-Furi"--a local dance with a lion's mask in the area of Tonami; a watermelon splitting contest; a karaoke singing competition. In the evening, people greatly enjoyed Bon dancing.

【Photo 4: Bon Dance】
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The summer festival organized by residents including heads of residents' associations showcased a pleasant time of a short summer in the northern provinces of Japan.
Let's turn their collective efforts into a positive force to take one step forward.

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August 30, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |