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10/04/2012

A festival serves as a steppingstone to rebuild community spirit; the summer festival of Kaduma area

Sultry days of summer are ending and Ishinomaki is finally getting cool. Between August and September, each of the neighborhood associations in Minato-kaduma area of Ishinomaki city held their summer festival.

【On August 18, a festival to celebrate the renovation of Kaduma-nishi park(popular name: Panda Park)】
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The park in this photo had been banned to use, because there had been no prospect for renovation of the playground equipments that had been left damaged in the park since the disaster.
However, there are quite a few public apartments in the area with many children in Kaduma area and so people in the area had been calling for the early resumption of the park. The community association president for the public apartments, Mr. Tsuchiya, made necessary adjustments with local government and volunteers who offered to supply playground equipments about the resumption of the park on behalf of people in the area, finally renovating the park.

【Many children gather.】
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As a basketball court was also set up at the back of the park, the park is always lively with cheerful voices of not only nursery school toddlers, but high school students.

【On September 2, being blessed with fine weather, "Ganbatsucha(Stick to it, Kaduma)" takes place at Kaduma-higashi park.】
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This year again, "Ganbatsucha (Stick to it, Kaduma)" was held at Kaduma-higashi park. This park has also been renovated and now many children are seen to play with new playground equipments.

【Children play with new playground equipments】
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【Many people gather to enjoy a live entertainment on stage.】
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【On September 30, a festival "Dai Ochako Nomi(Big tea party)" takes place hosted by the third neighborhood association of Kaduma.】
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On September 30, the third neighborhood association of Kaduma hosted a tea party festival titled "Dai Ochako Nomi(Big tea party)". The venue for the festival was a new assembly house and its square built this June. Neighborhood association officials' really wanted to make the festival exciting and their enthusiasm for the festival came through loud and clear.

【Volunteers outside the prefecture help in mochi(rice cake) pounding.】
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【Last year's venue was the parking lot of a damaged large scale bookstore】
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One of the festival participants said with deep emotion, "It's been eighteen months since ...."

【A fisherman from Kitsunezaki in the Oshika Peninsula opens a fish stand】
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This year, there appeared even a fish shop that you can put fishes into a bag as many as you can. Residents were extremely excited to be able to buy as many fishes as they want at a bargain price 500 yen a bag. A fisherman who opened up the shop said, "While I live in Ishinomaki, I have had few occasions for joining festivals of nearby communities in Ishinomaki. But I will value the relationship of this kind in the days ahead." We introduced three festivals of this year as above; each of them was held in a friendly and laughing atmosphere. It seems that people beginning to have room to breathe little by little. However, one of the festival participants said "It was not until fixing damaged house of mine that I could make up my mind to return to my home town."
He said that at first he didn't know what to do by himself but finally he made up his mind in the course of the conversation with people in the same community because the conversation taught him what was going on around him. The road to recovery varies between members in the community. But I believe when community members respect and cooperate with each other, they can give the entire community momentum to take the initiative in addressing the recovery of the region as a whole. That's why when community members work together on a festival, it can promote dialogue and cooperation among them and rebuild community spirit. I paused to realize that the effort to work on something really is where produces value.

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October 4, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |