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First Festival in Three Years Takes Place: Jizoko Festival at Kadonowakicho

On August 24, Jizo-ko festival was held at Kadonowakicho town, Ishinomaki city for the first time in three years which is to praise Jizo (small stone statues venerated as the guardian deity of local residents) for Jizo's good deeds. Some sixty residents in total including ex-residents currently living in temporary housing within the city assembled in the festival. After they raised Jizo left fallen since the disaster and held a Buddhist service to re-consecrate them, they prayed for those killed by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

【Local residents stood Jizo back the way they were two and half years ago.】
The priest who hosted the Buddhist service gave a lecture saying "While we were able to hold this service today for the first time in three years, [given these circumstances,] I think it's unavoidable to alter the way we hold this service. Let's continuously develop our new practice together."
Currently 23 families including families whose houses were well out of being destroyed by the tsunami live in the town. On the same day, JEN donated Manekinoie House, a meeting place adaptable to other uses, to Maneki Community, a residents' association set up mainly by current residents after the disaster.

【The donation of Maneki House.】

Maneki House is a facility where residents can have meeting or visiting volunteers can take a rest. It was immediately used to host a get-together on that day of donation. The name Maneki, meaning "invite people" as well as named after Maneki house that used to stand at the mouth of the Kitakami River so that it might guide Sengokubune sailing ships (large sailing ship with capacity for 1,000 koku of rice) across the river mouth when they sail into port, was chosen to "invite many more residents to come back to the town."
(Ishinomaki developed as a trading port from old times. But the change of ocean flow was so erratic at the mouth of the Kitakami River that sailing ships had difficulties to sail across the area. And so Maneki house was said to play a great role in piloting junks.)

【At the daytime get-together was performed a reconstruction dance which is prevalent among temporary housing.】


【Volunteers from Aoyama Gakuin University sweated at preparing for the festival.】


Now a national project for town re-demarcation is going on. But it is expected that it will take years of period for residents to be able to build new houses after the completion of the project. Community reconstruction requires many more time. Mr. Eiichi Honma, the head of community, said to us "I admit that I'm scared of tsunami, but at the same time I believe this place here is a wonderful land blessed with good natural environment and culture. And so I'd like to continue enhancing the atmosphere of our community so that many more residents may be able to return to their home town. Although we walk as slow as a snail, we are determined to move ahead step by step in hope. I'm going to hold events in every season using Maneki House."

===For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card: http://www.jen-npo.org/en/contribute/credit.php?country=s-thk&select1=0#now

Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact Tomita or Asakawa in JEN Tokyo Office at 03-5225-9352

☆Radio Talk Show "Sukidatsucha ❤ Ishonomaki by JEN" Broadcast every Friday noon at 12:30. You can listen on the internet via Simul Radio anywhere in the world! Click here to listen(
Well-received, the talk show will be rebroadcasted every Sunday morning at 9:30 from August. The appeal of Ishinomaki, Ishinomakians' determination to reconstruction will go out. Don't miss it.

August 29, 2013 in Tohoku earthquake |