Report on Volunteer Activity in Ogatsu-cho , Ishinomaki City

On October 28-29th 2011, I went to Ishinomaki City which was seriously
damaged by earthquake on March 11th.
It has been arranged by NPO called "Last Onemile Project".
In Ogatsu-cho I cleaned rubble and sludge , they are caused by Tsunami
and typhoon on September.

Before I actually joined the work, I wasn't so willing to go to affected area,
to be honest. I thought I can't work well and rather make trouble to the local people,
because I am not used to such works.
However, I felt that it is necessary to visit the affected area and
know how terrible the situation is.
On 3.11, I was in Tokyo and stayed whole the day in the building where my place of work was located.
I didn't realized the Tsunami well (as if it had been a fiction)
so I needed to make sure what a terrible disaster happened and what we lost
by the earthquake.

As main activity, I cleaned the rubble and sludge at a plant of
marine product, such as scallop(Hotate)or oyster.
Using scoop and shovel, I cleand the sludge that accumulates
on the tank and trenches.
Secondly I picked up a lot of shells scatterd around the plant.

Although there was originally two-storey building, Everything was
swallowed by the tsunami of 20 meters and only part of the foundation remained.
I got very scared when I saw an broken utility pole lying like a toothpick.
According to the manager of the plant, there were 25,000 scallops but all
of them were lost by Tsunami.
Sale price is 600 JPN per one on Tsukiji market , so the total lost was about
12 million JPN. It has gone all lost in one day.

The plant was run by family of the president and his son strongly hopes
that they start business again.
He has been steadily cleaning the rubble.
I got very sad when I imagined how painful the life engaged in their hometown
was lost in a moment.

Through the activity I realized that the power of one is essential no matter how small it is.
We all can contribute to the revival, our new future.
Our goal, for us Japanese people the road to revival was so far.
But it can not be accomplished without cleaning rubble and sludge one by one.

We Japanese will never give up.