Thursday, October 17, 2013

Oct 12/13 SWTJ Exposition and Event in Higashi-Hiroshima

SWTJ takes part in the
Higashi-Hiroshima Sake-Matsuri Event!
October 12/13 2013

SWTJ's Hiroshima Branch has taken the lead this time to invite our branch leaders from Tohoku, Rikuzentakata, to take part in the yearly SWTJ Higashi-Hiroshima autumn event. 
Thank you, Hiroshima team!!

A photo exhibition was held, and the SWTJ newsletter "Obi" was distributed to a large number of the many visitors who each year visit the famous eastern Hiroshima rice wine festival. 

Branch leader Mr. Kanazawa and family, and fisherman Murakami and his wife from Rikuzentakata all came to support us and to bring us the newest information on the state of reconstruction in Tohoku, which still struggles to bring some kind of normalcy to the life of the many people who lost kin, house, job and their livelyhood during the tsunami of March 2011. 

Fisherman and SWTJ member Murakami, who every day sails out to high sea off the Iwate prefecture coast to catch mainly octopus, brought some of the finest of his catch to sell for the benefit of SWTJ activities, and to let Hiroshima's people try some of Tohoku's very best produce!

SWTJ had two locations in the festival where SWTJ goods were sold, and where information was handed out to passers-by.

Mr. Kanazawa and his daughter Mie, and Mr. and Mrs. Murakami have always been wonderful in letting SWTJ in Kansai know about the latest needs of their people. Having themselves barely escaped the tsunami and lost their homes, and having been leaders in kasetsu temporary housing units, they keep in touch with many of those most in need. 

"The most difficult time is still to come," says Murakami, "all those who have some kinds of means or who are strong have moved away from temporary housing. Gradually, the local government needs to clean up the temporary housing sites (which sometimes sit on school playgrounds or the like), and some of those who still live there are told again and again to move to a different location because some sites are now cleaned up to make space for the original purpose of the place. Many of those who still live in makeshift housing have no hope for the future, and are isolated, not able to make new friends again and again. There is a need to make something happen for these people, to organize things they can look forward too. Kids have moved from school to school, and still have a hard time to concentrate. Teachers are doing their best to try to bring some rhythm into their unsettled lives. There is a great need to organize events for people in makeshift housing- especially in the small makeshift units, where hardly anyone comes anymore, and to support the children. And we may not forget the people of Fukushima. With the additional load of the nuclear catastrophe, they need our utmost support. "

Thank you, Rikuzentakata leaders, for coming all the way, and for your wonderful participation and good advice!

"We won't forget, we will continue!"