Otsuchi, Return of a Perilous Beauty

 No1-2016-03Otsuchi

A March 2015 view of the progress of the incremental landfill operations in centrol Otsuchi that began in 2013 after debris-clearing. To the left is the district of Ando, with its fishing jetty protruding into the harbor; across the Kozuchi River to the right is Nobematsu, now connected by a temporary span that replaced the original bridge and its six-meter high floodgates.
A tsunami-battered town tries to get back on its feet: struggle, conflict, bureaucracy and, yes, hope.

 

by Charles Pomeroy

Not all has gone smoothly in the town of Otsuchi as it struggles to recover from the tsunami devastation wreaked upon it five years ago. (See my story, “The Perilous Beauty of Otsuchi,” in the April, 2011 edition of No. 1 Shimbun.) For starters, the loss of its mayor, Koki Kato, together with key department heads and the more than 30 experienced staff that made up a quarter of the town’s civil servants meant that there was no one to immediately get to work on a master plan for recovery. It wasn’t until January 2012 that a draft was finally completed, under a new mayor, Yutaka Ikarigawa.

Mayor Ikarigawa was faced with a number of tough issues, from organizing housing for survivors to sorting out land problems for the dead and missing. And over the next several years some progress was made, including a partial revival of the fisheries industry and construction of new residences to replace the temporary structures housing survivors.

But two key projects in the master plan led to discontent, as the long-range view of those who had forged the plan clashed with the more immediate desires of the survivors. One was a plan to raise the ground level in central Otsuchi by 2.5 meters; the other, to build a huge seawall 14.5 meters high.

After months of uncertainty, many displaced townspeople could not wait another six years and departed for other locales.

The plan to raise the ground level, intended as a safeguard against smaller tsunami and future rises in the sea level, will bring it up to the level of the entry road from National Highway 45 and the new town offices, formerly the burned-out elementary school. It is a six-year project, started in 2012 with debris clearing, followed by incremental landfill scheduled through 2016, and finally ending with a year of waiting for it all to settle before rebuilding can begin in 2018. But after months of uncertainty following the tsunami, many displaced townspeople could not wait another six years and departed for other locales.

THE PLAN TO BUILD the huge seawall – favored by Tokyo bureaucrats, but with the responsibility in the hands of the prefecture – has yet to get underway. Strong doubts have been expressed about its usefulness in protecting the town against future, perhaps even larger, tsunami. Critics also say that any concrete structure of this kind will deteriorate and require replacement in 50 years, which will mean another huge outlay of tax money. They prefer an enhanced system of tsunami alerts and evacuation routes, which are already included in the master plan for central Otsuchi.

In particular, opposition was voiced by the fisheries folk in Akahama, which is also home to Tokyo University’s International Coastal Research Center (ICRC). Akahama also has a walkway to Horaijima, an islet known to most Japanese from a popular 1960s NHK puppet program Hyokkori Hyotan-jima that featured a popular theme song. Many of its residents were lost in the 2011 tsunami, opponents said, because the earlier seawall at 6.5 meters had blocked their view of the “drawback” – receding water from the harbor that preceded the onslaught – that would have alerted them to seek higher ground. In their opinion, a seawall 14.5 meters high would just make such future situations even worse.

Opponents had their point made for them with the release in April, 2015, of a documentary by director Haruko Konishi, titled Akahama Rock’n Roll. The film makes a strong case for the more traditional fishery environment rather than a high seawall. Even Akie Abe, the prime minister’s wife, expressed sympathy for the opponents’ cause at a UN Disaster Prevention Conference in Sendai last year, according to newspaper reports.

After losing almost 10 percent of its 15,239 citizens to the tsunami (one of the largest losses among the affected towns), Otsuchi’s population continues to drop. In fact, it had fallen by 23.2 percent by the end of 2015, according to a report in Asahi Shimbun. This is far and away the largest decrease among the coastal communities affected by the tsunami, with the next highest being Rikuzentakata at 15.2 percent. The reasons were various. Some former residents who had evacuated to inland towns just opted not to return to the gutted community. But the biggest hit came from the post-tsunami exodus of younger people looking for work or schooling elsewhere.
Today, Otsuchi has become a town occupied mostly by retirees and transient workers.

Aside from cleanup and landfill work and rebuilding, long-term jobs that can help persuade locals to stay are in short supply to this day. Although the partially recovered fishery industry continues to offer opportunities, these jobs seem to offer little appeal for the younger generation. And though MAST – Otsuchi’s major shopping center that attracted many residents of surrounding communities – reopened in December 2011, its consumer base began eroding after 2013 as a result of increasing competition from shopping centers in nearby towns, especially the Aeon shopping center in nearby Kamaishi.

Driving home the reality of a shrinking population was the merger of three elementary schools in April 2013. Today, Otsuchi has become a town occupied mostly by retirees and transient workers.

TO ENCOURAGE REBUILDING IN Otsuchi, government subsidies totaling ¥5 million are on offer to qualifying families. But no rebuilding can take place in the town center until 2018, and those who want to build in other areas face escalating construction costs. That is assuming, of course, that a construction company can be found, for even local governments are having difficulty in obtaining bids for their projects. Costs have been rising not only from demand in the stricken areas of Sanriku, but also from the general upgrading of the national infrastructure by the Abe administration, a situation further aggravated by the decision to hold the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

These developments have fed growing cynicism among survivors all along the Sanriku coast. Many sense they are being abandoned, or at least having their futures downgraded in favor of other government projects. These feelings have only increased following the decision to hold the Olympics. And when the central government recently announced an end to the intensive five-year phase of Tohoku reconstruction and a reduction in such funds for the next five-year phase from fiscal 2016, this only added to their pessimism.

Despite these negatives, one of our family members, a brother-in-law in his mid-60s who spent most of his adult life in Tokyo, returned to Otsuchi after retiring in 2015. He now works part time to supplement his retirement income while looking for new opportunities in his hometown. So far he has found none.

Many sense they are being abandoned, or at least having their futures downgraded in favor of other government projects.

Still, all is not lost, and perhaps the long-range planning of Ikarigawa’s experts, representing central and prefectural governments as well as academia and knowledgeable locals, will see a new dawning in Otsuchi. But he won’t be in a position to lead it. Difficulties with his master plan’s implementation eventually led to his defeat in the August 2015 election. His victorious opponent, Kozo Hirano, ran on a platform calling for a review of the planned reconstruction projects.

In addition to the slow but ongoing recovery of the fisheries, positive signs include the revival of the old railway line by Sanriku Railways in 2021 and the completion of the new Sanriku coastal expressway in 2022. Both will make Otsuchi more accessible for commerce and tourism as well as much easier to live in, especially for students who had pleaded for a return of the railway to enable commuting to schools in other towns. This should also increase the town’s attraction for families with school-age children.

OUR HOME WAS AMONG the 3,359 in Otsuchi destroyed by the tsunami. My wife Atsuko and I plan to begin rebuilding in 2018 on our small parcel of land at the southern edge of the central district, which will allow us to continue our retirement that began there in 2004. It will again put us within a five-minute walk of the family gravesite at Dainenji, and give us easy access to that mountain’s scenic hiking trail.

Sadly, we will no longer be joined on these hikes by our favorite companion, Atsuko’s elder sister, Noriko, who had lived nearby. She and her husband, Yuji, were both lost to the tsunami. Her remains were not identified until August of 2011 and his were never found. The addition of her ashes to the family gravesite has made our visits for the annual Obon Buddhist observances even more poignant.

Half of our neighbors were also lost to the tsunami and, apparently, none among the surviving families will return. So we will start afresh with new neighbors, but bedrock support from Atsuko’s brother and other relatives as well as friends dating back to her childhood.

No1-2016-03Pommag
The author’s feature on Otsuchi in the April 2011 earthquake special.

And with any luck, some of our favorite local shops will restart their businesses. In particular, I would like to see the reappearance of Akabu Sakaya, which made it a point to keep my favorite gin and vermouth in stock. ❶

Charles Pomeroy retired from journalism 12 years ago. He is the author of Tsunami Reflections—Otsuchi Remembered.

http://www.fccj.or.jp/number-1-shimbun/item/757-return-of-a-perilous-beauty.html

Kinder in Tohoku, fast 5 Jahre nach dem Tsunami

Wie geht es den Kindern in den zerstörten Gebieten? Haben sie die Erinnerungen an den Tsunami und den Verlust von nahe stehenden Verwandten und Freunden verarbeitet? Wie verläuft der Alltag in den vorübergehenden Gebäuden der Ersatzschule und das Leben im Container. Es gibt keinen Platz, in Ruhe Schularbeiten zu machen.

【東北の子ども達へ、あなたができること】
津波で家を流され、学ぶ場を失った子ども達が、被災地には残されています。
東北の子ども達のために、一人ひとりができること、考えてみませんか?

被災地負担、反対相次ぐ 復興相、首長らと会談 復興予算

2015年4月12日05時00分

 東日本大震災復興予算をめぐり、竹下亘復興相は11日、被災した岩手県市町村長らと会談した。2016年度以降は被災地側の一部負担を検討する考えを伝えたが、自治体側からは反対意見が相次いだ。復興相は近く宮城、福島両県も訪れるが、復興予算の枠組みが固まる6月までせめぎ合いが続きそうだ。

岩手県釜石市ログイン前の続きで開かれた会合には、竹下復興相や小泉進次郎復興政務官らが出席し、被災地からは野田武則・釜石市長ら13市町村の首長らが参加した。

冒頭、竹下復興相は「復興の基幹事業は引き続き国費で対応していく」とあいさつ。その後、約2時間の会談は非公開だった。終了後、野田市長は「(国から)一部地方負担を検討しなければならないという発言もあった」と明らかにした。復興予算を国が全額負担する集中復興期間を今年度で終え、16年度以降は復興予算の枠組みを見直す考えを示されたという。

岩手県幹部によると、竹下復興相は「復興に使うお金は、国民からいただいた税金ということをおさえていただかなければ」と語ったという。

被災地側は、復興予算の地元負担に反対する姿勢を示した。大槌町の大水敏弘副町長は「市町村ごとに被害と復興の度合いが違う。資材や作業員の確保が難しい事情もくんでほしい」と訴えたという。

町では市街地のかさ上げ工事が始まったばかり。会談後、大水副町長は「町は重傷を負ってリハビリ中の段階。人口1万人の町が政令指定市並みの額の大事業を進めており、国に支援してほしい」と述べた。

戸羽太・陸前高田市長も「財政や復興状況をみて議論してもらわないと困る」と話した。市は今年度、市街地かさ上げと高台造成工事に約300億円を充てる。震災前の予算の2・7倍の規模だ。「社会教育施設や市役所も建てないといけない」とも語った。

市町村が懸念するのは厳しい財政状況だ。財政力指数は、震災前の10年度でも大槌町が0・31、陸前高田市が0・27と、全国平均の0・53を下回っていた。

会談では被災地側で負担する具体的な内容について説明がなかったという。終了後、竹下復興相は報道陣に「地方負担について共通の認識はできた」と話した。岩手県の中村一郎復興局長は「被災自治体は、自分の財布が痛まないから何でも国にやってもらったらいいという思いでは決してない」と語った。

(竹山栄太郎、斎藤徹、田渕紫織)

http://digital.asahi.com/articles/DA3S11700665.html?rm=150

Fighting to recover from the ocean’s wrath

BY

SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES

On April 11, Wataru Takeshita, the minister for reconstruction of the areas most seriously affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, met in Kamaishi with local government representatives to discuss the budget for Iwate Prefecture. After the meeting, the mayor of Kamaishi spoke to the press and said Takeshita told them the central government would continue paying for reconstruction work through next year, but after that he expected the prefecture and municipalities to cover part of the burden themselves.

“Please understand that the money we spend on reconstruction is from taxes levied on people nationwide,” Takeshita reportedly said during the meeting, which was closed to the media.

According to an article in the Asahi Shimbun, the local governments in attendance rejected the minister’s remarks, mainly because he neglected to go into detail about how much of a burden he was talking about and what sorts of things they would be paying for. The mayor of the city of Rikuzentakata seemed offended by the government attitude.

“They must discuss our financial situation and the reconstruction process,” he told an Asahi reporter. “Otherwise, we can’t envision a future for ourselves.”

Rikuzentakata is currently spending ¥30 billion to elevate levees and prepare higher ground for new residential housing, an amount equivalent to 2.7 times its whole annual budget. “And we still have to build schools and a new city hall,” he added.

Takeshita seemed oblivious to the resistance. He told reporters that he and the local governments “came to a common understanding” regarding division of reconstruction costs. A prefectural representative tried to point out that the municipalities weren’t saying “the central government should pay for everything and we pay nothing,” only that there had been no substantive discussion about what would happen after the current reconstruction budget expired in 2016.

As the Asahi presented the story, it read like a classic instance of official condescension, but the situation is more complicated. The report implies that the local governments formed a united front, but as the vice mayor of the town of Otsuchi said, the degree of damage suffered and the amount of reconstruction required differs from one place to another. By treating all the local governments the same way, the agency effectively demonstrates a lack of imagination and coordination, while the media gives the impression that money is the only issue.

Otsuchi, in fact, is the subject of a new documentary by Haruko Konishicalled “Akahama Rock’n Roll.” Akahama is the district closest to the sea and the one that contains the town’s fishing industry. One-10th of Akahama’s residents died in the 2011 tsunami or remain missing. The central subject of the film is the surviving residents’ objections to the central government’s plan to build a 14.5-meter-high seawall along the edge of the community. The rest of the town approved the seawall, or, at least, didn’t object to it.

The budget for construction was set in January 2012, when the town’s residents were still in shock from the disaster and hadn’t had time to think over the plans carefully. Since then, the people of Akahama decided that a better idea would be to move homes in the district to higher ground. The seawall, they contend, causes more problems than it solves. The tsunami, after all, was 22 meters high, so 14.5 meters may not do any good, but in any case, the fishermen of Akahama need to have constant visual contact with the ocean, and not just for the sake of their livelihoods. One reason so many people died in the tsunami was that they didn’t see it coming, since there was already a seawall blocking their line of sight, and that one was only 6.5 meters high.

Akahama is too small to attract the interest of the mass media, but Konishi managed to enlist one powerful supporter: Akie Abe, the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. At the U.N. Disaster Prevention Conference in Sendai in March, she raised the matter of the seawall during an awards ceremony, saying that if you have to destroy the environment in order to safeguard a community from the forces of nature, then something is wrong. Since then, the movie and Akahama have been featured in a number of newspaper articles.

Konishi divides her footage between two principals: Tsutomu Abe (no relation to the prime minister), a fisherman who went back to work a few days after the tsunami, even though it killed his father, and Hiromi Kawaguchi, chairman of the Akahama Reconstruction Committee, who spearheads the local resistance to the seawall. This dual narrative approach toggles between the political aspects of the issue and the less concrete cultural ones.

Abe the fisherman represents the community’s soul, a man whose close relationship with the sea is primal. The tsunami was a tragedy, but, as he says over and over, you can’t fight nature.

“As long as our lives are connected to the ocean,” his mother says, “we have to be here.” And what’s the point of being here if you can’t see the water? When your life is dependent on the sea, you make peace with it as best you can.

People, however, are another matter, and it’s Kawaguchi’s job to fight the powers that try to tell him and those he represents what is best for them. Once the bureaucracy has a notion in its head, it’s difficult to change, and his fellow committee members, worn down by the subtle but relentless force of authority, seem willing to compromise, but Kawaguchi isn’t.

“Life comes from the sea,” he says. “And keeping the sea separate from us destroys life.”

If Konishi’s purpose is to show how a community’s desires should not be discounted even if those desires place it at risk, her movie acutely points out how specific needs can’t be summarily dismissed by logic or taken care of by charity.

“I’m not interested in people’s sympathy,” says Abe as he shucks oysters. “I just want to sell my products.”

Einladung zur Teilnahme: Symposium „Sanriku Fukkou“ am 5. 9. in Yoyogi, NYC und am 6.9. im Goethe Institut in Akasaka

 

 

Flyer Goethe

9月5日(代々木オリンピックセンター)9月6日(赤坂ドイツ文化会館)にて開催の「第二回三陸復興シンポジウム」にて、世界中で注目されている防潮堤問題、海と生きるふるさとの人々、海外の生徒達と被災地の小学生達と行った「海と生きる」交換ワークショップなどから得た、持続可能な災害復興と安全で豊かな未来のあり方について、国際的視点から意見を発表します。

入場無料、予約不要、発表は日本語英語ドイツ語に通訳ですので、みなさまお誘い合わせの上、ぜひご意見をお伝えにいらしてみてください。(大塚)

Please share! ‚Sanriku Reconstruction Symposium‘ held at the National Institution for Youth Education National Olympics Memorial Youth Center on 5 Sep 2014 and at The Goethe Institution in Akasaka on 6 Sep 2014 in Tokyo.

Hiroko Otsuka will talk about: ‚Live Together With The Sea – The Seawalls, Education and Intercultural Communication‘ – The role of education and ‚intercultural‘ communication in post-disaster Kesennuma, my hometown, from the view point of a teacher, a mother and an ordinary global citizen whose survived family and townspeople are being challenged by the issues of giant concrete seawalls, disaster risk and reconstruction of sustainable future.

Please come and give us your opinion, especially if you are interested in giving voices to those who often do not have, like women, children and victims of disasters?

 

Im Rahmen der 2. Deutsch-Japanischen Summer School DJSF Sanriku Fukkou findet am 5. 9. in Yoyogi, NYC, und am 6.9. im Goethe Institut in Akasaka das 2. Symposium zum Wiederaufbau an der Sanriku‬ Küste statt. Wie sieht es dreieinhalb Jahre nach der‪ großen Tsunami Katastrophe‬ aus? Am 5. September ist u.a. an Beispielen aus Kesennuma: Shibitachi und Koizumi‬ Bucht, der Schwerpunkt auf resiliente Planungen mit Perspektiven auf einen Wiederaufbau und ein Leben im Einklang mit der Natur gelegt. Wichtig ist, wieder Kraft und Identität zu erlangen. Hier spielen überlieferte Traditionen, Shintoriten, Matsuri, Tänze, Volkskunde und überlieferte Kenntnisse vom Leben mit Wald, Meer und Küste in Einklang mit der Natur.

Gerade die Koizumi Bucht ist international in den Medien bekannt geworden, da hier eine 90 m breite und 14,7 m hohe Betonmauer errichtet werden soll, die den nach dem Tsunami übrig gebliebenen gesamten Sandstrand bedecken wird.

Am 6.9. beschäftigen wir uns mit der aktuellen Politik in Japan, das Verhältnis zu China und Deutschland, und ob es ein Umdenken in der japanischen Gesellschaft in Bezug auf zukünftige Energiepolitik gegeben hat, sowie den Strukturen in Politik und Bauindustrie.

Bitte besuchen Sie das Symposium in Yoyogi, NYC und im Goethe Institut, Akasaka

Anfahrtsbeschreibung:

National Institution for Youth Education National Olympics Memorial Youth Center (NYC)
3-1. Yoyogi Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0052 JAPAN
TEL.+81-3-3467-7201(General number)

Goethe Institut, Tokyo

Adresse: 7 Chome-5-56 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Japan

Telefon:+81 3-3584-3201

Link

Japans Sanriku Küste in Tohoku soll hinter 14,7 m hohen Betonwällen verschwinden

Tsunami-proof ‚Great Wall of Japan‘ divides villagers

Government wants to build 440 walls along coastline, but some residents believe a concrete fortress is not the answer

Betonwälle – 14,5 m hoch – geplant als Küstenschutz

Bild

Betonwälle - 14,5 m hoch - geplant als Küstenschutz

Planungen zum Küstenschutz in Kesennuma, Rikuzentakata, Otuchi und Taro:

‪#‎Japan‬ – ‪#‎Erkundung‬ von ‪#‎Tokyo‬ und ‪#‎Tohoku‬:
Während der 2. ‪#‎Deutschjapanischen‬ ‪#‎Summerschool‬ ‪#‎Sanrikufukkou‬ werden wir vom 7.9. bis zum 15.9. die Städte ‪#‎Kesennuma‬, ‪#‎Rikuzentakata‬, ‪#‎Otsuchi‬ und ‪#‎Taro‬ besuchen und mit Wissenschaftlern, Politikern, Behörden und Betroffenen über die Pläne und Umsetzungen der geplanten ‪#‎Betonwälle‬ – teilweise bis 14,7 m hoch sprechen. An einigen Orten waren die Proteste gegen diese Planungen so erfolgreich, dass nun neu geplant werden kann. In Rikuzentakta und Taro werden bereits Berge abgetragen, zum einen um dort Baugelände zu gewinnen und neue Wohnanlagen zu bauen, zum anderen, um das Bodenniveau an der Küste anzuheben.

Link

The great Wall at Sanriku Coast

Die japanische Regierung plant in Tohoku den Bau einer „großen (Beton)-Mauer“ zum Schutz der Küste. Der Protest der Bevölkerung gegen dieses Vorhaben wird täglich größer, wie hier in Kesenuma. Radiobericht von Lucy Craft

Link

Streitigkeiten beim Wiederaufbau – Küstenschutz in Otsuchi

ein Artikel von Prof. Yu Nakai (University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering Sciences, Institut für Soziale Infrastruktur | EA Association)

Schon im September 2011 hatte die Regierung in Tokyo beschlossen, an der Sanriku Küste zum Schutz der Siedlungen an der Küste bis zu 14,7 Meter hohe Betonwälle zu bauen. In Otsuchi sollten 14,5 m hohe Betonmauern gebaut werden. Zunächst war die Bevölkerung mit dem Vorhaben einverstanden, versprach diese Mauer doch Schutz und das Bauland direkt am Meer wurde nicht wertlos, die Chance, dort wieder zu bauen war gegeben. Aber im Laufe der Zeit wurden die Überlegungen und Gedanken der dort lebenden Einwohner deutlicher. Die hohen Betonmauern sind im Falle eines Tsunami immer noch nicht sicher, verleiten aber die Bevölkerung, nicht auf Anhöhen zu fliehen. Das größte Problem sind die Kosten – aber Betonwälle sind auch eine Katastrophe für die Biodiversität und das Ökosystem: Berg-Fluß-Küste. 

Während unseres zweiwöchigen Aufenthaltes in Otsuchi (12.9. bis 24.9.) werden wir intensiv über die Probleme und die unterschiedlichen Meinungen sprechen.

Link

 wissenschaftliche Überlegungen zum Küstenschutz

Ein Artikel von  Associate Professor Yokoyama Katsuhide, Tokyo Metropolitan University

Vom 7. bis 9. September werden wir an der Sanriku Küste mehrere Buchten und Strände in Kesennuma und Rikuzentakata besichtigen und mit Wissenschaftlern, Studenten und Jugendlichen vor Ort über weitere Planungen zum Küstenschutz und „Leben mit dem Meer“ diskutieren.

Link

Sanriku Küste: Küste der Verzweiflung

In der Summer School werden wir die Gelegenheit haben, ausführlich in Kamaishi und KiriKiri Erkundungen zu betreiben und mit den Jugendlichen und verschiedenen NGOs vor Ort arbeiten. Hintergrundinformationen zur Situation vor Ort sind in diesem Artikel beschrieben.

Neues Programm:…

Zitat

Poster zur Ankündigung der

2. Summer School Sanriku Fukkou

 

2. Summer School Sanriku Fukkou + Logo

Neues Programm:

2. Deutsch-Japanische Summer School „Sanriku Fukkou“ 2014
03.09. bis 24.09.2014

Vom 03.09. bis zum 24.09.2014 findet in Tokyo und Tohoku die 2. deutsch japanische Summer School Sanriku Fukkou inklusive eines Workcamps in der Stadt Otsuchi. statt.

Hintergrund:
Iwate, die zweitgrößte Präfektur Japans, ist sehr dünn besiedelt und bekannt für seine Bodenschätze, Buchenwälder, Onsen und die wunderschöne Natur. Traditionen wie Shinto-Feste, Tänze und Legenden (Tōno Monogatari) sind hier weiter lebendig.
Am 11. März 2011 starben dort viele Menschen durch Erdbeben und Tsunami. An der zerklüfteten Steilküste (Sanriku) waren die Wellen bis zu 40 Meter hoch und zerstörten ganze Städte. Selbst tausend Tage nach der Katastrophe leben noch über 36.000 Einwohner in temporären Containersiedlungen. Der Wiederaufbau kommt nur sehr langsam in Gang bzw. stoppt fast ganz.
Iwate hatte schon vorher mit Problemen wie Überalterung und Landflucht zu kämpfen. Seit 2011 verloren die Städte Otsuchi, Rikuzentakata und Yamada zusätzlich fast 30 Prozent ihrer Einwohner. Für die Summer School werden wir in diese Region fahren und das Band der Freundschaft (Kizuna) zu betroffenen Bewohnern spannen. In den Community-Centern der Städte Tōno, Taro, Otsuchi, Kamaishi, Rikuzentakata und Kesennuma sprechen wir mit den Menschen über ihre Erlebnisse, Wünsche und Hoffnungen. Wir werden gemeinsam Kunsthandwerk kennen lernen, einen Kräutergarten (https://www.facebook.com/tonomagokoronet) anlegen und Bäume pflanzen (https://www.facebook.com/greatforestwall).
Oberschüler aus Iwate, die im März 2013 Deutschland besucht haben und Schüler des Tsubasa-Projektes (http://www.kizuna-in-berlin.de/projekt-tsubasa/) werden uns ihren Alltag zeigen und von ihren Zukunftsplänen berichten. Entlang der neuen Märchenstraße von Hanamaki über Tōno bis Otsuchi wandeln wir auf den Spuren von Miyazawa Kenji  und Sasaki Kizen („der japanische Grimm“) und lernen die Verbundenheit der Bewohner mit ihrer reizvollen Landschaft kennen.
Trotz der Schwierigkeiten beim Wiederaufbau hat die Katastrophe auch zu einem Umdenken in Energiefragen angestoßen. Die Regierung erließ Gesetze, sodass an vielen Orten Wind- und Photovoltaikparks entstehen können. Die Wälder werden aufgeforstet, Biomasse-Anlagen werden errichtet – darunter befinden sich auch viele deutsch-japanische Projekte. Diese vielfältigen Themen wollen wir vor Ort aus erster Hand kennen lernen.
Die Bewohner hinterfragen Projekte der Regierung, die entlang der Sanriku Küste im Nationalpark 14,7 Meter hohe Betonwälle errichten wollen. Zusammen mit Bewohnern der Koizumi Bucht (Kesennuma) und in Otsuchi werden wir in gemeinsamen Workshops mit internationaler Beteiligung über einen holistischen Ansatz für die Landschaftsplanung beim Wiederaufbau nachdenken und Aufzeigen, wie wichtig die Eigeninitiative ist, Zielgruppe: ca. 15 Teilnehmer/innen zwischen 18 und 30 Jahren
Kosten: Flugticket plus ca. 980 Euro