RSY vol.15 Bringing Smiles to the Faces of Newcomers
by Voices from the Field Admin - Thursday, 7 February 2013, 11:38 PM


Last year we held the project for making “Magokoro (Heartsome) nameplates.” Some new residents in the temporary housing saw those nameplates attached to the other people’s home entrances and said, “We want a nameplate like this, too.” Hearing of their request, we asked the members of the art club in the local Koyo Junior High School to create nameplates as we did last year. We are now underway with the last delivery of these new nameplates. While delivering the nameplates, we found that each one reflected just the image of each family for whom the nameplate was created. It was as if the art club members had been their acquaintances, though we told them only the names of the families. When the residents received their nameplates, they looked satisfied and beamed with a smile.

One of those newcomers was a senior couple. After the earthquake and tsunami, the couple was staying at their son’s house. Until then the couple had lived separately from their son, so they felt like guests and did not feel very comfortable. Staying with their son made them feel sorry to be burdening him. The desire to live on their own in their native place drove them to return to Shichigahama. They made up their mind to live in a temporary housing unit and moved in this February (in 2012). After they settled down in the temporary housing unit, they asked us to create a nameplate for them. Today I have delivered it to them. “How wonderful!” they exclaimed. I cannot forget their delightful voices and smiling faces.

“People complain that the temporary housing unit is too small but we live quite comfortably considering the circumstances. The tsunami has deprived us of everything we had, leaving us with few things. But we can manage.” Saying so, they exchanged smiles.

In spite of their sadness, I could recognize their strong bond and their determination to support each other.

Reported by Iida, Rescue Stock Yard.