RSY vol 16. Keeping Handmade Nameplates as Mementoes
by Voices from the Field Admin - Monday, 11 February 2013, 12:24 PM


We have finished delivering the nameplates created in the “Magokoro (heartsome) Nameplates Project”, which started from May 2011. Most of them were for people living in the temporary housing, but some were handed out to the families who did not live in the temporary housing but still wished to receive ones.

Mrs. S. lives in her own home, and upon receiving her nameplate she said,

“Fortunately, I could live in my own house after some repairs, and my family members were all safe. Even then, I don’t want to forget about the disaster, I mean, what we learned from the hardship of it. I want to keep the nameplate as a memento to remind me of those days. We helped one another and were considerate to others. We could remember the core of Japanese character. Now we can buy what we need. Water is always available from the tap, so we carelessly waste it. We tend to get used to what we have, but we have to remember. I want to place this nameplate where I can see it anytime. Anyway, thank you for caring about those of us who do not live in the temporary housing.”

Shortly after the disaster, Mrs. S. volunteered to help cook meals for victims at the Kokusai-mura Hall which was provided as an evacuation shelter. Even after the temporary housing was built, she continued to support people in the health exercise program at the common room, in order to revitalize the community. In February 2012, the program ended assuming that people would be able to maintain their own activities without volunteers’ assistance.

Mrs. S. said,

“It’s natural that the program ends if it’s no longer needed. I don’t feel sad. I am a native of Shichigahama, but wanted to help people like the volunteers coming from far places. I believe I could play my role.”

She hesitated and then went on to tell her story of how she suffered when the earthquake and tsunami struck. She said that she could not speak to anybody about these things because her damage was comparatively small. Every victim has a scar that they suffered from the Great Earthquake and would never forget about it. Even in such a painful memory, Mrs. S. seemed to have found a precious connection with people and warm thoughts about people that she could never have had if the earthquake did not happen.

Mrs. S. is continuing to be involved in the community as one of the local volunteers. She said to us cheerfully, “If there is something I can help, please let me know anytime!”

Reported by Reiko Iida, Rescue Stock Yard

(Edited by vff admin - original submission Sunday, 10 February 2013, 05:32 PM)

Picture of Anatoli  Vassiljev
Re: RSY vol 16. Keeping Handmade Nameplates as Mementoes
by Anatoli Vassiljev - Monday, 25 February 2013, 12:23 AM
It is very nice to hear that peoples return to normal life step by step!