NVNAD vol.5 NVNAD blog
by Voices from the Field Admin - Sunday, 24 February 2013, 10:48 PM


September 23rd, 2011

Rice Harvest at Shiodani District

 – Disaster Experiences Create New Mutual Cooperation


 Since the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, people in Shiodani district in Ojiya City of Niigata Prefecture have kept an exchange going with victims in Fukushima Prefecture who were forced to evacuate. The Shiodani residents also had the experience of being severely affected by the 2004 Chuetsu Earthquake. Residents of Ojiya and members of NVNAD planted rice together with the Fukushima evacuees last spring and harvested the crops on September 23rd, 2011. The people from Minami Soma City, Fukushima, had temporarily evacuated to Ojiya when they joined the rice planting, but had since returned to their home town to live in the newly built temporary housing in late summer.



When we informed them that we were planning to harvest the rice on September 23rd, they came over to Shiodani district all the way from Minami Soma City. We were happy to work with them again to reap the rice that we planted last spring. The rice harvest also included the participation of students from Nagaoka University of Technology and Kwansei Gakuin University, as well as others who have been involved with Shiodani in various ways since the 2004 Chuetsu Earthquake.



At the social event after the rice harvest, we received heartwarming greetings from the Minami Soma residents. People from Ojiya and Minami Soma enjoyed friendly conversations, as if they had known each other for a long time. This was a day we felt the warmth of the “relay of support among disaster-affected areas”. It seems that a new support activity extending from Shiodani to Minami Soma may now begin. NVNAD would like to continue to promote the relay of support among disaster-affected areas with the residents of Shiodani.