RSY vol 19. What has become of the emergency temporary housing in Shichigahama?
by Voices from the Field Admin - Friday, 26 July 2013, 09:43 AM


There are a total of 421 emergency temporary housing units across seven sites in the town of Shichigahama. One of the sites is the Second Parking Lot of Shichigahama Kokusaimura Hall and now its residents have been ordered to move out by March 2013. The order is based on the situation as follows: Shichigahama municipal government plans to relocate the community to higher ground to mitigate tsunami risk and construct permanent housing. However, in Shichigahama there are few vacant lots to build houses and furthermore the emergency temporary housing sits on the planned construction site. Thus, the residents have to move to other temporary housing units or build their own houses by March. This marks that the community established by the residents at the temporary housing site since the disaster will be broken down.


Naturally where to move is a main topic of discussion at the common room of the emergency temporary housing at Kokusaimura Hall.


“Where are you moving?” “I‘ve been allotted to this place.”

 “I hear Mr. A has his house built. He won’t come here anymore. We’ll miss him.”


Some procedures for reconstruction have been taken steadily but some residents physically cannot catch up with the speed of their hometown’s changing. Psychologically they feel as if they were left behind..


“Even if I have my house built where I used to live and return there, I will have no neighbors.”

“I am grateful to my next door neighbor (in temporary housing) for shoveling the snow in front of my house.”

“When a big earthquake occurred in December, we (the temporary housing residents) evacuated together calling out to one another.”


Some people, even if they can afford to rebuild their houses, have stayed at the emergency temporary housing because they feel all the safer and better for being close together in one place.


 As the emergency housing units were built for a temporary measure, at first they were poorly equipped. Afterwards various kinds of equipment and amenities were added to make life there more comfortable. Even then emergency temporary housing, as its name suggests, has been deteriorating after the first year. When will the residents be able to finally secure a normal and calm life?


                   Originally reported in Japanese on 29, January 2013

Picture of Sharon Corologos
Re: RSY vol 19. What has become of the emergency temporary housing in Shichigahama?
by Sharon Corologos - Tuesday, 27 August 2013, 06:31 AM
I'm so sorry for the tsunami-displaced people who had to be displaced once again. Did this already happen in March of 2013?

Has the construction been completed by now? Did many of the displaced community move into the new construction?

How did this work out?