ROAD vol.19 Evacuees' Short Comments
by Voices from the Field Admin - Tuesday, 30 September 2014, 08:23 AM



Read the prologue to the evacuees' comments listed below

I used to work on a tuna fishing boat. It was a really tough time for me because there were many quick-tempered fellows. One of them was killed by a 400kg blue fin tuna.  We caught all kinds of tuna and other big fish, like yellow fins, blue fins and Broadbill swordfish. (Man in his 70s)

Cool! That feels good. Today I don’t have any after-school club activities. I belong to the track and field club, but I can’t run so fast. Your nails look lovely!  (Woman in her teens)

I can’t drink alcohol because of a bad liver. Since I had traveled all over the world fishing in the North Seas, I collected rare liquors. But all of them were swallowed up by the tsunami instead of by me. (Man in his 70s)

I’m 85 years old. I used to enjoy dancing, but now as I’m bent with age, I can’t dance anymore. (In response to the volunteer who said, “Your hands are soft.”) Really, you find them soft? I’m flattered. (A woman in her 80s) 

Since my house was by the sea, it was totally destroyed. I survived because I was visiting my husband who was in a hospital. Now, everybody is nice to us. But I want to see the sea. (A woman in her 60s) 

I’m from Onagawa Town. In Onagawa, you can have delicious saury. As it’s fresh, it’s best eaten as sashimi. Saury sold in Tokyo is not good. It’s barely enjoyable only if grilled. (A woman, age unknown)

My son is in his first year of junior high school. It has been difficult for him to get accustomed to the new environment. However, during summer vacation we invited children from Fukushima for camping. He seems to have enjoyed it so much that at the end he said, “Let’s have it next year, too, for sure! I don’t care if you cut all my allowances for that.” I think he really enjoyed it. I think that he enjoyed not only being helped by others but also being helpful to others. Today he went along on a hiking trip for children as a volunteer. (A man in his 50s)

My mom always gives me an ashiyu foot bath. It felt very good when she did it to me, so now I do it to everyone else. I do it to my mom, too. (A boy in his teens)

I was surprised that supermarkets here are so small. There are houses in between buildings and there aren’t a lot of people. I am promoting exchanges with the local market’s neighborhood association. I invited them to the ashiyu foot bath service today, but they haven’t come yet, have they? (A woman in her 50s)

I’m working in the nearby field I borrowed from my relative. It’s fun to work in the fields. I feel happy especially at harvest time. (A woman in her 70s, Kesennuma Temporary Housing, July 20, 2012)

I went home to wash my hair because I worked a lot and sweated. I’m seeding oyster shells. Look, this finger got bent before I knew it. It hurt so much until it bent completely. It’s like an occupational disease. (A woman in her 60s, Ishinomaki Temporary Housing, July 20, 2012)

This is my first time to receive an ashiyu (foot-bath) service. Ashiyu was offered even when I was in a shelter, but I didn’t go because I didn’t like the strong scent of the bath salts that were used. Not everyone in the temporary housing knows one another. Some people are out during the daytime. I also usually go out for work during the day. (A man in his 30s, Rikuzen-takata Temporary Housing, July 29, 2012)

I have a son, but he says he won’t come to this ashiyu (foot bath service) with me. I’m not working, because I can’t leave my son alone. My husband remained in Fukushima. Since he gets along with his parents there, he shall be alright. I am always concerned about my neighbors in this apartment, because I‘m afraid that my son will be noisy and annoy them. (A woman in her 30s)

I've got the hives since last year and I also have bad spells of vertigo. I’ve never felt like that before. It only happens at night. Though I feel much better now compared with last year, I still take medicine. The doctor said it was caused by stress. There are many people who get sick after living here for some time. (A woman in her 70s)

I’ve been told that I must wait to move into the new house until next year. The carpenters are so busy. Though they said they were going to finish the construction by October of this year, now I don’t know what time next year they will be done. I feel depressed when I think that I will have to spend another winter in the temporary housing. (A woman in her 80s)