RSY vol.6 - Magokoro (Heartsome) Nameplates for the Temporary Housing Units (Part 1); Hand-Made Gifts for the Residents
by Voices from the Field Admin - Thursday, 20 October 2011, 05:19 PM

 The first temporary housing units opened on May 8th in Shichigahama. While the residents look more or less relieved moving out of evacuation shelters, the units are all identical and plain, so we sometimes see residents get lost within the site.
 That is why we came up with an idea of making Magokoro Nameplates , which the residents can display to identify their own units. Forty volunteers including those from within and outside the town as well as local junior-high students joined the workshop. They created nameplates with a heartfelt wishes that the residents would soon settle in and the town would regain its vitality.

 The wood for the nameplates were donated by some survivors. They provided the lumber that used to be the foundation of their houses, which were seriously damaged by the tsunami.

Volunteers are cutting the lumber for door plates.
Volunteers are cutting the lumber for nameplates.

We had also asked the residents of the temporary housing to bring their mementos from their now destroyed homes.

 People brought what little were left in their possession after the tsunami had washed away almost everything; broken cups, toy cars that hold happy memories, bathroom tiles, seashells and so on. Every one of these was their dearest treasure that they had been using regularly up until the disaster. We decorated some of the nameplates with these items, so the residents could keep their precious memories in a tangible form.

The residents brought their mementos.
The residents brought their mementos.

The students who joined the workshop looked a little nervous at the beginning, but after the ice-breaker of self-introductions, they participated in the group work activities with more relaxed face. Look at how they were absorbed in the work (see the photo below).

The students are making door plates with a wish.
The students are making nameplates wishing for the best for their town and its residents.

The volunteers made 70 beautiful only-one-of-their-kind nameplates at this first workshop.

Magokoro door plates
Magokoro nameplates with messages praying for “star” or “light” in life

We plan to make 420 nameplates in total for all the households moving into the temporary housing in Shichigahama.

 Reported by Ai Urano, Rescue Stock Yard (RSY, based in Nagoya) from Shichigahama, Miyagi, Northeastern Japan


Picture of Sharon Corologos
Re: RSY vol.6 - Magokoro (Heartsome) Nameplates for the Temporary Housing Units (Part 1); Hand-Made Gifts for the Residents
by Sharon Corologos - Tuesday, 8 November 2011, 11:17 AM
This is a wonderful way for students to take part in recovery efforts. Their results are beautiful and reflect their efforts to support their community. Could you show us the original plain residence provides to survivors, and then maybe a residence that has become a home for a survivor?