ROAD vol.7 Evacuees' Short Comments
by Voices from the Field Admin - Tuesday, 29 May 2012, 10:08 AM



Read the prologue to the evacuees' comments listed below

I can’t go back to live in my home because of ground subsidence.It is prohibited to construct a house again there because waves can now reach the entrance of my house. Before everybody in this village moves away, we plan to gather as many people as possible, about 35 people, and have a hanami [a traditional picnic party to enjoy the cherry blossoms].(Man,age unknown, Kesennuma, April 28, 2011

Though we are allowed to go back home temporarily, only two people per household are allowed to go at a time. Since two people aren’t going to know everything, such as how to open the safe or where the securities are stored, they won’t be able to bring all the valuables back.  (Woman in her 80s, Koriyama, April 30, 2011)


I am still mentally depressed. I know I have to move on since two months have already passed, but unless I find my husband... They say I have to find at least some of his remains in order to get insurance money and all, but it is so complicated I don’t quite understand what they’re saying. I have already forsaken our house. I want to get back things like the photos of our children when they were born, but there is absolutely nothing left because our house was near the sea. (Woman in her 60s, Onagawa, May 16, 2011)


I am a beautician. My house was completely swept away. In order to restart the salon, it will cost more than 10,000,000 yen, so I gave up. It’s really a pity. (Woman in her 70s, Shichigahama, April. 5, 2011)


I know I can get a place to live if I move to Akita, but I would have to leave in 3 months, and I don’t want to leave my home town. If only the government could cover half the rent, I could manage to pay the rest and stay here. (Woman in her 60s, Ishinomaki, April 8, 2011)


My son bought me a computer a year and a half ago but it was swept away. I have warranty for it to get it repaired, but it’s useless if I don’t have the computer itself. My son is willing to search for it but I don’t think we can find it in this condition. (Woman in her 60s, Ishinomaki, April 11, 2011)


I have a handicapped daughter, so I had been determined to carry on aqua farming till I am 80 years old, but it is impossible now. Young people should consider other types of work. I don’t think fishery and aqua farming can recover for years. Now I cannot leave anything behind for my handicapped daughter. (Man in his 70s, Ishinomaki, April 21, 2011)


I have no idea when I can move into the temporary housing. Two people from my family died. All our bankbooks and insurance certificates have been swept away, so it is tough even for those of us who managed to survive. (Man in his 60s, Ishinomaki, April 23, 2011)


I cannot sleep when I think of my future. My house, which was about 1.2 km from the harbor, was also washed away. It was 20 years old and there is still some mortgage left on it. I don’t feel like doing anything now. There are too many things to do. I rent a flat with 2 bedrooms and a kitchen in a different district. I don’t want to live near the coast anymore. There are people who say they don’t want to live in the same house as before, even if the house had remained, because dead bodies had been found there. People encourage us through TV programs to keep trying our best, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. (Man in his 50s, Ishinomaki,  April 24, 2011)


There is no internet access in the temporary housing. I can only use my cell phone. I want to look for jobs and things, but there are no computers or internet. (Woman in her 30s, Rikuzentakada, June 14, 2011)


I used to work on boats. I had just bought a new one last year, but I don’t know where the ship has gone after it was displaced by the tsunami. Only the loan payments on the boat remain. (Man in his 80s, Rikuzentakada, June 14, 2011)


I used to work in the fields. When I was growing vegetables, I enjoyed both growing and eating them. It made me happy, but all my pleasure was swept away by the tsunami. (Woman in her 70s, Rikuzentakada, June 14, 2011)


There was a lot of physical work to do after the earthquake, so all of our hands have hardened. (Man in his 60s, Kesennuma, June 5, 2011)


Originally I had been working at a fishery company but I quit after the earthquake. The company has re-opened for business, but there is no longer a shuttle bus, so I don’t feel like going back to work. (Woman in her 50s, Kesennuma, June 4, 2011)

I have no job, so I volunteer at this evacuation shelter. (Man in his 40s, Kesennuma, June 4, 2011)


Even at my old age, I still want to do aqua farming as long as I can. I know there are younger people in their 40s and 50s, but I’m confident that I’m still as good as they are. (Man in his 80s, Kesennuma, June 25, 2011)


My mother is 79 years old and bedridden, and my father is 80 years old. I know I have to work. I will do my best. (Man in his 40s, Koriyama, June 12, 2011)


Over there [where I used to live], I worked in the nuclear power industry. Now I’m looking for a job, but it is not easy. (Man in his 50’s, Koriyama, June 12, 2011)


I was fired after the disaster. I was told my job was too dangerous for a woman. (Woman in her 50s, Iwaki, June 25, 2011)


My son was dismissed from his job. He thought too much about it and became mentally ill. So I am encouraging him to look for a bride here (in Koriyama). (Man in his 60s, Koriyama, July 3, 2011)