Soka Gakkai Youth Volunteer as "Snow Busters" in Niigata Prefecture
During the first week of February, the Chuetsu area in Niigata Prefecture recorded the severest snowfall in 19 years. Residents are being warned to exercise extreme caution when clearing snow from atop and around their homes, many of which were weakened in the recent Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake (October 23, 2004). On February 5 and 6, small groups of Niigata Soka Gakkai young men, calling themselves "Snow Busters," volunteered to remove snow from residents' homes. Each group visited houses at the request of cities and towns, such as Nagaoka, Mitsuke, Tochio, Tokamachi, Ojiya, Uonuma and Nakanoshima, and shoveled snow from rooftops, doorways and walkways. A local newspaper, the Nagaoka Shimbun covered their efforts.