Book Donation to Yamakoshi Village School
On October 14, 2008, the Soka Gakkai donated books to Yamakoshi Elementary and Junior High Schools during an assembly with students from both schools. Ranko Kondo and Toshio Ohira, principals of the respective schools, thanked Soka Gakkai Vice President Shigeo Kaneko for the gift--a total of 528 books and three bookcases. Students expressed their appreciation and eagerness to begin reading the new books. Additional volumes are scheduled to be donated annually over the next five years.
Yamakoshi, a mountainous, bucolic farming village with a population of just over 2,100, was one of hardest hit in the October 2004 Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake, a temblor registering magnitude 6.9 on the Richter Scale. All the schools were destroyed, and a new building constructed in its place, housing elementary through high school students, opened in 2006. Major sections of the village had to be evacuated for an extended period, and it was only in April 2007 that residents were permitted to return to their homes in those areas. Yamakoshi, together with Ojiya, another hard-hit town, is world-renowned for its nishiki-goi, golden ornamental carp. Breeding ponds were devastated in the quake but the carp are slowly making a comeback through the efforts of the breeders and villagers and donations from carp lovers throughout the world.
[Adapted from an article in the October 16, 2008 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]