Step-By-Step Efforts Toward Recovery Continue
Slow but steady recovery efforts continue in the affected coastal regions of Tohoku more than one month after the March 11 earthquake in Japan. Soka Gakkai has been continuing its relief activities.
At the Soka Gakkai Ishinomaki Peace Center in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, which serves as a relief shelter, volunteer medical professionals who are members of the organization's doctors' and nurses' groups are providing health consultations to the evacuees.
On April 10, the Tohoku Doctors' Division Chief Eiichi Murakami along with Mariko Kawahara and Sachie Onodera from the nurses' group held consultations with each of the 60 evacuees remaining at the Ishinomaki center. One evacuee commented that although living at the shelter is stressful, they were relieved to receive a detailed consultation that included questions about dietary conditions.
On April 3 and 10, a special cleaning task force consisting of Soka Gakkai young men's group members in Miyagi Prefecture helped to remove debris, sludge and rubble from homes affected by the tsunami in Ishinomaki City. The young men were able to lend assistance particularly to the elderly and women, by moving toppled furniture and other heavy items such as tatami mats soaked with water weighing over 100 kilograms.
On April 17, some 400 members of the Soka Gakkai men's and young men's groups in Miyagi Prefecture divided into 60 work teams to help clean homes throughout the affected coastal region. In Ishinomaki, some volunteers were able to recover family photo albums and heirlooms and return them to the families concerned.
In Tome City, Miyagi Prefecture, where there was no tsunami but damage from the earthquake, including power and water shortages, women members of Soka Gakkai in the area decided to gather warm clothing, garments, socks and baby clothes to be delivered to the neighboring city of Kesennuma which was devastated by the tsunami. The supplies were sent on April 14. In addition, 10 women brought their sewing machines and fabric to the Soka Gakkai Tome Center, where they started to make cloth bags for evacuees.
[Adapted from articles in April 13, 18 and 19, 2011, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]