2012 April Tohoku Trip

A veiw from a hotel window in Ofunato, Iwate. 

Temporary shopping site, convenient for consutruction workers and NGO/NPO staff/volunteers, inconvenient for the locals without cars.

Raising ground level to rebuild warehouses for the aquaculture industry. 

At the office of Habitat for Humanity Japan. 

The very first seaweed harvest since last March.

Fishermen heading out to the ocean for the first time in a year. 

Debris can be seen pilled up everywhere in Iwate and Miyagi, due to lack of municipal governments outside Tohoku agreeing to accept and dispose tsunami waste.


在米日本人の震災基金へ、ボストンの小学3年生が 手作りブレスレットの募金活動で得た1,400ドルを寄付

【米国マサチューセッツ州ボストン発―4月2日】米国マサチューセッツ州ボストンにあるシェイディヒル スクールに通う小学3年生のヘイリー・クウォンさん(9)は、今月初め、自分たちで呼びかけた募金活動によってこれまでに得た約1,400ドルを東日本大 震災による被災者の救済募金活動を行うジャパニーズ・ディザスター・リリーフ・ファンド・ボストン(Japanese Disaster Relief Fund- Boston)に寄付しました。募金を受け取ったのは、同ファンドの創設者であるアツコ・フィッシュさん。


クウォンさんが制作したブレスレットは、さまざまな色の小さいビーズの中に日本の国旗を模した赤い大きなビーズが配置されたデザインです。クラスメイトや 兄のオースティン君の協力の元、たくさんのブレスレットが作られ、募金に協力してくれた多くの人に手渡されました。家族や友人、そして学校や地域コミュニ ティに働きかけた結果、これまでに1,400ドルが集まりました。


Lanie Schwartz, 7th grader, T-shirts

Lanie Schwartz, a 7th grader of Derby Academy in Hingham, and her mother came to visit me on Saturday. They brought 40 T-shirts Lanie designed to help raise money for Japan.

Lanie was learning about earthquakes in her science class when the March 11th 9.0 earthquake occurred. She immediately decided to design T-shirts to sell for fund raising. She used the Japanese flag on the front of the T-shirts, and on the back are quotes from famous people. The design is wonderful.

She and her mother have disaster relief experience. They did volunteer work after Katrina, so they know what it is like after a major disaster. Thus, they knew that they had to do something to help Japan.

Lanie is an inspirational girl with a great idea. She is a perfect example of all the good a big heart, a conscientious mind, and some hard work can do. I wore her T-shirt at the Oishi Sushi fundraising event on Sunday and the T-shirts were completely sold out during the event. I would like to bring more of these T-shirts to Japan when I will visit shelters in Miyagi and Fukushima. The T-shirts are amazingly warm message of “HOPE”.


Bringing Hope to Japan


I am sending my deep and sincere condolences and sympathy to those who lost their families and to those who are still suffering due to the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami disaster. Japanese culture, history, and values have always been and continue to be my backbone, my strength, and my wisdom. Now I feel these things are in jeopardy. Each time I hear more about the catastrophic events, my heart aches. But as you know, Japanese people are very patient, selfless, orderly, disciplined, resilient and proud. Therefore, I know, no matter how long it takes, Japan will recover miraculously. However, it will be a long and hard journey for those who lost everything. Japanese who live abroad like myself, all share in our grief and concern. The question is: what can Japanese living overseas do during this difficult time? We can give them Kibou 希望 (Hope).

Now I would like to tell you what I am doing in Boston. In order to provide Kibou (Hope) to Japanese people, The Boston Foundation, Japan Society of Boston and the Fish Family Foundation have established the "Japanese Disaster Relief Fund - Boston." The purpose of the Fund is to provide immediate relief to affected individuals and communities in Northeast Japan; we are dedicated to the region's recovery. In early April, my daughter, Emily and I will go to Japan to visit the affected areas. It will be an opportunity for me to see things first-hand with my own eyes, and to make basic needs assessments. What I see, hear, and feel, as well as my opinions on what is needed and who needs it will be posted on our website. For more information, and to donate online, please visit www.japanesedisasterrelieffund.org. I hope you will join me in giving Kibou to the Japanese people who are patiently waiting for normal life....

With my sincere wishes,

Atsuko Toko Fish
Co-Founder, Japanese Disaster Relief Fund - Boston

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