Saturday, January 28, 2012

Christmas in Minami Sanriku!

With the onset of winter in earnest, the temperatures in this part of the Tohoku region have begun to drop below freezing. The tsunami victims have all been moved from shelters to temporary housing units, but this has brought new issues to the fore. Aside from the obvious discomfort of living in cramped, badly insulated prefabs, mental and emotional stress has become a bigger problem. The aged and infirm have difficulty getting around, and there are little or no services left in the town. The once tight knit communities have been scattered, as the relocation process didn’t generally take into account the victims’ original place of residence. The colder it gets, the less inclined people are to go out of doors. There are already reports of elderly victims dying alone and forgotten, and mental illness is on the rise.


To address some of these needs, we have started a project of organizing community events for different municipalities where the temporary housing units have been built. The first was held on December 18th at Numata Municipality in Minamisanrikucho. Volunteers came from all over the country came to help out, and Christmas was in the air!


After a slightly harrowing drive through snowy mountains in the wee hours of the morning, our team arrived and the fun began.


Shimonaka san came all the way from Hyogo prefecture, along with other members of Rainbow Hearts from Saitama and Chiba, to serve hot meals to all those who attended the event.


BANDAID performed Christmas music and traditional folk songs


Mike Kawashima dressed as a clown made balloons for kids (and some childish adults) for hours, which was quite the hit.


MIA singing for the victims ミアが、被災者の方々のために歌っています。

And the highlight of course was Santa Claus with sponsored gifts for everyone!


We were also able to give out nearly 100 Mottos for Successcalendars that were sent by Activated Ministries as Christmas gifts. This is Florence with Mr. Watanabe, the caretaker of the building that we used for the event.


He later explained to us that the victims have difficulty organizing events for themselves, as they have been resettled here from places all over the city and hardly know their own neighbors. As one of the original residents of this neighborhood, he and a few others had been trying to help them to rebuild their community, and they were so happy that we had organized this Christmas event for that purpose.


Temporary Housing units


Our whole team, along with some of the local people who helped to organize the event.


Many thanks to the TFI Shizuoka, Raindow Hearts, TFI Noda, AINOTE volunteer network, BANDAID, MiA, and all the other volunteers who made the event possible. Thank you also to Activated Ministries and TFI members in Shizuoka and Noda who helped to cover the transportation and other costs.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Minamisanriku Trip Update

We’ve been continuing to make trips to Minamisanrikucho to help with the distribution of aid to needy families. Nine months after the tsunami, and the town still looks like this:


Here are some pictures from November 27th- 30th. Four of us went to help with the delivery of 5 truckloads of supplies to Sakana no Miura supply base that we’ve been working out of for the past months.


The first truck was full of boxes of miso – very heavy.


Don’t give up Kento, almost done…


Daniel Sakai and his son Kento. A Big thank you to Dan Sakai for lending his van to use for the trip.


And here comes another one


More than 15 tons on the first day.


Kento sorting furiously.


The next day, we went to pick up fishing boats that had been sent from Hokkaido.


After 3 days of hard work, happy with new friends.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Happenings as of December, 2011

Please forgive the sudden silence on this blog. The good news is that it wasnt because of a lack of action. ブログにしばらくアップデートがなかったことをお詫びします。しかし活動は引き続き進めておりました。

During August through October we made 10 trips to Tohoku delivering & distributing relief supplies. 8月から10月までの期間、東北地域へ10回の訪問をし、救援物資を配達、配給しました。

In August we helped with the distribution of more than 850 electric fans to the temporary housing units. 8月には、850個以上の扇風機を仮設住宅に届けることができました。

In late September we helped Sakana no Miura with the opening of his fish store in a new location, a big step forward for the community, as only a handful of businesses have been able to start up again since the disaster. 9月末には、「さかなのみうらさん」が新しい場所で魚屋をオープンするのをお手伝いました。災害以来、営業を再開できた店の数はわずかなので、コミュニティーにとってはまた前進の一歩です。

Beginning in October was the delivery of heaters and kotatsu in preparation for the cold winter months that are now very nearly upon us. 10月の始め、寒い季節を前に、冬の準備としてヒーターやこたつを配給することができました。

The needs of the people in Minamisanriku have been changing with each stage of recovery, & we are continuing to look into the best ways to provide needed support. 南三陸の町民のニーズは、復興がなされるにつれて変わってきているので、私たちもそれに合わせて、いつも最善の形で必要なサポートができるように調べ検討しています。

On November 23rd, 5 volunteers made the drive up to Minamisanriku. 1123日、5人のボランティアが南三陸町に行きました。

We sorted, prepared & distributed aid to 118 housholds living in temporary housing units spread throughout the town. 物資を分類、準備して、町のあちこちにある仮設住宅118軒に配給しました。

Special thanks to:

*UNIQLO who donated 9500 long sleeved shirts & 3000 blankets, and undershirts to keep out the cold.

*The musicians who came all the way from Gunma with a truck full ready made packages of household goods for all. 家庭用品をトラックで一杯に積んで、群馬県から来てくださったミュージッシャンの方々

*Mr. Aoki who donated 60 kgs of rice. 60キロのお米を寄付してくださった青木様

*Mrs. Ishikawa who helped sponsor the 30 Mottos for Success calendars. 「成功の鍵」カレンダー30冊をスポンサーしてくださった石川様

*Individual donors who helped to cover the cost of gasoline and other basic costs. ガソリン代、その他必要な出費を助けてくださった方々

*Activated Ministries in the USA who provided a large part of the support for these trips.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tohoku Relief Mission Updates for July 2nd - 26th 東北救援ミッション 7月2日から26日までの最新情報

Hey Everyone out there! Here’s what happened July 2nd – 26th:
  • 6 trips from Chiba to Minamisanriku-cho with supplies, volunteers, and musicians; more than 10,000 kilometers driven!
  • 15 deliveries of 30+ van and truck loads of goods with Mr. Miura and the Yomigaere (Rise Again) Minamisanriku project
  • BANDAID and MIA brought more music for evacuees, still living in shelters after more than 4 months
  • Hundreds of Mottos for Success calendars, Change the World manga books, and BANDAID and MIA original CDs distributed, thanks to generous sponsors
Special thanks to
Activated M
inistries, who c
overed the travelling costs of our July re
lief trips.


  • 千葉から南三陸町に向けて物資を積み、ボランティアの方々、ミュージッシャンと共に6回の訪問を行いました。合計10000キロ以上の旅です!

  • 三浦さんと「よみがえれ三陸」プロジェクトと共に、30台以上の数のバンやトラックを使って、物資の配達を15回行ないました。

  • バンドエイドとミアは、4ヶ月たった今も避難所で暮らしている方々へ音楽のプレゼントをしました。

  • 「成功の鍵」カレンダー、「世界を変えよう」マンガ・ブック、バンドエイドとミアのオリジナルCDなどを多数プレゼントしました。スポンサーしてくださった方々に心からお礼を申し上げます。


Pictures (worth how many thousands of words?) 写真(多くの言葉で説明するよりもいいですね。)

Jun Yaginuma 16, on his second volunteer tour. 17歳の柳沼純君、今回2度目のボランティアで来てくれました。

MIA singing at Shizugawa High School evacuation center. ミアが志津川高校避難所で歌を歌いました。

Happy Evacuees after a show. ショー後のハッピーな被災者の方々

Yoichi Nobuka from BANDAID. バンドエイドの延賀陽一さん

…And then loading trucks the next day …そして翌日は荷積みを手助ってくれました。

Water delivered to temporary housing units still without drinking water. 飲料水がない仮設住宅へ水の配給

This massive locomotive was thrown from its resting place at a park, and now is just another piece of rubble. このどっしりした機関車は公園に置かれていたのですが、今では瓦礫の一部となってしまいました。

“Who wasn’t here last time we came?...” 「今回ここに来たのは初めてだという人は?」

Gunther Walter, a TFI volunteer from Nagoya. 名古屋から駈けつけてくれたTFIボランティア、グンサー・ウォルターさん

Megumi Kitano , TFI volunteer, happy to help. ハッピーにお手伝いするTFIボランティアの北野恵さん

Happy to receive a Mottos for Success calendar. 「成功の鍵」カレンダーを喜んで受け取ってくださいました。

Volunteers from our fourth trip with Mr. Miura and some of the people who received the supplies. 4回目のトリップに行ったボランティアの人達と三浦さん、また物資を受け取ってくださった方々

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fukushima music relief: Bandaid! 福島で音楽による応援活動:バンドエイド!

June 29th - July 1st 6月29日から7月1日まで
On this leg of the “Music Relief” aspect of our relief mission, six of us visited 6 evacuation centers and 2 old folks' homes in the Fukushima area. 救援ミッションを、音楽で応援するために、6人が福島県にある6つの避難センターと2つの老人ホームを訪問させていただきました。

Our band: Mike Marrington, Yoichi Nobuka, Gene Kato, and Florence McNair, and our managers: Takuji and Eiko Tadaura (taking the photo) バンドメンバーです: マイク・マリングトン、延賀陽一、加藤仁、フローレンス・マックネア。そしてマネージャーの只浦卓二さんと栄子さん。(えいこさんはカメラの後ろにいます。)

Among these places that we visted, was the Fukushima Big Palette in Koriyama. This was our 3rd visit. We discovered that many of the evacuees have been moved to temporary housing, but still many of our friends were there to hear our show. 訪問した場所のひとつは、郡山市にある「ビッグパレットふくしま」です。ここを訪問するのは3度目です。以前そこにいた多くの人達はすでに仮住宅に引っ越したので、いませんでしたが、私たちがお友達になった人もまだたくさんそこに住んでいて、バンドの演奏を聞いてくださいました。

Also, the JICA headquarters in Nihonmatsu city, where we were welcomed by many of our friends who we met the last time we came. They were happy to hear the new songs that we performed with our full band, and many sang along with the songs that they were familiar with from the CDs that we had left them last time. (Which made us VERY happy!) また二本松市にある「JICA二本松」も訪問しました。先回訪問した時には、とても歓迎され、多くの方々とお友達になりました。今回、バンドメンバー全員を連れて来て、先回歌わなかった歌を歌ったので喜んでいただきました。また歌った多くの曲は、先回私たちがプレゼントしたCDの中に入っていたので、皆さんがCDですでに聞いて知っていた歌でした。(皆さんがCDを聞いてくださっていたことを知って、とてもうれしかったです!)

We also visited the evacuees at the Koriyama Agricultural Research Center, the Azuma Undou Sougou Kouen, the Aoyama Primary School, and visited for the second time the Koriyama Seishounen Kaikan. 郡山農業研究所、あづま運動総合公園、青山小学校も訪問しました。そして郡山市青少年会館へは今回二度目の訪問となりました。

We were able to bring a special Japanese manga book designed especially for the disaster, donated by the artist, our friend, Jeremy-san. 私達の友人のジェレミーさんはアーティストで、災害の状況のために特別マンガ本を製作したのですが、私たちに寄与してくださったので、それを皆さんにお渡しできました。

We made balloons for the children, and made many new friends. 子供達や新しくお友達になった方達のためにバルーンを作りました。

Once again, our wonderful managers and friends the Tadauras made our stay in their home in Fukushima very comfortable and wonderful. We couldn't have asked for a more fulfilling 3 days! 私たちの素晴らしきマネージャーであり、友人である只浦さんご夫婦が、福島にある彼らの家に滞在させてくれたので、私たちは快適に過ごすことができました。これ以上充実した3日間はなかったと言えるくらいです!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

TV spots! TVスポット!

Here are some links to TV news broadcasts that covered the volunteer work by the Fumbaro project and Sakana no Miura in Tohoku. Check them out!
Go to for a full list of the broadcasts so far.


Below is the Fumbaro project commercial


Friday, June 24, 2011

FUNBARE HIGASHI NIHON (June 20th to 23rd)

By Megumi Kitano

"Funbare” is the way the the people in Tohoku say “Gambare.” And Fumbaro Higashi Nihon is the name of this project started by “Sakana no Miura” and his associates. (see earlier post for more details)

「ふんばれ」とは、東北地域では「がんばれ」という意味で使われています。そして「ふんばろう東日本」とは、「魚の三浦さん」と彼の仲間が始めたプロジェクトの名前です。 (さらに詳しい事は前のポストを参照してください。)

It was amazing to see how what started as a personal initiative has grown and spread all over the country and even abroad, as all throughout the day, small boxes, bigger boxes, a whole bunch of boxes and even truckloads would arrive from concerned individuals and companies around the world—from people all wanting to do something to help support the recovery of this area.


This trip, we had received 160 boxes of aid via Mr. & Mrs. Shimonaka (who are based out of Tamba City southern Japan) and their network of associates. Thank you so much for providing this. We were able to rent a truck to take up everything, as well as 10 volunteers all from Saitama and Chiba Prefectures—Noda, Shirai, Tateyama and Matsubushi.

Here are pics of the donated tent that we all camped out in.



We helped to divide and sort the content of the boxes, so that it could easily be taken per family and took it to evacuation centers and temporary housing units.

Everyone from this evacuation center said they would be moving to a nearby housing unit the following day. There will continue to be needs once they move though, such as laundry soap, hangers, umbrellas (going into rain season) food seasoning, cutlery, dishware, and other basic housing necessities.



This is still the background view of many of the temporary housing units. A large part of the rubble has been cleared, but due to the scale of it, there's also lots that hasn't been touched yet, so it remains.


This trip Kato Aiki and Isamu Tanaka also drove up from Tateyama to help build a roof, as the makeshift tarp was beginning to need some improvement.


The local fisherman started bringing their fish to Mr. Miura, and the simple beginnings of rebuilding his fish outlet has begun.

Cutting, gutting, cleaning, filleting and packaging the fish for customers that love it.



Lots of thanks to the many many people who were involved in so many ways to make this work possible. Every little bit makes a difference.

Special thanks to those who drove long hours tirelessly to get to Tohoku and back, as well as those who lent the use of their vehicles, man power, skill, and also those who gave financial support for the gasoline and tolls or to buy things that are most urgently needed.