Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tohoku Trip #3: Ofunato

東北トリップ#3: 岩手県大船渡市

Ofunato is just above Rikuzentakata on the east coast, and we were able to visit it for the first time on this trip. This picture was taken along the port, where the ground has sunk so much that in some cases the roads and piers are completely submerged in water.

This sign was facing the main road, posted inside the Rias Hall evacuation center. (It says, "We refuse to lose to some tsunami!")

This was taken across the street from the Ofunato Plaza Hotel, an area badly hit near the port. The sign is a warning sign put up after the Chile tsunami; it says "Disaster strikes just when you have forgotten about it."

This was a sticker pasted above the Ofunato volunteer center (a few temporary prefabs set up in the parking lot behind the police station.) It says, "Rise again, Ofanuto! Tohoku! Japan!"

We asked one of the managers of a larger evacuation center near the train station where we could find a small site that no one had visited yet. He drew us directions to a place that likely no one knew about, a group of about 10 people staying in a large room next to a shrine on the main road. We sang for them in the evening and brought some presents for the 2 kids who were there.

We found the Kumano shrine, located on top of a beautiful hill. We sang many songs and became good friends with the people there. (Many of them came up front to get the home-made CDs that we'd brought--a compilation of some encouraging songs that we sing--and said they would play them on their car stereo.)
As we were leaving, they brought us boxes (literally!!!) of snacks and drinks that they said they didn't need and insisted that they wanted to give us as a gratitude gift for our visit.
As Gene was loading them into the car, I remarked to the woman beside me that the wind was very cold, and I wasn't used to such cold weather. She said, "Yes, but without such cold weather, you cannot see such bright stars. It's times like these that I remember that, when nature gives you one hardship, it gives you a gift that is greater in return."
Almost everyone came outside to wave to us as we left.
美しい丘の上にある熊野神社を見つけました。そこで、たくさんの歌を歌い、皆さんとお友達になりました。(多くの方が前に来て、私たちのホームメイドのCDを取ってくださり、カーステレオで聞くと言ってくださいました。それは励ましになる歌を編集したもので、私たちが歌ってきたものです。) 私たちがそこを出ようとしていた時、皆さんがお菓子や飲み物を入れた箱を幾つか持って来て、自分たちには必要ないから、またお礼の印として持って行ってほしいと言ってくださいました。


Anonymous said...

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I"m wondering if you could activate the share icons so it makes it easier to share posts with others.


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