Iwaki Study Tour

On Apr. 25, we conducted a study tour of the Fukushima prefecture, Hama-dori area.
It was planned with the objective to interview people actually living in the local area 4 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station accident. Twenty-four students and 8 members of the faculty participated.
At Tomioka-cho, our first stop, Chikako Nishihara, who is a narrator at the Tomioka-cho Otagaisama Center, acted as our guide. Nobody lives in the town where de-contamination is being carried out at a rapid rate, and one is left with an image of the inorganic scenery along with the thoughts of the residents that Nishihara spoke of.
IMG_7559IMG_7573 Next, we visited the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Revitalization Headquarters in Naraha-cho and asked Yoshiyuki Ishizaki, the representative of the institution about the current situation of the post-accident operations and about their revitalization efforts. Since it was a visit after seeing a town with no inhabitants, the members were eager to ask many questions and each one was answered.

Then, we moved on into the city of Iwaki and traveled along the coast as Yuichiro Kobayashi, who owns a surfing shop and sponsors a volunteer group that safeguards and preserves the shores, explained to us the problems that have become apparent concerning the construction of the coastal levee. He mentioned that with regard to the levee, there are things that have become apparent with the passage of time after the disaster, and that there is a structural problem in which it is very hard to get the demands of the users adopted.
IMG_7632 We interviewed Toyoda-san of the Nakanosaku Project at Seikou-kan near Nakanosaku port in Iwaki city. The Seikou-kan is an old house built 200 years ago, which they renovated by hand with the help of the local community, and it is open to the locals. Preparations for a mini-concert to be held that evening were going on.
IMG_7668 Our last visit was to Izumitamatsuyu Temporary Housing, which is where people from Tomioka-cho, our fist place of visit, are taking refuge. The previously mentioned Nishihara-san together with Norio Horiuchi met us. His regret of not being able to go back to the house he was born and raised in was conveyed from every word he spoke.
IMG_7706 On the way back, thinking about what we had observed during this visit in light of our experiences and knowledge, every one of us pondered about the relationship it has to our lives. As we are in the final year of the project, we would like to make effective efforts in expanding our work. (Hayashi)