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The EXPO of Living 2012

In 2010, in collaboration with the residents of Minamisanriku, we organized an art project, in which we exhibited “Kiriko” – paper cutting craft of white paper – in front of the shops and houses along a 1km-long street that goes from the station to the “Osakana-dori” by the sea. Each work represented history and story of the house owner.
This project stimulated interaction among residents and shop owners of the town, making the stories of the community visible. After participating in the project, the women started to work spontaneously to make the town more attractive place, cooperating with the Industry Promotion Section of the town hall. Forty days after the briefing session of their activities for the latter half of the year, the whole town disappeared.
In the town of Minamisanriku, 70% of the buildings were swept away. Everything vanished in an instant – homes, stores, schools, factories, companies, public facilities… Even the remains of the buildings that survived the tsunami are now being demolished.
The residents are still forced to accept “temporary” lives with no prospects for the future, while places of their fond memories are disappearing one after another.
Image of the town still vivid in people’s memories, things that have been nurtured by time and culture that is specific to the area – are things we are working to keep alive, at the same time trying to make these elements foundation for rebuilding with new values.
We are deeply grateful to all the support, tangible or intangible, we have received. Without it, we couldn’t have achieved what we have done so far.
As the long road for rebuilding has barely started in affected areas, nothing will be more appreciated than your continuous support.
Please refer to “Wochi Kochi Magazine” of The Japan Foundation, to which we contributed a report, for our activities in 2011.