For three years, I lived and worked as a reporter in Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, which suffered massive damage in the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. As I visited the disaster-afflicted areas, I learned that the spirit of cooperation was alive in the hearts of the victims. The keys to the restoration and revitalization of the marine products industry I covered over the years are collectivization and consolidation. I created a fund to help children who have lost their parents. I want to spread the concept of a cooperative society sustained through mutual assistance.
Homes and buildings ravaged by the tsunami and gutted by fires, and the wrecks of vehicles, spread out as far as the eye could see. When I came upon this sight, I felt rage well up within me, and a howl escaped my lips.
These were the Minamihama and Kadonowaki districts of Ishinomaki, which had sustained more damage in the March 11th disaster than anywhere else. They are only a short journey from the office-cum-residence where I had been based until February, and I had passed through them and shopped there every day. I felt more angered than saddened at the drastic transformation they had undergone.
I traveled to Ishinomaki several times after the disaster; not only the city center, but also other places in my old stomping grounds, such as fishing villages on the Oshika Peninsula, neighboring Onagawa and Higashi Matsushima. Each time I visited, the debris had been progressively cleared from the roads and more shops had reopened. An increasing number of people told me that their electricity and water supply had finally been restored.
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