Members of the Ohana International School in Tokyo, The British School in Tokyo (BST), Miyabi Arashi Taiko School, and RIKEN Institute communities have spent the past six months raising money to support a small fishing village in Tohoku during its recovery after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Having visited the Oshika peninsula as a volunteer during Golden Week of that year, Ohana International School Director Shelley Sacks was overwhelmed by its beauty, despite the obvious destruction. When her friend, Caroline Pover, who lives on the peninsula for part of the year supporting the various communities, approached her about raising money for Koamikura, Shelley didn’t hesitate in responding in the affirmative.
Together with the broader Ohana community, which includes BST, Miyabi Arashi, and RIKEN, along with many other individuals, they managed to raise ¥1.5 million. This money has been spent on repairing the roof of the town shrine and also the steps to the shrine — the entire town was swept away and the steps to the shrine damaged to the point that for the past two years it has been impossible for villagers to reach it.
At the time of going to print, 50 people from these Tokyo communities are preparing for the long journey to Oshika-hanto to meet the local people for the first time and to join them as they celebrate with the first Koamikura matsuri since the earthquake.