Friday, March 25, 2011

March 20 (Sunday): From Sendai - Ishinomaki City

We heard from President Nakamura of Food Bank Tohoku AGAIN. His home is in Ishinomaki City, and he told us about the delay in recovery in the city. So we made a hasty trip to Nishinomaki City with two vans.

Nishinomaki City is the second largest city in the prefecture.

It was hit by the tsunami along the coast and was devastated.

Even right now, there are 39,000 people evacuated.

The radio broadcast we’ve been listening to on the way to Ishinomaki has been telling us about the welfare of the people of the city.

During the morning, we visited the area around Kitawamigawa River.

Right after the earthquake, the seawater pushed the river against its flow. Then the tsunami came.

The roads cracked and fell apart, and the paddy fields and the houses around the area were completely submerged.

Arriving at an elementary school that serves as an evacuation shelter. (There are 241 people there.)

The lifeline of water, electricity gas has stopped completely.

The evacuees brought stockpiled rice from the neighborhood farmhouse. They were going to use the spring water from the mountain behind the school. However, they were concerned that the rain this weekend may have contaminated the water with radiation.

They have not eaten decent meals, so they were excited to receive curry in pouches and snacks. Because there are many elderly people, adult diapers and bladder control pads were also well received.

While there are no expectations that schools will resume, some volunteers have opened a “terako” (temple school). There is a feeling for never giving up.

In the afternoon, we moved to the area around the Ishinomaki Port to visit evacuation centers at two elementary schools and a junior high school.

When we arrived there, all the teachers and adults helped bring in the supplies.

This area has recovered electricity and water about two to three days ago. However, the last elementary school we visited received the most damage by the tsunami, and the electricity and water lines were completely down.

We received the message, “There are not enough supplies,” so we hurried there.
The school playground was piled up with mud.

Even the first floor classrooms were filled with mud.

People who try to clean have multiple shelters to take care of, and they seemed very tired.

Almost all of them have not had proper meals, so I’d like them to have something warm to eat.

I’ll visit them again tomorrow after preparing meals.

The destruction left by the tsunami could be seen everywhere.

On the way back, I heard on the news that an 80-year old woman and her 16-year old grandson were found alive under rubbles after nine days.

I felt happy hearing that they were alive under all those rubble.

During the meeting at night, we decided that we would emphasize Ishinomaki City for support.

Tomorrow (March 21), we will head out to help Ishinomaki City’s shelters and nursing homes with three trucks – a truck from another organization that arrived today, 2HJ’s truck, and AGAIN’s truck.

* Today’s delivery

Delivery locations

Ishinomaki City, Natori City, Iwanuma City, within Sendai City

Number of locations providing food and supplies: 18

Items delivered

Pouch curry, candy, sanitary items, personal gifts, rice balls

Everyone, thank you for your warm support!


  1. Keep up the great work! I'm happy that I donated to Second Harvest. I love that you keep us all updated with what you're distributing and how you're helping the Japanese people. You're all doing a great job and you should be proud of yourself. Gaman Japan!

  2. Love and prayers for you , and those you are serving, from Washington State, USA! We are thinking of you and are so proud of what you are doing to help survivors. You are not forgotten!!! Ganbatte! We love you!

  3. 2nd Harvest has come highly recommended for Japanese Assoc.of Lang. Teachers (JALT)and the Foreign Buyers Club (FBC) in Kobe. I'm in Osaka.

    I would like to spread the word on Facebook. It would help to talk with someone to better understand exact needs...I'm glad you got the van! What do you need next? I want to detail this in the message to 4000 members who are focused on Japan. It would help me to have a contact name. Is Charles best or is he tied up? I'll try the 03-3838-3827 tomorrow. If there is another link, please email me: