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 Japan
■For Reconstruction of Community Bases / Kamisaka Area, Ofunato City (2012/11/21)

Reported by Mai Kamata, KnK Iwate Staff Member

Kamisaka 1
Reconstructed Kamisaka Public Hall


As requested by Ofunato City in November 2011, KnK started its projects to repair, reconstruct, and relocate 17 public halls that were destroyed by the tsunami. Then on November 11, 2012, a reception was held to celebrate the completion of the second reconstruction project, Kamisaka Public Hall in the Kamisaka Area of Massaki Town! The reception was attended by a total of 70 people, including the members of the JTI Foundation, which is assisting the projects, as well the members of the Ofunato City Board of Education, those involved in the construction and those who work for the public hall and local government, and a number of community residents. From KnK, Executive Director Dominique Leguillier and six staff members attended the reception.

Kamisaka 2
KnK Executive Director Leguillier giving a congratulatory speech 

At the reception was the performance of an ancient local entertainment the "Toramai" Dance! The musical instruments and costumes used for the music had been stored in the original public hall when the earthquake hit the area. The Toramai Dance was performed for land purification and the further prosperity of the Kamisaka Area. The powerful performance of the "tora (tiger)" dancing to the music represented the strength and power of the town as a whole.

Kamisaka 3Kamisaka 4Kamisaka 5
Local residents dancing “Toramai”

An old residential house was used to build the Kamisaka Public Hall. The warm atmosphere of the old house was retained for reconstruction, which makes the place comfortable and pleasant for visitors. At the same time the hall's anti-seismic structure was reinforced, leaving the building more resistant to natural disasters.

In the Kamisaka Area, nearly 50 houses were lost in the tsunami on March 11, 2011, and a number of people were forced to move into temporary housing. The celebration was full of smiles, indicating the public hall would serve as a gathering place when the people come back home and as a landmark building to link community residents.

Kamisaka 6
Ceremonial photo of celebration participants

KnK will continue to work for recovery of Ofunato in cooperation with the community.

We appeal to your generosity to continue our mid and long term actions.

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Nonprofit Organization Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (KnK)
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