Movements to reopen

Mr. Hatakeyama and I talked about looking for a place to reopen in the Iriya area (an area in the Minami-Sanriku-cho valley). Not that we had any prospects.

After agreeing to keep checking on our trainees and look for a place to reopen, we left the evacuation center on March 18th.

Mr. Hatakeyama and I started working again on March 22nd. Our foundation’s car was fine, so we used that to get around. We were really grateful that Kesennuma City designated vehicles belonging to foundations as emergency vehicles early on, so we got priority access to gasoline.

So I would meet with Mr. Hatakeyama every morning, and we would go around visiting our trainees in different evacuation centers.

Meanwhile we found a location to reopen in at the end of March.

The whole while, as different problems came up, like being unable to get a prefab building, we made a list so we could ask for assistance later.

In the rush to build temporary housing, we did manage to get a prefab even though it was just a rental, so I guess it did go smoothly.

But I think it took a long time from our trainees’ point of view. Every day was long for them. It’s easy for us to say it went quickly, but I think it felt longer to the people in evacuation centers.

I think it was around mid-April when we made a suggestion in order to get our trainees together as they were all scattered in different shelters. They couldn’t bathe at the shelters, so we decided the employees who were available would take the trainees to a bath house 2-3 times a week in Naganuma, Tome City. They just went to take a bath and have a meal. Though it wasn’t everyone.

We did that in April and May, mainly with the trainees living in evacuation. We had no place for everyone to gather, so we went on this way until we reopened in Iriya. It wasn’t everyone all the time, but we were able to get together at the bath house.