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Volume 88 - July 15, 2015

ID番号 N37938 更新日 平成27年9月29日

The sun beats down on our skin, letting us know that summer is here. And you know what that means: the excitement of the summer festivals held throughout all of Iwate!

Live Diving and Fishing Performances Started by the Ama of Kosode (Kuji)

ama diving
The ama of the northern coast during a live performance

Kuji City's Kosode Beach was the location of the NHK morning drama Ama-chan, and July 1, 2015 (Wed.) marked the first day for live diving and fishing performances by the ama* of the northern coast.

The ama use a traditional fishing technique where they dive into the sea to pick up sea urchins lying below. With just one breath, they dive more than 10 meters deep into the sea, put around 10 sea urchins into a backpack called "yatsukari," then swim back up to the surface.

The temperature of the waters remains quite chilly even in July, the height of summer. That didn’t bother the ama, clad in a kasuri-pattern kimono-style jacket and Japanese tabi socks, who dove into these waters to catch sea urchins that are perfectly in season. The audience that had gathered was waiting to greet their return to the surface with great applause.
 
The ama then cracked open the sea urchins that they caught on the spot and sold them for 500 yen each, giving visitors a chance to enjoy fresh, delicious sea urchins.

As Kosode was the setting for the drama Ama-chan, a stone monument was installed with an engraving exclaiming the area as the "Road of the Northern Coast Ama." The mayor of Kuji and about 30 professionals in the Kuji tourism industry were in attendance at the unveiling ceremony on July 4 (Sat.), where they celebrated the birth of a new tourist spot.

*Ama: female divers who often harvest sea urchins

Live Diving and Fishing Performances

Period: July to the end of September (summer only)
Times: Saturday and Sunday, 10:20- /11:20- /14:20-
*On the weekdays, groups of 10 people or more require a reservation
Cost: 500 yen per person
Contact: Kosode Ama Center
Phone: 0194-54-2261 (9:00-17:00) *Japanese language only
 

tourism officials and mayor
The unveiling ceremony of the stone monument

Furusato Tax in Rikuzentakata Re-opens, Establishment of the Tax Website Taka-Furu


box of condiments
Assorted condiments

On July 1, 2015 (Wed.), the Furusato Tax* was re-established in Rikuzentakata, which had no choice but to halt those activities after the impact received from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
In its efforts toward reconstruction, Rikuzentakata has set up a Furusato Tax website called “Taka-Furu”, which has gathered together many local goods. These will be given as gifts to those who donate over a certain amount to the city. 

Rice and seafood goods are among the 76 selections prepared as donation gifts. A local vocational center specializing in giving jobs to people with disabilities in the city was tasked with packaging and shipping the products, so not only does this initiative promote local goods to the rest of the country, but it also plays a role in supporting the independence of people with disabilities.
 


takata no yume rice
Rikuzentakata brand rice "Takata no Yume"

The Furusato Tax will support children, revitalize the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries industries, encourage people to move to the area, aid community activities and NPOs, and in many ways make a great contribution to Rikuzentakata. 

There is a Furusato Tax set up in each of the municipalities along Iwate's coast.

*Translates into "hometown tax" and is a quid pro quo system in which people can pay taxes (which can actually be seen more of as a donation) to municipalities or prefectures they don't live in exchange for local goods from that area.
 

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Yamada Children's Exchange Center

yamada children
The groundbreaking ceremony (Photo: Yamada Tourism Association)

The Yamada Children's Exchange Center (unofficial name) had its groundbreaking ceremony on June 28, 2015 (Sun.) at Yamada's Central Community Center. The center was drawn up by the Yamada Children Community Development Club after much discussion with the community and public administration. 

The exchange center will have a play area and a library, and there are plans to make the facility available to the locals as well. It will be located in the center of the town.  

About 120 people were in attendance for the ceremony, which consisted of members of the Children Community Development Club and others involved with it from both within and outside of the town. The design of the center was presented at the ceremony, and a groundbreaking ritual occurred to pray for safety during the building's construction.

The center is the result of an idea dreamed up by the Yamada Children Community Development Club (formed by NGO Save the Children Japan with the children from Yamada), and is built with the help of
donations from Suntory Holdings Limited, which has paid for the construction fees in full. When construction on the facility is completed, they plan to present it to the town of Yamada.
 

International Exchange of Music and Arts between Otsuchi and Taiwanese High School Students

Students from Liou-Guei Senior High School (Photo: Tsuchioto Project)

On June 29, 2015 (Mon.), students from Liou-Guei Senior High School in Kaohsiung, Taiwan visited Otsuchi and met with the students of Otsuchi High School (Principal Masaaki Odashima, 238 students total) for a music and arts exchange.

Kaohsiung received damage from a typhoon that hit in 2009. Students of Liou-Guei Senior High School planned this event with Otsuchi because "We want to share the experiences we've had as survivors of similar disasters, and we want to support the disaster affected areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami."

233 students from Otsuchi High School and a total of 75 people from Liou-Guei Senior High School (students from the choir group and taiko club, teachers, and other related people) attended the event. The Taiwanese students wore their vivid traditional clothes and had a taiko and choir performance, and in response, the students from Otsuchi had a brass band performance and performed the local traditional Tiger Dance.

Through displays of their respective cultures, they were able to cross over language barriers and deepen the exchange between the two countries.
 

Features

summertime

Taneichi Seaside Park Fireworks Show (7/25, SAT) in Hirono

Taneichi Seaside Park (Hirono)
A fireworks display on the endlessly white, sandy beaches
of Taneichi Seaside Park. The reflection of the fireworks on the sea looks magical.
Contact: Planning Committee: 0194-65-5916

Port Call to Sailing Vessel Nipponmaru (7/30, THU to 8/3, MON) in Miyako 

Fujiwara Wharf (Miyako)
The sailing vessel Nipponmaru will enter Miyako Port.
Contact: Miyako City Industry Promotion Department
Industries Support Center: 0193-62-2111

Sanriku-Ofunato Summer Festival (7/31, FRI to 8/1, SAT) in Ofunato 

Within Ofunato
One of Tohoku's biggest beach festivals with 8,000 fireworks lit into the sky and a parade with the Tanabata naval fleet.
Contact: The Ofunato Chamber of Commerce & Industry:
0192-26-2141

Morioka Sansa Odori Festival (8/1, SAT to 8/4, TUE) in Morioka 

Morioka City Chuodori Street (Morioka)
One of the festivals that represents the Tohoku region.
Summer nights in Morioka are filled with about 20,000 dancers, 2,000 flutes, and several thousands of taiko drums.
Contact: Planning Committee: 019-624-5880

The Northernmost Ama Festival (8/2, SUN) in Kuji 

Around Kosode Beach (Kuji)
Held with the magnificent view of the northern part of the Rikuchu Kaigan at the beautiful Kosode Beach.
Live diving performances by ama, stalls selling cheap sea urchin soup (ichigo-ni), traditional arts performances by the local children, and so on.
Contact: Planning Committee: 0194-52-2123

Kesen-cho Kenka (Fighting) Tanabata Festival (8/7, FRI) in Rikuzentakata 

Within Kesen-cho (Rikuzentakata)
A lively festival where people latch onto festival floats made
of cedar logs over 50 years old and crash into other festival floats.
Contact: Rikuzentakata City Tourism and Local Products Association: 0192-54-2111

Kamaishi Yoisa Festival (8/8, SAT) in Kamaishi 

Main street (Kamaishi)
Summer in Kamaishi equals dancing with loud, enthusiastic shouting!
Contact: Planning Committee Office: 080-8218-0098

Yamada Fireworks Show (8/14, SAT) in Yamada 

Around Yamada Fish Market (Yamada)
A fireworks show held during the Obon holiday.
There will be food and drink stalls as well as stage events at the venue.
Contact: Yamada Town Youth Leagues of Societies of Commerce
and Industry: 0193-82-2515
 

sanriku coast


hashino world heritage

A New World Heritage Site is Confirmed! (Kamaishi)

The Hashino Iron Mining and Smelting Site is a part of the "Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution," a group of 23 sites important to the iron and steel manufacturing, shipbuilding, and coal mining industries. They were just recently registered as a joint World Heritage Site.

In Iwate, its registration follows the World Heritage Site of Hiraizumi's back in June 2011.
 


hoya

The Season for Wild Hoya, the Pineapple of the Sea (Hirono)

The season for wild hoya is fast approaching. Hoya are caught using a traditional diving technique, called Nanbu-Moguri, in which divers plunge into the sea with a copper helmet. They dive 20-30m down into the waters of the wild hoya, and pick them up one by one. Hoya are said to taste the best around August.
 

Casualties and Damage in Iwate (as of June 30, 2015)

▶Human casualties/deaths: 4,672; Missing: 1,129
▶Buildings destroyed (residences only, total/partial): 26,163

Thank you for all of your support! (as of June 30, 2015)

Donations for survivors: Around 18.39738 billion yen (91,638 donations)
Donations for reconstruction projects: Around 19.68654 billion yen (7,378 donations)
Iwate Learning Hope Fund donations: Around 7.63508 billion yen (15,843 donations)
※ This fund is to assist in the study and daily life of affected
children by encouraging sport and study activities.

Contact

News from Iwate’s Reconstruction, Volume 88. July 15, 2015.
Published by the General Affairs Division, Bureau of Reconstruction, Iwate Prefecture.
Phone: 019-629-6925
Editing & Printing: SYNAPSE

*News from Iwate's Reconstruction Volume 89 will be published on August 1.

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