In September, members of IFAI Japan toured areas hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated areas of Japan on March 11, 2011.
The day that IFAI Japan visited the Bell of Hope Shopping Center in Onagawa cho, Miyagi prefecture, it was very hot. There was no roof or arcade in the shopping center, and someone said, “I wish there was a tent here.” Ms. Shoko Nomura of Saitama Tsusho Co. Ltd. wanted to help, so she offered a three-meter by six-meter “Mr. Quick” to IFAI Japan to donate to the shopping center.
The shopping center opened with temporary shops on April 29. It takes its name from the only bell still functioning from the four mechanical clocks that stood in front of the JR Onagawa-cho station. All of the mechanical clocks were swept away together with the station building, but one bell was found that could ring. This was placed in the shopping center as a symbol of their determination to rebuild and recover.
The tsunami reached 14.38 meters above sea level, destroying the center of Onagawa-cho and the businesses of the 52 shop owners who reopened in the Bell of Hope location.
For more about their visit, see “Earthquake recovery continues," or contact Kikuko Tagawa, executive director of IFAI Japan, at +81 72 780 2803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.