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2021 July Heavy Rain (Atami) ActivityReport NPOPartnerProjects

【July 2021 Heavy Rains】 Local Partner Organization Continues to Support Atami

In July 2021, deadly landslides struck Izusan in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture. Some areas are still restricting access and the residents are under evacuation.

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Tenkarasen, Civic Force’s local partner organization, has been providing support to residents since the beginning of the disaster.

Initially, Tenkarasen focused on distributing relief items, hosting events for the locals, and opening a community cafe. However, one year since the disaster, their activities have seen some changes. 

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Shakuhachi (Japanese flute) concert at the community cafe

Many residents resettled into new environments and Tenkarasen continues to support them by hosting meetings and community events to promote self-reliance. They also invited disaster responders including firefighters, the social welfare council, and neighborhood associations to discuss concerns and challenges faced by the local residents. 

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During and after the events, participants shared their challenges and concerns about future disasters.

This past September, Tenkarasen’s staff and local residents attended another aid organization’s event. They talked about their experience during evacuation, current living conditions, and lessons learned from the disaster. A local participant commented, “We do not hear about the disaster on the news anymore and I felt like we were forgotten. It was very encouraging to see so many people were willing to listen to what we had to say.”

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Tenakrasen also installed a wooden cabin where visitors can leave their messages.

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The community cafe was opened in April. People from in and outside Izusan visit the cafe and it is becoming an important gathering space for the community.

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Tie-dye event at the community cafe

Tenkarasen also published “Tenkara Shimbum” to disseminate information about the community and activities implemented by various organizations. Less tech-savvy people also prefer this analog information source. Tenkarasen is currently preparing to publish its second edition.

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Although Tenkarasen is expanding its activities, challenges also remain including fundraising, future projects, and partnerships with local residents. Tenkarasen continues to work toward the speedy reconstruction of Izusan.

*Civic Force supported Tenkarasen through the NPO Partner Project from November 2021 to September 2022.

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