While supporting the immediate relief-supply needs of small communities affected by the triple disaster on 11 March, 2011, Team Sake is actively building up relationships and creating networks. In the process, as we see the vision of the future drawn from the villagers' hopes and ideas, we send it throughout the world on the internet, recruiting further assistance, to help bring these visions closer to realization. Providing such things as personnel (volunteer manpower), commodities, technical skills, and information, many people coming from across the nation, and indeed the globe, are able to use this website to assist survivors in whichever ways they themselves choose. This process in itself is considered to be the most encouraging and sustainable way of offering both short-term and long-term support for the villagers.

Aug 7, 2011

Team Sake Diary: Itabashi Village

Villagers’ needs

On the way back to Kyoto from Baba Nakayama village, we saw a sign reading “Water needed. 11 evacuees and one dog.” We decided to stop by to check out the situation. There was a house on the top of the hill. We gave them rice wine (sake) from Sasaki sake brewery in Kyoto, saying “Here is a different type of water”. Their relief goods were running out and there were few places to shop, so they were very glad to receive it along with soy sauce and seasonings, rubber boots and gloves.

While drinking some sake, the father of the house told us some stories. He is a fisherman. After the earthquake, he protected his fishing boat from damage for three days and nights by sailing it around avoiding the rubble in the sea. While telling us his stories he was smiling the whole time, yet he said “This is the first time for me to laugh like this since the disaster. I have to move forward. ”

They told us that the Nara Prefectural Police Department had been there and done so much for them. Before they went back to Nara, they had given them all the food they had. We talked to one of the ladies there too. Her daughter found seasoned powder for sprinkling on rice (furikake ) made of dried pickled plums in our supplies and was so happy. It’s her favorite. We realized the deep importance of providing this type of support to satisfy a person’s small wish. They introduced us on their blog and they also called us on the following day to see if we had arrived in Kyoto.