Tohoku field trip & Other activities, 2015 Fall
Tohoku field trip
From November 2nd to the 4th, a number of exchange students from the UC and ISP programs along with a MGU student visited the Otsuchi and Kamaishi areas of Iwate to study the continuing effects of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
November 3 : Visit Otsuchi town
(Visit to the City Hall, a temporary shopping area, temples)
・Lectured by local NPO member (reconstruction plan and discussion) and a Buddhist priest at Kisshoji temple
・Workshop with local junior high school students who are going to study in US.
November 4 : Visit Kamaishi City & Chusonji temple
・Guided by a local volunteer in Kamaishi
・Visited the World Heritage Site, Chusonji temple
What did you learn from this tour?
Firstly, I learned that although human beings can form many incredible things, none of them can fully withstand the will of nature. One of the tour guides mentioned that many of the residents who lost their lives were too reliant on man-made things (e.g. the sea wall) to protect themselves from harm and didn’t comprehend the magnitude of this natural disaster. Secondly, I learned that education proved key in assuring the safety of many individuals, mostly kids in Kamaishi. It goes to show that an educated citizenry is pivotal to survival.
Although tedious at times, education has the ability to to give individuals, even small school children the tools to make life or death decisions in their own lives. Thirdly, that life is precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted. You never know when your time is up, therefore life should be lived passionately and gratefully. Lastly, if you truly love someone and care about someone, let them know and let them know often. (Written by Koichiro)
Natural disaster education is the best way to prevent the loss of life. Technology can only do protect lives. Also, governments should gather open-ended information on attitudes on decisions, rather than force limited options on citizens who are struggling to rebuild after a disaster. (Written by Brian)