This is Heisei no Sendai-Shir? from Tohoku Revival Calendar .
Today we introduce a sh?tengai shopping area set up in temporary buildings in Onagawa, Miyagi.
Kib? no Kane (Bell of Hope) Sh?tengai
It was opened on April 29 last year on the grounds of Onagawa High School.
The “Bell of Hope” is a bell recovered from tsunami rubble that had originally chimed in the Onagawa Station automaton clock. It now decorates a corner of the sh?tengai as a symbol for Onagawa’s recovery.
The sh?tengai was named after it.
The shops here include butcher, produce, and liquor shops among consumables; clothing shops and boutiques, restaurants for Chinese fare, grilled meat, and cafes; electronics, books, cleaning, and bicycle shops; a j?do bone setting therapist, salon, fishing shop, florist, taxi stand, cosmetics…
about 50 shops in all for just about anything you’d need! It’s the biggest such setup in all of the tsunami-stricken areas.
Since opening last year, word spread and both volunteers and tourists came in great numbers creating a buzz of activity.
But recently, the location being on high ground and inconvenient to access, the number of visitors has been falling I’m told.
Even as concerns are on the minds of shopkeepers, their hope for recovery stays in their hearts as they press on ahead.
“We have to keep moving. Two and three years on is when the fate of recovery is truly determined. We have to keep walking on our own legs.”
“The town of Onagawa is not recovered. If as the town comes back the shops aren’t doing well, the town won’t prosper. We now have to keep it up to build this town’s future.”
For the future, for the children, as a new hope for Onagawa the sh?tengai presses on.
Take a look again at the tsunami-stricken areas. Pay a visit. Talk with the people.
“Until the day when the sound of the bell of hope rings across Onagawa in smiles”
Kib? no Kane Sh?tengai
Onagawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry