MINAMISANRIKU IN OUR HEARTS
Our fishermen have fished in the sea for countless generations
with a strong camaraderie, always cheering each other up
and being in competition with each other.
They have always pooled their knowledge in their cultivation of
oysters, sea squirts, and wakame seaweed.
In freezing winter, the songs of our children as they visit their
neighbors’ houses on the beach can be heard as they are borne on the wind.
Pieces of white paper expressing good-luck adorn
the Shinto altar placed in each household.
The Shinto altar’s pure neat beauty matches well with
the spirit of a fishing village.
Big picture lanterns onboard fishing boats light up the night
creating a magical world of fantasy.
Once upon a time the ships came into Hachiman River
and now the same river is lit by lanterns.
We sing and dance while celebrating and praying for
a large catch of fish and a bountiful harvest.
We overcame tsunami disasters in the Meiji and Showa eras.
Even when the tsunami caused great damage, we were able to
rise up time and again to return to our former lives.
We put together our heads and strength, never giving up.
Always keeping a smile on our faces, we rebuilt our town.
We have shown our children how to live our lives and
they will follow in our footsteps.
The mountains provide us with rice, beans, and apples.
In anticipation of the harvest season, the sounds of drums from
the Harvest Festival echo throughout the mountainside.
Everyone is excitedly awaiting the mikoshi portable shrine decked
with flowers and marchers dressed in colorful costumes.
Our fishermen plant trees in the mountains and cultivate the sea.
At the end of a long trip covering great distances,
the salmon come all the way back to the sea of Minamisanriku.
Other sea creatures that call this sea their home are the smooth lumpfish
and Grant Sculpin, and a new type of starfish.
You can actually feel the people, plants, and fish living
together in harmony. This indeed is Minamisanriku!
Memories of our town remain vivid in our hearts.
Will these memories someday fade?
Such fears sometimes cross the back of our minds.
We know the dangers as well as the bounties of nature.
This is why we are always humble because we realize that
we are alive only through the generosity of Mother Nature,
in the same way our ancestors did.
Always believing in tomorrow, we will never give up.
If we walk together hand-in-hand, we can achieve anything.
Our sea will surely be blessed again.
Our town will surely become happy and vibrant again.
No matter what trials or tribulations we face in the future,
we will tackle them head on with a strength and vitality equal to the sea.
We will create new ties with people who visit this town
and add their strength to ours.
The tide rises and the tide falls in an endless cycle.
With this in mind, we live in this town today,
looking at the sea with pride in our hearts.
THE PLACEWHERE IS MINAMISANRIKU?
Minamisanriku town is located in the northeastern part of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
A harmony of ocean and mountains, the east faces the Pacific, surrounded by a geography of 300-500m above sea level.
The town’s total area is 163.74 ㎢, approximately 18km from east to west and 18km from south to north. On the east to where the coast stretches, one of the richest fish farms in Japan lie, where sea life is rich and abundant. The town has four districts − Shizugawa, Utatsu, Iriya and Tokura, and consists of a part of Minamisanriku Kinkasan Quasi-National Park, overlooking the powerful scenery unique to the Rias Coast.
Due to the current of the Pacific Ocean, the climate is fairly mild with cool summers and winters with small amount of snow.
The town was affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11th, 2011 with a magnitude of 9.0 followed by a tsunami, destructing approximately 60% of the houses in town. The current population is approximately 14,000.