Members of PhotoVoice Sendai worked to recruit new members through handmade pamphlets and word of mouth, and as a result the Ishinomaki Group was founded in October of 2012. Volunteers from PhotoVoice Sendai underwent training to act as facilitators for this group.

Although they had never met each other before the project began, these Ishinomaki Group members expressed that they felt that they had known each other for a long time, with the connection growing stronger with each meeting. They felt that this was a place that they could share matters that they could not talk about elsewhere.

** Listed at the end of each member profile is their corresponding PhotoVoice title as searchable in the National Women’s Education Center (NWEC) Archive for Post Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction & Women Support,which is linked to the National Diet Library Great East Japan Earthquake Archive Hinagiku. If you find a title that interests you, please click the link to learn more.
You can now check the PhotoVoice listings searchable in that archive here.

Member Profiles

● Takahashi in Ishinomaki
I will never forget the support we received from people all over the country. I hope everyone will keep Ishinomaki City in their thoughts as we gradually make our way toward recovery. I am a nurse in my sixties.
* In the PhotoVoice Archive: “Precious Smoke” (2013)

● Usagi
My home of four years was completely destroyed.
After two years living in temporary housing, I’ve finally had a new house built.
All I can do is move forward. (But lately, my spirits are lagging behind. I feel a little worn out…)
* In the PhotoVoice Archive: “The Bread That Kept Us Alive” (2012)

● K.S.
I am a resident of Ishinomaki City in my forties. I lost a lot in the disasters, but since I love the kindness of people here, the dialect and the local products, I want to keep living in Ishinomaki forever. I feel grateful for being alive, and want to live my life to the fullest to honor the souls of the deceased.

● Mon
I am a resident of Ishinomaki City. The disasters taught me a hard lesson: how precious those things were that I had taken for granted.

● Ramarama
[age and occupation unspecified] For decades I have put on a smile and acted tough — pretending, I don’t know, like I couldn’t hear the wind blowing from the outside or the storm raging from the inside; like I was mature or something. But once I realized after the earthquake that I had been going round and round to the same places like a merry-go-round, I resolved to abandon my “complacent woman” routine and make my debut in a new world.
* In the PhotoVoice Archive: “Cherry Blossoms Will Bloom” (2012)

● Y.S
I am a resident of Ishinomaki City and an office worker. The disasters damaged our house so badly it had to be demolished. Ever since the disasters, I have felt as if I am living my life all over again.
* In the PhotoVoice Archive: “Unyielding” (2013)