Tohoku Update: September 26, 2012

Tohoku Update: September 26, 2012

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Sep 26, 2012
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October 2012 Tohoku Newsletter Banner

These updates are sent to our Japan supporters each month.
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Following a hot and rainy summer, October brings a much awaited coolness to Japan.  Leaves have begun to change colors in the Tohoku region, bringing a renewed colorful landscape to the region.  Taiiku-no-hi (Sports and Health Day), promoting physical and mental health is in the second week of October, and many schools and communities hold their annual undou-kai (Field Day) during this season, creating opportunities for community cohesion and a healthy competition amongst members of the community.  We hope that you are able to take this opportunity to appreciate the change in season, and remain active in your daily life.


As the Tohoku Rebuilding program expands in scope and capacity, activity ramps up. We'll be capturing progress on a monthly basis via these reports, sent to everyone who has supported Japan's recovery since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. We hope you enjoy seeing where your support has taken this program, and our doors are always open for feedback.


The featured projects show a glimpse into the work we have been involved in over the past few months!  Please feel follow more frequent updates on our Tohoku website





Updates /アップデート

Kitakami foundation pourKitakami "We Are One" Market and Youth Center (in construction)

Construction began in September and we are right on track with our schedule.  With the foundation taking form, the scale of the project is becoming clearer, and one can now picture the completed project with children running about.

  • The Ground Breaking ceremony was held on July 17, where Shinto priests from the local Tsuriishi shrine came to hold the ceremony praying for safe construction of the market and youth center.  The owner, land owner, architect, and AFH staff attended this ceremony.
  • The first two coats of the concrete pour are done, with the final finish coat expected later in construction.
  • The color scheme has been finalized with dark blue for the roof, and white for the walls
  • The ridgepole-raising ceremony (jyotoushiki) is scheduled to be held on October 15th at noon.  Locals will be invited to this ceremony.



  • 7月17日に地鎮祭が行われ、釣石神社から神主がお越しになり、マーケットとユース・センター工事の無事を祈りました。家主と地主、建築家とアーキテクチャーフォーヒューマニティ(AFH)スタッフがこの儀式に参加
  • 二つのコンクリート流しが行われ、最終コートは工事後期に行われる予定
  • カラースキームは、屋根が紺色、壁は白色に決定
  • 10月15日正午に上棟式の予定。地元住民をこの儀式に招きます


Banya building in constructionShizugawa Fishermen's Workplace "Banya" and Oyster Bar (in construction) 

We are in our final stage of construction, and we're only about 2 or 3 weeks away from completion to provide the proper workspace that the fishermen deserve.

  • roof work (waterproofing) has begun
  • some minor work (interior, exterior, foundation) coming soon



  • 10月、屋根工事着手
  • 残る工事は:内装・外装・補修工事、基礎修正工事、コンテナ下部工事、証明等電気設備工事のみ


Maeami hama modelMaeami-hama Community House (pre-construction)

We're partnering with KMDW (Kobayashi Maki Design Workshop) to construct a community house for the people of Maeami-hama.  With their experience in constructing a similar community building in Miyagi using tsunami washed plywood sheets as structural framing, the Maeami-hama Community House will have an innovative structure, consisting of slits in horizontal sheets of plywood fit into vertical ones.

  • We are in the process of obtaining a building permit, and are expecting to recieve it by November at the latest
  • project completion expected by January 2013



  • 確認申請中。11月までに取得予定
  • 2013年1月、プロジェクト完成予定


Oshika HouseOshika House (completed)

Since this project - a food shop and community space, is in a restricted area where most buildings are temporary, this buidling was designed differently with a more permanent and comforting aesthetic.  The use of Japanese cedar for the walls, and the traditional gable roof construction bring a sense of comfort to visitors, with the low-pitched roof capable of withstanding strong sea winds for years to come.  While giving a sense of permanency, the building was designed and constructed in such a way that it can be easily relocated if government determines to ban permanent construction in this area in the future.

This winning entry from our Build Back Better Tohoku competition was completed in mid-July.





Akahama covered alleyCovered Alley (completed)

Many in the community of Akahama village, are currently in temporary housing, where placement is random and sense of community is dissipated.  With the help from NPO Midori-no-ie School, we proposed a covered alley between units, to connect the upper and lower units of a temporary housing complex.  The stairs and roof were designed to reflect traditional architecture, utilized local materials, and encouraged residents to lend their hand for construction to cultivate a sense of community.  

This project was completed in mid-July.  Residents can now finally safely navigate through the complex, inviting opportunities for impromptu social gatherings at covered landings.







News /ニュース




Design Opportunities & Program Needs /人材募集





Design Fellow (Business), Japan 

Design Fellow (Architecture), Japan




Events /イベント

Seminar by MAKOTO

Business development seminars in Ishinomaki.  Details coming later this month on our website.  Stay tuned.



Tohoku Recovery Matching Campaign

During November 1-15 EDT, all donations to projects to our Tohoku Recovery activities through Global Giving will be matched 100%.  Double your impact by participating in this campaign!  Details to come soon.


寄付金キャンペーン期間:日本時間 112131分 から 11161359分までの間、Global Givingを通じた東日本大震災復興支援関連プロジェクトへの寄付はGlobal Giving100%マッチングします。是非この機会を利用してあなたの寄付金のインパクトを2倍にしましょう。詳細は近日発表。

Tohoku Project Status Report / 東北プロジェクト近況レポート

In Progress
Shizugawa Fishermen's Workspace "Banya" / 志津川本浜番屋 - CA 70%
Kitakami "We Are One" Market and Youth Center / 北上WeAreOne直売所兼子供ハウス - CA 20%
Maeami-hama Community House / 前網浜コミュニティーハウス - Pre-Construction

Akahama Covered Alley / 赤浜地区仮設住宅の雁木で育てる小さなコミュニティー - Completed, Jul 2012
Oshika House - Women's Collaborative / 牡鹿半島鮎川浜協女性部のために作業場 - Completed, Jul 2012
Paper Crane Sculpture / 折鶴オブジェ - Completed, Jan 2012
Shizugawa Judo Juku / 志津川柔道塾 - Completed, Dec 2011
Ohya Green Sports Park / 大谷グリーンスポーツパーク - Completed, Dec 2011
Hikado Marketplace / ひかど市場 - Completed, Jul 2011

CA Construction Administration / 施工管理; CD Construction Documents / 実施設計図; DD Design Development / 基本設計; SD Schematic Design / 基本デザイン; PD Pre-Design / デザイン構想- About the Phases(英語のみ)