2013 has quickly kicked off, and our projects are moving along! Kitakami "We Are One" Collaborative officially opened last month, Maeami-hama Community house is scheduled for completion in the next few weeks, and we have welcomed many into MakiBiz with seminars and consultations. Read updates below for a glimpse of what's been happening.
The coldest month of the year has passed, and we can look forward to a slight rise in temperatures as we move into February. This coming month, two of our staff will be heading to Tohoku. Look forward to reports from them when they return.
Stay warm and take care!
Japanese Holidays (February)
February brings three holidays commonly celebrated in Japan (only one is a national holiday).
Feb. 3rd - Setsubun
(beginning of Spring)
Although this is not a national holiday, it is celebrated by many nationwide. This event occurs one day before spring, according to the Japanese Lunar Calendar and is now most commonly celebrated with the ritual of throwing roasted beans around the house and at temples and shrines yelling "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" This scares out the evil spirits from entering, and keeps happiness inside.
Feb. 11 - Kenkoku kinenbi
(National Foundation Day)
On this day in 600 BC, the first Japanese emperor was crowned. This is the only national holiday in this month. However, celebrations of this day are relatively muted since expressions of nationalism are rare.
Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day
In Japan, this day is celebrated slightly differently where only women give chocolates to men. Men return this gift a month later, on "White Day" (March 14).
*As always, we hope you enjoy seeing where your support has taken this program, and our doors are always open for feedback. 毎回同様、皆様のサポートのおかげで成し遂げられた成果を楽しんで読んで頂ければ幸いです。もし何か改良点などコメントがありましたら遠慮なく仰ってください。
Our first regional office in Japan, MakiBiz has been up and running since the end of November. Our staff has been providing business support for many clients, and have completed hosting our series of 6 MAKOTO Business Seminars, over a period of 3 months. The seminars were attended by many in the community, with high satisfaction. Look forward to new seminars to come.
Kitakami "We Are One" Market and Youth Center (completed)
Construction has been completed and the center officially opened its doors on January 23rd! With the center open, several programs have already been scheduled to take place in the new building. See images and a more detailed report here.
Maeami-hama Community House (in construction)
Construction is still moving along. Most of the building was assembled in a matter of weeks and the building is targeted for completion at the end of February.
Again, frequent construction updates on this project can be found on KMDW (the architect of record)'s facebook page (in Japanese only). We will also be providing periodically summarized updates from these posts here, so stay tuned (our most recent post found here)!
The two-year anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami is coming up. We will be launching a campaign to commemorate this event in support of the people in Tohoku who are still working to recover and rebuild. Stay tuned.