Resilience Strategies Carried By the Residents and Volunteers: A Study of Great East Japan Earthquake

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 9:50 AM
Room: 313+314
Oral Presentation
Tatsuto ASAKAWA , Sociology, Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan
OTSUCHI-cho, IWATE prefecture suffered a heavy damage by the great tsunami caused by Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. According to the population census of 2010, there were 15,000 people in OTSUCHI-cho. Approximately 1,700 people became dead person or were missing, by the great tsunami. The Volunteer Center of Meiji Gakuin University began the reconstruction support project, named “Do for Smile at East Japan”. The center called for volunteer to students and faculty members, and composed some volunteer teams. The teams have regularly visited KIRIKIRI, which was one region of OTSUCHI-cho, from April 2011. The purpose of this study is to report resilience strategies that were carried by the residents of KIRIKIRI and volunteers, and to analyze sociologically the meaning of the strategies.

At first, the Volunteer Center began the fund-raising, as the emergency-relief work. The donation was spent as the travel expenses for the teams to go to KIRIKIRI. We helped the KIRIKIRI's residents to move the evacuation center from KIRIKIRI Elementary School to the old KIRIKIRI junior high school, which was not used as a school at that time, and helped teachers to reopen KIRIKIRI elementary school. These activities can be regarded as the respite care in a wide meaning. As the support activities for the residents who have lived in the provisional housing, the members of the teams were taught how to cook the local cuisine, named “KOMAKOMA-JIRU”, by the residents. The reason why the activity to learn how to make local cuisine from residents functions as supportive activity will be explained by the activity theory in social gerontology. Volunteers helped with the reproduction of "the KIRIKIRI dialect dictionary" most of which had been carried away by the tsunami. This activity gave the residents the pride for the KIRIKIRI.