The future starts today, not tomorrow

Five days passed after our arrival at Tohoku. Today was one of the most inspired programs – Fishery and Forestry. Although there are many things which I would like to write about it, I preface first talking about the Japanese guest house, the Minshuku. I had a prejudice about the Minshuku in Japan, and I presumed that all of the Minshuku were an old Japanese house. However, everything overturned after staying at the Minshuku Tsujiken and Sitamiti in Kesennuma and Minamisanriku. It was a satisfactory stay for me, and I hadn’t any inconvenience during my sojourn there. It was like the Japanese-style hotel. I was astounded and felt chastened for having such discourteous misapprehension about the Minshuku. Every day was a new and eye opening experience, and I was bewildered toward food and culture which I couldn’t encounter in the Kanto region.

Meanwhile, about my day, I woke at 6:00 am and walked around the refreshing waterfront street with the other exchange students who were awake. Comparing to the Kanto region, the temperature was more than five degrees lower, and I had the comfortable stay in Tohoku. We walked and ran for an hour and headed back to our room and took morning bathing which invigorated my brain to participate in today’s program.

We ate nutritious Japanese breakfast; white rice, hijiki, mackerel, seaweed, and steamed fish paste. I hadn’t eaten healthy food for succession, so my body felt different from a month ago. After having delicious food, we had a brief dialogue about today’s plan and started to get ready for it.

We headed to Shizugawa Bay and met with Mr. Kenichi Muraoka, and his wife Mrs. Kinuko, who work in fishery in Minamisanriku. He talked to us about the industry of wakame, a brown seaweed native to the coasts of Japan. Shizugawa was one of the places which were influenced by the great earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, 2011. They almost lost everything by the calamity. Notwithstanding, without ceasing, they recovered to how things used to be. It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop (Confucius, Founder of the Confucianism). Hearing their life experience, I have learned the importance of never giving up, even if I face difficulty. Furthermore, it made me think about the way to live magnificently without ambiguity.

Subsequently, having fresh seafood cuisine with Muraoka-san, we moved to the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council), authorized forest managed by Sakyu corporation, taking the bus. For the plan, we were told to walk around the forest and feel the nature.  Unfortunately, the weather was rainy, and the schedule was almost canceled. Nevertheless, we stated our real intention to walk in nature, and they accepted our exploration of the forest. For the guide, we met with Mr. Taichi Sato. He was a unique person, and I had the strong impression left inside me. Through his activity, I realized the importance of the existence of the forest to circulate and sustain the community.

Saving nature correlates to saving our lives. This word strongly left behind inside my solicitude. I would like to reflect intensely on the community and take measures to revitalize my society to generate the immeasurable globe.

Shunsuke Watando
Keio Shonan Fujisawa SHS

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