The central players of the town of Otsuchi are
the people who are attractive and full of individual character.
Even after the earthquake disaster,
people continue to embrace nature,
and make strides towards the rebuilding.
In this section, we will introduce people who work with diligence and enthusiasm
in the mountains and on the sea.
Taking advantage of local wood materials, I have been developing my business by sticking resolutely to the usage of building material of added value. Although the earthquake disaster took away numerous things from us, it strengthened our sense of solidarity and we have been witnessing these new connections being formed. One example is that local artisans created new services by collaborating with people from other industries. Apart from local connections, we have created the “food stool square” in cooperation with Tokyo University as a place where the disaster sufferers and supporters can interact with each other. We are also making a continued effort to cooperate with trade organizations from other areas. To break our existing boundaries and expanding our circles of communication are very important from now on. By stepping outside, I believe we can have new discoveries and possibilities.
Ever since my husband and I opened a small grocery store, we have maintained the business by ourselves. As we had our store and residence close to the port, we lost everything to the tsunami. When I thought of giving up on everything, our children told us that “We’d continue your work” and we decided to carry on. We sell both fresh and prepared fish of the season, and all of our prepared food is homemade on the premises. For example, our famous shiokara is made by carefully stripping the skin of squid and laying it out to dry in the sun. We ensure that we create our own unique taste which is only possible at Otsuchi. “Once I tasted Koshita’s food, I could not go anywhere else.” Such a compliment makes me happy, and it keeps me going.
I used to work at a shipyard, but I changed my occupation when I learned that a fisherman to operate in the set-net fishery was needed. As I am new to fishing, I am still learning about both fish and fishing. I am also trying to farm seaweed and scallops while doing salmon fishing as a main source of income. Because of the earthquake disaster, so few of us work in the fishery and the seafood industry now. A young person like me has to make a push, yet I know there are many young people who want to do something but are unable to take the first step. I’d like to encourage these youths, and make the town a happening place.