This is a rather informal communication with our friends who are interested in our activities. It will be informal in many ways, for example, you will not be receiving the newsletter periodically and faithfully, and the style or length will also be irregular. However, you will hopefully catch our spirit and the intention. As Ibuki means the spirit, we dare to talk to you freely like the Holy Spirit.
We go back in our history a little bit, but let me tell you about our last volunteer trip to Fukushima, on November 27-28, 2015. On November 27 p.m., we visited Mr. and Mrs. W. who are involved in the organic cultivation of Egoma, a kind of perilla which produces oil, originally coming from China and India. Since it was taken up as a topic in a TV program, Egoma suddenly became popular. The couple told us how hard they have to work for the whole course of its growth.
Then in the evening, i.e. after 5 p.m., we went over to the Village Office of Katsurao, and visited the public servants after their day of duty to give those who wanted “aroma hand treatment”. When we try to offer this kind of service during their working hours, the public servants refuse to receive the service. However, outside their working hours, we were welcomed. It was worthwhile to give them a little act of consolation. They were certainly physically very tired. This alone already convinced us that the problem of Fukushima was not finished. It was indeed a very meaningful evening．The more geographically distant from Fukushima, the less capable we are of understanding its problems.
The next day we went to help the work in Ms. S’s little shop for Christmas decorations. We were glad to see that this little space of Esperi is well utilized as an inter-cultural space for young people of the area to mix with each other. Even having someone explain what the Christmas decorations mean could become a great opportunity for cultural exchange.
A good number of visitors from all over Japan come to see the site of the Earthquake and Tsunami; numerous young people come to observe the actual daily life of the victims of the Nuclear Accident…. All these opportunities serve as a place of rich learning.
We are looking forward to the future development of these humble steps. May the Lord bless your steps as well as ours as we proceed into the unknown but attractive path.
Sister Yukie Nogami, ACI