Junior Writers Reporting

A girl students group trying to send smile to earthquake-stricken area

A group, named “Yappesu☆Hiroshima” of Yasuda Women’s University which is located in Asaminami Ward in Hiroshima City, works to support for the area damaged by Great East Japan Earthquake. The name of “Yappesu” comes from a dialect word of Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture and means “Let’s do it”.

A leader of the group is a third-grade student in department of primary education, Hiroko Kyosen, 21, and other members went to Miyagi Prefecture in March 2012, and they wanted to find something they can do to support for the people in the disaster-stricken area. In May, they found the group, now they have 13 members, 9 juniors and 4 freshmen.

“Even in same Sendai City, we saw different landscapes depend on location. I felt gaps of process of reconstruction”, one of members who visited the earthquake-stricken area, Yuki Ishizuka, 19, a freshman, says. Another member, Ayane Amano, 20, a junior, recalls, “I went there to give assistance to people who lived in temporary housings, but on the contrary, I was given courage by them who live strongly”.

They designed hair ornament using colors of specialties of Hiroshima and Miyagi, and sold 200 ornaments in University Festival in November 2012. Those were floral hair ornaments made of woollen yarn, red of maple and yellow of lemon were from Hiroshima’s specialties and white of rice and green of Zunda (green soybeans) were from Miyagi’s specialties. These four colors were used for petal of floral ornaments that were hand-made by people who lived in temporary housing in Ishinomaki City.

The students’ group plans to continue support. “We want to work in Hiroshima to help people in disaster-stricken area smile, not send relief supply. We want to work in cooperation with students in other university”, Ms. Kyosen says. They aim to work to be a bridge between Hiroshima and the disaster-stricken area. (Kanna Inoue, 17)

(Originally published on January 21, 2013)