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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Starting school in Iwate Pref.

April 1, 2018

Post-disaster children start elementary school in Tohoku




OFUNATO, Iwate Prefecture--For the first time, all children who attended the entrance ceremony of an elementary school in this tsunami-hit coastal city were born after the 3/11 disaster.


The 15 youngsters may not have been around when the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami devastated coastal areas of the Tohoku region, but their parents were, and they recalled the horror and the compassion of that time.


“Many people extended a helping hand to us,” said Wakako Tamura, 36. “I would like my son to return their kindness and consideration.”


Her son, 6-year-old Momoharu, one of the newcomers to Ryori Elementary School, was born three months after the disaster when his parents were staying at their relatives’ home in the city. The parents’ own home was destroyed by the tsunami.


Wakako said she received baby formula and diapers in aid.


“I want to work hard to remember katakana and play baseball,” Momoharu said.


Holding the entrance ceremony on April 1 has been a school tradition dating back to the prewar era.


Students started wearing kimono for the occasion in the 1970s.


The boys’ kimono consists of a short Japanese overgarment called “haori” and a long pleated skirt called “hakama.”

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