Ishinomaki Summer 2018

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Introduction of Ishinomaki:

Ishinomaki is one of the many places in Tohoku that are undergoing rapid transformation into innovative hubs that encourage new ideas through civic participation. Ishinomaki is the second largest city in Miyagi prefecture and used to play a vital role in transporting rice from Tohoku to Edo via the Kitakami River. However, like many other rural cities, population began declining rapidly over the past 20 years, and to make things worse, the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 took away more than 3000 lives and swept away large parts of the coastal areas.

Learning Points

  • Learn how the locals engender innovation with design thinking to create new opportunities in Ishinomaki.

  • Investigate how Ishinomaki overcame the Great East Japan Earthquake and rebuilt itself into an innovation hub.

  • Study the social contexts of disaster management, the successes and failures of disaster mitigation in the Tohoku region.

  • Learn about the new attempts to revolutionize the fishing industry in Japan.

  • Try hands-on experience of craftsmanship and engage in problem solving workshops.

  • Discuss the principles and ideas of sustainability and how they are adapted to the complex reality.

  • Discover how innovative solutions to problems caused by population decline, aging population and tourism require an integration of social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability.

Participation Fee: ¥20,000 (Special Price for Students), ¥50,000 (For Non-students)

Participation fee covers accommodation, workshop materials and workshop experience.

Note: Transportation to Ishinomaki and meals are NOT covered.

*The participation fee above does not include tax. The actual participation fee will include 8% tax.

General Flow of Application Process:

Application Period: May 14 ~ June 15, 2018

Interview: By June 24, 2018

Announcement of Results: By June 30, 2018

Pre-Trip Gathering: July 21/ 22 or August 21/ 22 (TBC)

Program Dates: 8/27 ~ 8/31 OR 9/3 ~ 9/7

Tentative Schedule for Ishinomaki:

Day 1:

  • Gather at JR Ishinomaki Station. Introduction to Program.

  • Walking tour around the city: Get familiar with Ishinomaki and learn the essentials about the 3/11 disaster. Discover the impact of the catastrophe and the city’s rebuilding policies. 

  • Ishinomaki Community and Info Center: Learn in detail about Ishinomaki before and after the disaster. Watch the photographs, recorded videos, and listen to the people who experienced the catastrophe. 

  • Ishinomaki 2.0 Workshop: Learn about the initiatives of the citizens for whom the disaster became a catalyst to create a brand new innovative and attractive urban space. Listen about the projects they coordinate, aiming for empowerment and strengthening of the local community.

Day 2:

  • Yahoo Japan Ishinomaki Base: Learn about a world-wide-known corporation challenging the problems of disaster-affected areas and helping their revitalization through digitalization and IT technologies. 

  • Fishermen Japan Workshop: Join local fishermen at Oshika Peninsula, help with oyster fishing and learn about challenging the stereotypes regarding fishing industry through innovations and digitalization, while enjoying the BBQ lunch of fresh oysters.

Day 3:

  • Hamaguri-do: Keep learning about recovery, sustainability and educational initiatives while enjoying lunch at the renewed 100-year-old Japanese house located at the peaceful, picturesque coast of Oshika Peninsula. 

  • Ishinomaki Lab Workshop: Meet a team of carpenters who engaged in spreading the DIY skills after the disaster, and found out the importance of space arrangement for re-creating the bonds within the community. Challenge yourself, embrace the DIY spirit and take a souvenir home!

Day 4:

  • ITNAV Workshop: Meet the team who aims to strengthen the local potential by teaching IT to school kids, and creates the new human resources. Experience their teaching methods while you fly drones above the city.

  • Preparation for the party with local people: Go shopping and prepare your favorite dish to share with Ishinomaki’s residents. Enjoy cooking with the other participants and experience international cuisines. 

  • Party with the locals: Share food, stories and ideas! Spend an unforgettable evening  with the welcoming and warm-hearted citizens of Ishinomaki. 

Day 5 (Optional):

Optional trip to Onagawa (recommended!) : Visit the nearby town that is recognized for its outstanding pace of reconstruction, despite being one of the regions the most severely affected by the disaster. Feel the good vibe at Sea Pal Pier promenade, buy original souvenirs – colorful Spanish tiles or hand-made organic soap, and taste their locally-crafted beer. 

* The program schedules and requirements are subject to change without advanced notice. More information will be given to you during the interview.

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Photos of Last Year's Activities in Ishinomaki