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Rolled Up Rice Seedlings

View from the top of rolled up seedlings making their way to Chiba for a tambo art project!

This year we participated once again in the Tambo Art Project in Soma. It really is such an amazing experience. There is just about nothing better than gathering with others to set seedlings in a field. It always feels like barely controlled chaos, but the pleasure of the work, the laughter, and the people we meet there each year makes it one of the most satisfying experiences ever.

Rolled up and ready to ride for a tambo art project in Chiba.

Some people we see each year, and others are new. We all work together, and by the end we are all pretty much equally muddy. The hot bath afterwards is always the best medicine for getting dirt out from under fingernails and ensuring that muscles aren't quite so sore the next day. The barbecue at Endo-san's home is always, always, always one of the loveliest events with great food and hilarity.

View from the top.
We also tour the Exclusion Zone around the power plant as a reminder of what happened and why this project is so important. The people of Tohoku need to know that they are not forgotten or dismissed or left to fend for themselves. They also need to have their story told. It isn't just the story of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, but their efforts at recovery and change. It is their activism and determination to rebuild and put up a fight that will benefit us all that needs to be recognized and supported. The disaster may feel like it's over for the rest of us, but for them it is part of their everyday life. They don't like it (who would?), but they keep on because to be passive in the face of it all is not acceptable.

Want to join? Check out their website (English available) for future events.


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