Day 5: Around the Kyu-Kita-Kami River by airi katsuta

Before I start this post, I wanted to thank all of you that have been taking a look at this blog. I've been getting views from all over the world, in 25 countries including Japan, USA, Argentina, Ireland, France, Australia, etc. My purpose is to share the stories of Ishinomaki to as many people as I can. Everyone has a different story which wasn't on mainstream news, of how the ground shook so much that they couldn't stay standing up, how they couldn't reach their family members for days so they walked in the water waist deep to search for them, how they spent days without food or water on top of a roof, how they got caught in the water and climbed on to a floating car. We live in a world where internet makes everything accessible, so I am trying to share the stories that I heard face to face from the survivors of the 3-11 earthquake/tsunami. They are so brave and positive, such beautiful souls. I'm just a messenger.

We visited the Taiyaki (Japanese dessert) shop that Riho went to last year. I guess this store was the only thing opened in this area so Riho was happy to see that it's still in business. And it was the best Taiyaki I've ever had!

There's a lot of areas along the river that hasn't been repaired yet.

This bridge is called Nishi-Naikai Bashi. This bridge is used by many people so it is in the middle of reconstruction. One side of the sidewalk is completely closed so it was kind of scary riding our bikes alongside cars on such a narrow bridge.

I think I have a cat radar. Last year, I didn't see any stray cats. But now they're starting to appear again. This made me happy.

There was a little market place down the street where all the shops that were ruined by the tsunami got together. They're in trailers so this is temporary, but it's nice to see that they're open for business already.

Inside their cafeteria, they had pictures of before/after pictures of the town. In attendance were many tourists from all over Japan.

This is a drawing of Anpanman, a very popular kids anime. The theme song translates to "Do not fear, for everyone. Love and courage is your only friend." Even though it is a kids song, it was played a lot last year while volunteering. It sent out a positive message to everyone.

All over town, there are signs or ads of words of encouragement. "We are cheering for your energy/spirits!"

Next to this play set was a Japanese flag waving in the wind. Though it was ripped, it was still standing strong.

Day 4: Watanabe-san by airi katsuta

One of our missions for this trip was to give out the hand knitted clothing that the wonderful people of Japanese American Citizens League had made to the senior homes in Ishinomaki. So we contacted the nearby senior home to schedule an appointment for an interview. But when Riho talked to them over the phone, they said that they were not affected by the tsunami at all, so they would rather have us give the knitted clothing to a senior home that is more deserving. We wanted to hear their story, tsunami-damaged or not, because everyone was affected by this tragic event, one way or another.

This senior home is called Wakou-en. And this is the head manager, Watanabe-san. He said that on 3-11, he wasn't at the senior home or even in Ishinomaki. He couldn't get back until 5 days later, but the tsunami didn't reach the building because it was on a hill, but the earthquake had caused damage to the water pipes beneath the structure.

He showed us a book with aerial photographs of Ishinomaki, before and after. Since we are not familiar with the area, he showed us where everything is in detail and even gave us the book.

"Even if it's in the same city of Ishinomaki, the amount of damage is different in every area. Ishinomaki combined 5 towns, so it's pretty broad," Watanabe-san said. When we asked how this senior home have changed after the tsunami, he said "a lot of our patients have dementia, so most of them don't even know what happened. They didn't actually see the water. It shook a lot from the earthquake, so some walls have cracks but it's not very obvious from what people can see." He said very apologetically.

He showed us several other senior homes that had a lot of damage on the map.

"It hasn't changed so much for us. Sorry about that. But I'll introduce you to other senior homes that I know that suffered a lot. Let me give them a call."

We've been blessed to meet people like him all over the city of Ishinomaki. Everyday, someone lends a hand to us. We're very thankful.

Day 3: Middle of the day. by airi katsuta

This is actually the middle of the day of Day 3. I'm not used to blogging so I made a mistake and forgot to put this into the last post!

While working on my blog and editing pictures, my sister and I received some refreshments from the management of the hotel :) Yaaaay, drinks and snacks! You can tell on my face that I'm super stoked.

We went on a bike ride around town in the afternoon. And we were waiting at the crossroad? cross rails? idk. My sister told me that cars get stuck in the middle of the rails a lot. Impatient drivers… sigh.

We rode by the river that leads to the ocean and enjoyed the view. It was such a serene view. It's crazy how a beautiful and peaceful river like this overflowed and destroyed so many people's lives last March. Just unbelievable.

Our bike ride was pretty awesome. It wasn't too hot, wasn't too humid. I don't ride bikes that often so this made me want to take on biking when I get back to Arizona. Just saying. But then again, as my friend Daniel Kim always said, I just look fit. I'm usually panting by the time I walk upstairs but maybe going on bike rides might be good exercise!

My grandpa once told me that seeing green makes your eyesight better. So I stared at this landscape for a while. This is a tanbo, a rice field! My last name, Katsuta, means Victory and Rice field. Victory in the rice field!!

This is a car repair shop. There were many cars being repaired, because of the tsunami. This side of the building interested me more than people repairing cars. Vines! I love it when plants take over man made stuff.

So after getting back to the hotel and resting for a bit, I saw the golden light coming from the window so I forcefully made Riho stand by it to take a picture of her. I love you Riho.

Day 3: Endo-san of Casa de Costa & Dai-chan by airi katsuta

Endo-san:

This is Endo-san, the manager of Casa de Costa (the hotel we are staying at) and he's usually at the front desk. He's very kind to us and let's us know when the cleaning lady comes, or to drink lots of water because it's hot outside. We decided to interview him and ask him how it has changed since the tsunami.

He said the tsunami didn't reach the hotel since the ground level was a little bit higher, but they didn't have power for a couple of days. Since they got their shipment of food and water earlier that week, they had enough to share to their guests. They had propane gas so they cooked rice and some stir fry to last a few days.

Since the tsunami, their business have been great. Their rooms are always booked by volunteers and big companies. They lowered the room price to around $35 a night hoping that it will benefit the volunteers, he said "By making the room affordable for the volunteers, I hope that I can help the recovery process in this town go quickly. "

We decided to give him one of the crochet animals that we brought, this one is made by Ayumi, as a way of saying thank you. We heard one of the female staff saying "Oh my gosh, it's so cute!" so that made us smile.

We decided to give him one of the crochet animals that we brought, this one is made by Ayumi, as a way of saying thank you. We heard one of the female staff saying "Oh my gosh, it's so cute!" so that made us smile.

He is now chilling in the front desk. I hope he'll become some sort of a mascot for this hotel.

Grocery Store: 

 

We went to the grocery store later that day, and I was having fun looking at all the different things they had in there. I worked at a pizza restaurant for 4 years and I've never seen a pizza like this. Corn, bacon, broccoli, with mayonnaise sauce…. I guess I can't knock it 'til I try it!

 

Since Miyagi prefecture is right on the coast, they are known for their fresh seafood. The port of Ishinomaki is closed due to the tsunami, but some places a little far away have started fishing, and also started raising oysters. Seeing fish made me miss my dear pet fish, Patrick.

Riho found a coconut. They also had VitaCoco here! I love coconut water so we bought 4 of em. It's great for hydration.

The roads are very narrow in Ishinomaki. Can you believe 2 cars can drive by in this street? I would probably have a car accident here everyday.

 

In front of the hotel, there's a electric sign that flashes the phrases, "Thank you to everyone who has helped with the recovery. We will give our best. "

End of the day. We bought a lot of food, which we ate real fast, but it was surely heavy to carry. We even filled up our backpacks with food.

Dai-chan:

This is Dai-chan. He used to live in Arizona and went to ASU about 9 years ago. He was always like a big brother to me and he'd come over to my house all the time to eat dinner. He was the manager for the Sundevils and now he is the head coach for the Iwate Big Bulls. I knew him when he was around 23 being a college student, and now he matured so much with a beautiful wife and 2 adorable kids. We're so proud of Dai-chan :) Since this was our first reunion in 9 years, he took us to dinner and we got to eat good. We've been living off of ramen noodles and food from 7-eleven so we were very full and happy.

On our way home, Riho and I walked by this statue, Kamen Rider. He's kind of like a mascot for Ishinomaki.

At the stand of the statue, I just realized that there is a sign that says "Video Surveillance." Oops.

Day 2: part 4. by airi katsuta

Day 2 was a very long day with so much to see, but this one is the final post of Day 2.

Kadonowaki-cho is very close to the coastline, and there is a river that flows near by. So when the tsunami came, this area was affected before any of the damage in the inland occured. As a memorial, people still bring flowers as offering to the deceased.

"Ganbarou" is a phrase that is used frequently here. It's hard to do a direct translation because I don't think it even exists in English. It kind of means, "hang in there", "we can do this", "let's stick it out", "don't give up" all mixed together. A man who owned a building around here put this sign up a few months after the tsunami, as words of encouragement. When people saw this sign, it gave them hope to get back on their feet.

The bar sticking out in the middle from this pole marks how high the water line ended up to be in this area. Houses and cars were easily lifted up with this much water and severely damaged.

People used schools as a emergency evacuation area. This school was no exception and many people came here to get away from the water. But when the tsunami came, as it pushed all the houses and factory with it, the building caught on fire and collided into this school. The school started burning but thankfully, everyone worked together and somehow connected chairs and desks on the roof to escape to the hill in the back. That's teamwork right there. No lives were taken from this school, but a school only a few miles away took away many children's lives.

This is a park that is located on the hill right behind the school. Since this hill was tall enough, the tsunami did not reach them. This park gives the whole view of the coastline, so on 3-11, they could see the black waves rushing inland.

From Hiyoriyama park, you can see the Ishinomori Manga-kan, a museum dedicated to Ishinomaki's most famous Manga artist. There was also a church in the same area, but I am guessing thats where the Statue of Liberty is standing.

We did a lot of walking so a we took a little break on this bench. Ted is a little camera shy so I had to force him to sit there. haha.

This temple is right on the top of Hiyoriyama hill. I felt a rush of culture through me as I embraced my Japanese heritage.

At the entrance of the temple, there was a display of many strands of 1000 cranes. In a Japanese folklore, if you make a thousand cranes, your wish will come true. Not a wish for materialistic things, but for health and recovery. Making a thousand cranes isn't easy, speaking from experience. It took me around 2 minutes per crane so 33 hours of crane origami folding… that's dedication.

This child put a message with the cranes saying "I send you strength and hope." This one was sent from Tokyo.

After making a monetary offering at the temple, we received a fortune. Mine told me, "Have a peaceful heart, be kind to my parents and your household will be fine. Even if there is trouble outside, your family will be filled with happiness. Give it your all to help others. "

After going back to the hotel, I saw a sign on a garage door saying "Thank you to everyone all around the world. People of Ishinomaki will persevere." With positive words on every wall and doors and pillars, it made me feel good, and all the volunteering worth it.

Day 2: part 3. by airi katsuta

Nakazato-san:

This is also a house that Ted and Peaceboat helped clean.

This is Nakazato-san. He's a really petite grandpa with a heavy Tohoku accent so it was really hard to understand him at times, but he was very kind and repeated it for me many times.

He pointed and said, "The water came from over there, and all of a sudden it was everywhere "

He warned his neighbors that the tsunami was coming, but by the time he tried to escape it, he was already in the water. Since the water level was around 6 to 7 feet, he got on the roof of the house next door. And then jumped on a car which floated by his storage(the one with the brown roof and blue covers), and then jumped to his house (the one next to the pink house, being repaired). His story was famous when I was volunteering, and I couldn't believe that a little 80 year old man jumped roof to roof.

He was my height, so around 5 feet. He was really nice and showed us his garden with cucumbers, chives, pumpkins, and tomatoes. People around here seem to grow their own vegetables. He got a little camera shy but he agreed to take a picture with us.

Nanakita-san:

We arrived at another house the Peaceboat volunteers cleaned, but the house was still in its reconstructive stage and no one lived there. And then this man came up to us asking what we were doing. His name is Nanakita-san, and he is the head of the community council in this area. The previous owner decided to move, so Nanakita-san decided to buy it from them.

His house is only 4 houses away, but due to the Article 39 and 84 of the Building Standard Law, it prohibits housing and reconstruction in certain areas that dealt with great damage. Nanakita-san's house was completely flooded, large tree logs from the nearby factory tore his house, and even a car was smashed in it. Though his house was unrepairable, since he wanted to stay in this area, he decided to buy this house.

Though we came looking for another person, Nanakita-san welcomed us to his community and informed us on what the reconstruction laws were. He was very nice. When I asked to take a picture with him, he said "Ummm. Let's do a thumbs up!"

Shokodo:

This was a publishing company's warehouse that took 30 peace boat volunteers to clean. It took about 2 days to clean, but still had more work left to do. It was raining that day, and usually volunteers aren't allowed to work in conditions like this due to accident prevention but we decided to do it anyways because we didn't want to spend the whole day not doing anything. The outside of this building looks fairly fine, but the inside was a disaster. Since this warehouse contained mainly paper, it was everywhere mixed with sludge. All their materials were damaged so for them it was heartbreaking to throw away so many books, pamphlets, magazines, and posters. There was a van flipped on the side inside as well. But since we got most of it out, we were satisfied.

When our work day was done, the owner said he couldn't believe that people had so much strength and power to do all this work. He was feeling hopeless but seeing all this happen in 2 days made him believe that anything is possible. It gave him the hope that he can rebuild this business again. So when I came back this year, I was expecting to see them continuing their business. But when we got there, there was no sign of the building. They had torn it down, and we still don't know if they ever started business again or shut it down.

Last year, this area was completely wiped out. The ground was covered in sludge and trash, houses destroyed. As you can see in the picture, the ocean is right there so this area was hit horribly. The grave site was on slope, so it wasn't affected that bad compared to the rest.

Last year, this area was completely wiped out. The ground was covered in sludge and trash, houses destroyed. As you can see in the picture, the ocean is right there so this area was hit horribly. The grave site was on slope, so it wasn't affected that bad compared to the rest.

Day 2: Abe-san and his family. by airi katsuta

This is Abe residence. There are lots of families with the last name “Abe” in this area. Ted and Peaceboat volunteers cleaned their house.

They showed us lots of pictures from 3-11. Even though we showed up to their house all of a sudden, they kindly greeted us in and gave us lots of refreshments.

Abe-san lives with his wife and daughter, his parents, and his aunt, total of 6 people. On 3-11, he came home from work after giving rides to 3 of his coworkers, his parents were just about to leave in their car with their neighbors before the tsunami came. When his father realized the water was getting close, he made everyone get out the car and rushed them to the 2nd floor of his house. Abe-san’s mother took shelter in their 2 story storage. While helping others, the water washed Abe-san’s father away.

Abe-san was still in the car when the tsunami reached his house. He thought he would be okay if he stayed in the car but when the water reached the windshield, he broke the side window and got on the top of the car. The water level was already around 6 feet, so he climbed to his neighbor's roof. He saw his mother in the 2nd floor of the storage so he jumped on that roof. While he was trying to get in to the storage, his mother saw his feet dangling by the window so she grabbed his legs and pulled him in. This whole thing happened in 50 minutes after the fist earthquake.

When he stood on the roof, he took a picture with his phone. "Even in a panic state like this, it was interesting how the first thing I did was to take a picture. Human beings are strange. I'm a smoker. And when I was getting out the car, I was rushing to escape since the car was starting to sink, but I remembered to grab my cigarettes and lighter. Why cigarettes in a life/death situation? I don't know. But this saved me and my mother's life. Since it was freezing and I was soaking wet, we decided to burn anything we can find in the storage. If we didn't have that lighter, I don't know what would've happened.We were very lucky."

And then he spoke reservedly "But to say that lucky… that would be impolite to those who lost their lives from the tsunami. But like the lighter, as a coincidence we had food and water in the storage. My mother likes to pick apples and she stored lots of apples to make jam later on. All the stuff that was prepared for disaster was still in the car that already sank. So we were blessed to have food, water, and fire."

"The next day, My father paddled his way back floating on a log, like a surfer. It was great to have him back. But I still wasn't able to reach my wife, daughter, or aunt for 5 days."

'There was no reception so I couldn't call. I knew that worrying about won't take me anywhere so I tried not to think about it. But those 5 days… it was the hardest 5 days of my life." I could see tears coming out of his eyes as he was sharing his story and I tried really hard to hold back my own tears.

Th next day, Abe-san went looking for his wife and daughter. The water level was still high, and it was very cold outside. He was trying to stay dry but once he was wet, it didn't really matter. "When I returned back, I was so cold, so I just wrapped my body with anything I could find, even plastic bags."

 

5 days after the tsunami, he thought "If they're alive, they'd be by the bank by the river near by." So he walked around the bank back and forth all day. Then he finally got to reunite with his wife and daughter. His aunt was in the care of the care center for the seniors on the day of the earthquake, and the center was not affected by the tsunami. "To know that all of my family is still alive was just a blessing."

After reuniting with his family, they all stayed at the emergency evacuation area for 5 days. Since people were starting to get sick, they decided they couldn't stay there anymore. His sister's workplace said they had an open apartment so they stayed there for a while. "We were lucky once again, because though our 3 cars were washed away in the tsunami, we still had one more car that my daughter took to her work. If we didn't have that car, we wouldn't have had any way to get to that apartment"

A slight mark of the water line still exist on the window glass by the front door. "We decided to keep this here, so we won't forget." He said he's very thankful for the volunteers. "After the tsunami, my workplace decided to start up again and thankfully I was able to go back to work. But I watched the volunteers everyday, knowing that they're not getting paid to do all this work. If I go to work, I'll get paid. I felt guilty going to work but my family needs money. I felt veryguilty. My job didn't pay me for the first 2 months but after that, thankfully I was able to get paid.

Abe-san says "Since the house was damaged so much, I was planning on relocating to an apartment on another part of town. So my wife and daughter and I moved to an apartment. But my dad repaired the house." And then he smirks, "This is actually a restricted reconstruction zone. The government doesn't want us to reconstruct the homes because there is a possibility that this could happen again. We have to move eventually but this is a house that my father worked hard for. If he's not causing anyone trouble, I figured he could stay here. We have to think about it later when the time comes, but we'll just live for now. "

;

;

When we asked Abe-san's mother how life has changed after the tsunami, she started to talk very quietly. "Before the tsunami, we all lived together. I've watched my grandmother grow old with me and my husband and kids, so I thought I would be able to do the same, live with my child and his child. That was my dream. After the tsunami, my son, his wife, and my grandchild moved away. It's very lonely compared to when it was a full house. I'm still hoping that some day, we'll be able to be together again."

As we were leaving, Abe-san said "Thank you so much for visiting. Tell everyone in the States that we are grateful of all the support. We will never give up, we will persevere.

Day 2: part 1. by airi katsuta

For Day 2, Ted, Riho, and I went to the places we helped out at and said hello and listened to their stories of the tsunami, and how it affected them. We also passed out the crochet cats and the eco bags that people of Japanese American Citizens League gave us to take back.

Kobayashi-San:

She lives right near where Kaska (the building that I slept in while I volunteered) is, and even though I didn't help out her place, the other volunteers went multiple times to clear the sludge out of her front yard and plant flowers in her garden.

Her husband was hospitalized after the tsunami, and unfortunately he passed away 2 months ago. With the support of her friends and neighbors, she seems to be doing okay.

Ozashi-san:

She didn't think she could live in her own house again, after the damage, there was a car stuck in her front yard, sludge and water everywhere, everything destroyed. She was planning to tear it down, but with the help of the volunteers, she was able to have her home all repaired. She was saying how happy she was to be able to live in her house again. She lost her brother in the tsunami, who lived right next door. And she said "It would be a lie if I said I wasn't lonely, but I am so happy that I am back home."

She lost her brother in the tsunami, who lived right next door to her. At the time, her dog ran out, so she followed her dog, but her brother decided to stay in his house. And later on, she realized that he was taken by the water.

Ozashi-san and her dog, Muk.

When we tried to get a group picture, her dog started humping me. We had a good laugh.

Arakawa-san:

Last year, me and 14 other volunteers cleaned Arakawa-san's house, storage, and yard. This house was very big, especially in Japan. I was helping out in the yard and oh lord, his yard was huge. I think we took the whole day to clean his place.

Last year:

I was looking forward to seeing this place because this was the one that taught me teamwork.

Arakawa-san was so thankful for all the volunteer help that he gave a key of his apartment to Ted when he heard he hasn't showered in 5 weeks since he was so busy.

This year:

Day 1: Arrived in Ishinomaki by airi katsuta

After a 2 hour flight to San Francisco, and then a 10 hour flight to Narita Airport in Japan, and then a 7.5 hour bus ride... I have arrived to Ishinomaki! To show you where exactly it is, it is in Miyagi prefecture and right next to Sendai. Here's a map.

My sister, Riho, is with me and she is taking pictures of me while I photograph the city :)

 

And then we got to our hotel, called Casa de Costa. They used to be housings for students before the tsunami, but they converted it into a business hotel. Everyone has been very kind, and its very clean in here. And free wifi! Yay!

After a little bit of rest, we decided to meet up with Ted, who I know from volunteering last year. He was the leader in the branch that I was in, and he's from Florida but he's been in Ishinomaki since April with the recovery relief.

He's very wise and kind, and he was like a father figure to me last year. So in the afternoon, he showed us around town and visited the places I helped out at.

Last year, I dug sludge out of the drain gutters for Saito-san's neighbors.

So today, the first place we went was Saito-san's residence. She likes to garden a lot so she showed us her beautiful flowers.

She gave us lots of cucumbers that she grew in this garden to take home. She was such a nice lady.

And afterwards, we went to the town homes that we cleaned.

And after a year later,

The big house right behind it was left untouched. Sometimes the house isn't salvageable so they have to tear it down.

 

There were many houses that we, Peaceboat volunteers cleaned, but sometimes they end up tearing it down, or left alone where the owners move. Everyone has their reasons, whether if its the money, family, or work, or they're scared.

 

After taking in the first day, I was reminiscing the memories from last year. Some things seemed like they were frozen in time, where nothing has been touched, but then I saw more and more people moving back into their homes.

Getting Ready for Japan! by airi katsuta

It's been a long time since I uploaded on here, but I'm glad to say that almost everything is good to go for me to go back to Japan. Only 12 more days until I depart for Japan!My WONDERFUL sister, Riho, booked the hotel and the bus in Ishinomaki for a very reasonable price in Ishinomaki. They have internet connection so I will be able to update all of you during my stay there.

I received my film in the mail, which are Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Portra 160 and 400, Fuji Astia 100 and Fuji Pro 160s. I got the Ektar and Fujis in 120, and Portra in 220. There's so many!! And being a photo nerd, I am soooo excited to use it all :)

My mom has been working on these crochet cats for a while now, and I plan to bring them back to Ishinomaki for the kids I meet. They're cute and snuggly. She plans to make more of them and put eyes on it so they're not faceless.

I also received handmade scarves and clothes as a donation from the Japanese American Citizens League. They've been wanting to send them to the Tsunami affected areas but got denied because of shipping. So I volunteered to bring them to Japan and hand it out to senior communities. For the cold winters in Ishinomaki, I think this gift would be perfect.

I'm working on the last bit of the cranes for the $30 and under backers, and then I'm off to Japan! Thanks for your support and your patience. I promise I'll bring back a bunch of pictures! :)

千羽鶴の製作 by RK

[For English translation of this post, click HERE]

愛里の姉の里穂です。

彼女のプロジェクト 石巻の為に千羽鶴を:津波を乗り越えて を一緒に手伝っています。

このプロジェクトの支援金が73人のサポーターのお陰で$2,831に達成しました!

支援してくれた方々、そしてこのプロジェクトの存在を広めるのを手伝ってくれたみなさんに感謝します。

私は現在日本に住んでいるので、妹が実際に鶴を作っているところをまだ見た事がありませんでした。

先日、千羽鶴に使う紙と鶴を作るのに立ち会ったので、みなさんにもどのように作られるかお見せします!

ステップ1:紙の下準備

紙を作る場所はアリゾナ州立大学の芸術学部の研究室です。

まず始めに青酸カリウムとクエン酸第二鉄アンモニウムという薬品を混ぜ合わせます。

「青酸カリウム」と聞いて、思わず妹に「危なくないの?」と聞いたところ、「気をつけてね」という返事しか返ってきませんでした。

なんとなくジェームズボンドの映画にいるような気分で浮かれてしまった自分。

混ぜ合わせた薬品を3つのサイズに予め切っておいたトレーシングペーパー(透写紙)丁寧に塗っていきます。

このトレーシングペーパーも特別なものらしく、濡れても破れないものを探し出すのに苦労したらしいです。

「試行錯誤の連続だったよ」、と妹は言っていました。

薬品を塗り終えたら、紙をこの引き出しみたいなところに並べて乾かします。(この引き出しの名前は忘れちゃいました。)

重ならないように丁寧に並べて、約10分ほど待ちます。

ステップ2:羽模様

紙が乾くのを待っている間に羽模様を「プリント」する準備にかかります。

フォトフレームのようなものを取り出して、額の中に羽を並べていきます。

羽の上に薬品でコーティングされた紙を並べます。

紙の色はこの時点ではまだ黄色ですが、ご心配なく。

羽と紙をフレームしたものがこれ。

一つのフレームに紙のサイズによって4枚から25枚程入ります。

フレームは結構重くて、自分は一度に二つしか運べませんでした。

でも愛里は何度もやっているらしく四つ一度に持ち上げてました。さすが。

ステップ3:日光露出

ここからがすごいところ!

フレームを外に持ち出し、太陽の光に当たるように並べます。

太陽の光が紙の黄色い色を青に変えるらしいです。

日光に当ててから数分後。紙の色がすでに変わってるのが伺えます。アリゾナの熱い太陽はこれにもってこいですね。

10分後。もう少しで完了。

紙の緑っぽいトーンが消えたらオッケーだそうです。

仕上がった時の青のトーンはこのプロセスでどれくらい日光を浴びたかによって変わるみたいです。

30分後、完了!

羽が重なっていたところは黄色いままなのが見えますか?

この部分は太陽の光に当たっていなかったので紙の色が変わっていないんです。

ステップ4:洗浄、そしてまた薬品

まず紙に着いている薬品をきれいな水で洗い流します。

これで紙の黄色い色が落ちます。

何度も水を変えながら、紙から黄色い色がなくなるまで洗います。

そしてもう一つのトレーに過酸化水素を入れます。

これで紙を酸化させて、綺麗な紺色にします。

羽模様がくっきりと浮き上がってきました!

そしてもう一度洗浄。

紙が破れないように丁寧に、薬品をちゃんと洗い落とします。

ステップ5:乾燥

紙を一枚ずつ厚紙に貼り付けます。

重要なのが紙がちゃんと濡れていて、シワにならないように貼り付けること。

ここで適当にやってしまうと、乾かしたときに紙がくしゃくしゃになってしまいます。

そして上からもう一枚厚紙を重ねて、ヒートプレスにはさみます。

ヒートプレスはホットサンドメーカーみたいな感じで、結構熱くなります。(最高175℃)

濡れた紙を入れるとジューッと音が鳴って、湯気が出てきます。

10分後にヒートプレスから紙を取り出します。香ばしい匂いがちょっとしました。

紙が焦げないようにヒートプレスに入れる時間も重要です。

紙が出来上がりました!

紙を作っている作業を横で見ていて、思わず妹に「一枚だけ作って後はコピー機で刷ればいいんじゃない?」と言ってしまいました。

すると彼女はこの手間のかかるやり方には意味があると教えてくれました。

一枚一枚の紙を時間をかけて作るのは、紙と鶴に一つ一つ思いを込めているからだと言いました。

紙の青い色は石巻の海を表していて、3月11日に津波で命を失った方達への思いを込めています。

そしてこの青は石巻の空も表しています。みんなの願いや思いが鶴と一緒に空へ届くようにという意味です。

日本の古くからの言い伝えのように、愛里はこの鶴が石巻の復興と人々の回復の手助けになることを祈って作っているのです。

ステップ6:トリミング&鶴を折る

鶴を折り始める前に、紙を正方形に整えます。

薬品や熱で紙が縮んでしまうので、一番最後に調節します。

まず三角に折って、どこを切り落とさなければいけないか決めます。

そして余分な部分を切り落とします。

微調整はハサミで行います。

ここでやっと鶴を折り始めます。

どうやって愛里が折っているかはこのビデオで見れます: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRUdBR2Sl78]

愛里はもう何羽も折っているので1分50秒以下で折れるようになったそうです。

私は鶴を一羽折るのに3分以上もかかりました。もっと練習しなくちゃ

どうでしたか?

私自身、紙と鶴を作るのにこんなに時間がかかると思っていませんでした。

みなさんに送られる鶴たちの一羽一羽にいっぱい想いが込められています!

楽しみに待っていて下さい。

1000 Cranes: How they are made by RK

[日本語訳はこちらです]

Hi, I am Airi's sister Riho:)

I have been helping her out with her project 1000 Cranes for Ishinomaki: After the Tsunami.

I am proud to announce that Airi's project has reached 73 backers with $2,831 funding!

Thank you to those who have contributed, and to those who helped me spread the word about this project!

I currently live in Japan, so I'd never seen my sister make the cranes with my eyes yet.

The other day, I had the chance to help her make the paper and cranes, so I decided to share with everyone the process of making 1000 cranes!

STEP1: Prepping the paper

This is the lab where she makes the paper.

First, she mixes two chemicals together: potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate.

I have no idea what they are, but when I saw 'cyanide', I asked my sister if it was dangerous.

The only thing she told me was "be careful." I felt like I was in a James Bond movie.

She coated the chemical mixture on to the tracing paper.

I guess this tracing paper is something special, too.

She said she looked all over for tracing paper that won't rip when it gets wet.

"Lots of trial and error, my friend," said Airi.

After she's done coating them, she lets the paper dry in a drawer. (Sorry, I forgot what it was called.)

She neatly placed each piece of paper and we waited for about 10 minutes for them to dry.

STEP 2: Feathers

While we waited for the paper to dry, we prepared for the 'printing' process.

She took out what looked like a photo frame, and started laying out feathers inside the frame.

Over the feathers, she placed the paper covered in chemicals.

The paper looks light yellow right now, but do not worry, my friends.

Feathers and paper framed together.

One frame fits 4 to 25 pieces of paper, depending on the size.

They are pretty heavy. I could only carry two, but Airi's learned to carry all four at the same time. Superwoman.

STEP 3: Sun Exposure

Now the magical part begins!

She took the frames outside so she could expose the paper to sunlight.

The sun changes the yellowish color to blue.

A few minutes after the sun exposure. Notice how the color has changed already! Arizona sun helps:)

10 minutes later. They are almost ready!

She knows when they are ready when the green tint goes away.

The darkness of the blue color depends on how much sun it was exposed to.

Done exposing after 30 minutes!

Notice where the feathers covered the paper is still yellow.

That's because they weren't exposed to light.

Now time to get wet and wild!

STEP 4: Washing and More Chemical

First she washes off the chemicals with clean water.

This will get the yellow out of the paper.

She washes them and changes the water over and over until the paper no longer has the yellow color.

Then in the other tray, she pours hydrogen peroxide to oxidize the paper.

This gives the paper that beautiful navy color.

Now you can really see the pretty feather prints!

Then more washing!

She washes them gently but surely, to make sure all the chemicals are washed off.

STEP 5: Drying

The hot and steamy step begins.

She places each piece of paper neatly on to a cardboard paper.

It's important to make sure they are still moist and all nice and flat, because if you don't then you will get a wrinkly paper.

Then she covers it with another cardboard paper and inserts it into a heat press.

Heat press is like a sandwich toaster. It gets pretty hot.

When she presses it down, you could hear it sizzle.

After 10 minutes, the paper is nice and crispy.

The time is important. You don't want the paper to get burnt.

Done making the paper!

When I asked my sister why she couldn't just make one paper and just photo copy the rest, she told me that she decided to make her this way for a reason.

She said she wanted to put in her time and effort in each piece of paper, because the paper and the crane represent one of her objectives of the project.

The color of the paper represents the ocean of Ishinomaki; She said that this is for the remembrance of what happened on March 11, 2011.

The blue color also represents the sky of Ishinomaki; She wants the prayers to sent to the sky with the help of the cranes.

Like in the Japanese ancient legend, she hopes that these cranes will help Ishinomaki and the people there recover from the traumatic disaster.

STEP 6: Trimming & Folding

Before we start folding, we have to make sure that the paper is a square.

The tracing paper shrinks from the chemicals and heat, so we have to make adjustments.

I fold it into a triangle to see where I need to trim.

Then I cut off the extra edges off.

Sometimes you have to use scissors to make little adjustments.

Then we start folding!

Here's a video of how she folds them: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRUdBR2Sl78]

Airi has been doing this for a while, and she could fold one in less than a minute and 50 seconds! Impressive.

It took me close to three minutes to fold one crane. I need to practice more.

So there you go!

These are the steps of making her cranes.

Honestly, I didn't know that it was such a time consuming process!

But now you know, that each cranes you receive will be full of thoughts and prayers:)

Hope everyone enjoyed this!

3-11-2011 by airi katsuta

Sorry for being MIA for a while. Everything was just crazy that I barely had time to even breathe. I know I should've written about this a while ago, and it may sound like a bunch of mumbling, but here it goes. March 11 has passed, and the one year anniversary of the Earthquake/Tsunami came. I felt strange inside because I didn't know if I should be happy or sad.

Happy: My whole outlook on life changed after I volunteered. I learned so much from that experience that I've been sharing my stories with others. This whole year I dedicated myself to Japan. I learned what it feels like to do something for others, and realize how it feels to be appreciated. I feel more connected to my roots now, and I'm very happy with where I am.

Sad: It took this disaster for me to realize everything. So many lives were lost, so many lives were destroyed. Was I selfish to "use" this experience to explore my identity? The disaster left so much damage that it's not even close to what it used to be and so much cleaning/rebuilding needs to be done.

So March 10 was a strange day with all this confusion in my head. But all that cloudiness went away the next day.

On March 11, there was a Annual Remembrance Event of the Tsunami with a screening of the Academy Award Nominated documentary, "Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom". I was fortunate enough to be asked to display my Thousand Cranes installation and share my photographs as well. I watched the documentary and I couldn't help but cry at first. I saw the destruction that the tsunami caused on screen and I took it personal. The first time I saw it on the news, I was amazed of how powerful Mother Nature was. But it was still someone else's problem. But after volunteering, after meeting the Ishinomaki locals, after moving bag after bag filled with the mud that was once at the bottom of the ocean... After all that, I was involved.

Though I was only there for 2 weeks, I put my all in it. It was hard work, but nothing compared to the people who's been there from the start. They're strong, and I'd be happy if I can be half as strong as them. While I volunteered, as a photographer, I wanted to take as many pictures as I could. But then again, this wasn't a vacation, or sight-seeing. It was to assist with the aid of the relief. I was so focused on doing the tasks I was handed, that I forgot to take pictures first half of the trip. And after seeing the destruction, it was so much to take in that it was hard for me to get anything in the way from my own eyes. It sounds crazy that I'm saying this, but I didn't want the lens to be in the way between me and Ishinomaki. But then, I wanted to bring back something to show my community of what was happening in Japan. I felt that it was my job to share it with the people who are in America. So towards the end, I started shooting.

Since I've been back to Arizona, I wondered what I could do here since I can't physically be there to help Ishinomaki. And the only thing I know how to do well is art. I learned how to cyanotype in my Alternative Processes class with my teacher, Christopher Colville, and he helped me get my ideas together for my cranes. So for his class, I started making cyanotypes with feathers on tracing paper to make the design, and then folded cranes obsessively. Everyday, every night, every moment that I was awake. At the time, I didn't know what it was for, but then eventually, I was deeply invested in it to give this as an offering for the people of Ishinomaki. I couldn't have done it alone, I had my mom, my boyfriend Rex, my friend Ashley to help me fold. My 2 cats, Whiskers and Bailey stayed up late nights with me as I folded. I folded 1000 cyanotyped cranes and made an installation. My wish was for Japan's good luck, good health, and recovery.

For the first time I had the opportunity to show it in my group BFA show, COOL. among my friends. And this exhibition lead me to Matsuri. And that lead me to the screening for the Tsunami & the Cherry Blossom.

I hope that Ishinomaki can feel the positive energy that I'm sending them. It may be little on a global scale, but I'm trying to spread the word out to everyone I know and everyone I can reach. All I want is good for Ishinomaki.

Arizona Matsuri by airi katsuta

First of all, thank you for the Arizona Matsuri for giving me an opportunity to show my artwork in their festival. It was such an amazing experience for me to meet thousands of people and have them enjoy my work. It was very flattering for me to have everyone taking pictures of my cranes and seeing my personal experience in Japan after the earthquake/tsunami through my photographs.I couldn't have done it without all the people in my life, especially the people in Ishinomaki for giving me the inspiration, my parents, friends, teachers, and everyone I have talked to. I hope through my thousand cranes, my wish of good health and recovery will come true for the people who were affected by the disaster.

Thank you again,

Airi.

COOL: success! by airi katsuta

Thank you everyone for coming out to see our show, Cool.

The opening reception was a BIG SUCCESS! Gallery 100 was packed, and even our teacher said he's never seen it so filled up before. The food that we provided (pizza, hummus, baklava, nachos) were gone within the first hour, Danielle's super cool party favors (cone hats, COOL buttons, sequin masks) were a huge hit, and everyone had a great time!

I got great feedback from everyone who saw my 1,000 cranes, as well as my photographs. I met new people, built new connections, and learned what I could do to make it better.

Having this exhibition was a great experience. We, the Cool. people, had great teamwork. Everyone had their own unique style and it made our show enjoyable to everyone.

Thank you everyone for stopping by, and thank you to my team for making this experience SUPER COOL!

:),

airi

COOL. by airi katsuta

COOL. : BFA Photography exhibition

The artists of COOL. tackle a wide range of subject matters with a kindred respect for the language of photography.

The eight photographers have worked alongside each other in varied but complimentary methods for the past several years and now present Cool. as the collective culmination of their undergraduate photography educations.

Come enjoy food, refreshments, party favors, and great art.

Join the fun and support the work of BFA in photography candidates:

Ashley Hom Will Jenkins Valeria Echeverria Airi Katsuta Danielle Mariscal Virginia Martinez Bucky Miller Annie Wechter

ASU Gallery 100 Exhibition: January 23- 27 Opening Reception: January 24 6pm-8pm

Suite 199, Northeast corner of 10th Street and Mill ave. (located just north of the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center) Hours: Monday–Thursday: Noon – 5 p.m. Friday: noon – 3 p.m.

Website up!! Exhibition coming up! by airi katsuta

Hello, all! It's a little late but HAPPY NEW YEAR! There's a bunch of great stuff coming up this year and I'm thankful for having everyone in my life.

My new website is up and running. airikatsuta.com Be sure to check that out.

My group BFA exhibition is in less than 2 weeks! It's going to be cool and the show is called Cool. so if you're in Arizona, come by from January 24 to 27. My thousand paper cranes and my prints from Japan are going to be on display. And my group has some super cool stuff so be excited!!!

Life is good!!!!!

Tale of a Thousand Cranes by airi katsuta

An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. Cranes are considered a mystical or holy creatures in Japan and they are said to live for a thousand years. I wanted to fold these cranes for the people who were affected by the Tsunami, especially the wonderful people that I met in Ishinomaki while volunteering. I spent hours cyanotyping the cranes, which is a non-silver process that uses Ammonium iron citrate and Potassium ferricyanide which when combined and exposed in the sun, it turns blue. I printed feathers on them to give it more of a Japanese feel and that in hope that these birds will fly away with new owners.

I made a total of 384 cranes, all printed and folded in total of 2 weeks. I was aiming for a thousand, but when I asked my mom about Senba-zuru (translation: a thousand cranes), it means "a lot" in Japanese. It took me about 5 minutes per crane at first but as I kept folding and folding, I got better and I was at 2 minutes and 15 seconds per crane. I had help from my mother, my boyfriend and couple of my friends. I have great people in my life.

I wanted people to remember the tragedy that happened in Japan on 3/11/11, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. I want people to keep Japan in their prayers. By giving away the birds, I hope to raise awareness and create conversation between people in the community, whether it be in their homes or businesses, through art.

I used tracing paper and this is what the paper looks like after exposing. I'm hanging it to dry after washing and rinsing the chemicals out.

After having them hanging on campus for a week, I put out a sign that said "Feel Free to Take One" and successfully, all my cranes had a new owner by the next day. It made me happy that my creation made people smile. Hopefully they decorated their rooms with it.

I am going to expand on this project and hopefully have an installation next semester for the senior exhibition.

If you currently posses one of my cranes, please share it with others, post it on Facebook, tweet it, blog it. #athousandcranes. or tag me, Airi Katsuta.

Thanks!

Nick by airi katsuta

He's been my boss at Barro's for 3 years. I'm not gonna lie, he used to scare the living crap out of me (I guess he still does). He has a really good poker face so it's hard to tell if he's serious or not. Whenever I ask him for his permission for a break at work, he always tells me no and being the gullible person that I am, I always believe him (EVERYTIME). But then he gives me a big smile and tells me he's kidding. I used to think he was just this scary person, but over the few years I've known him, I realized he's a nice guy. He is very understanding when it comes to school and gives me the schedule I can handle throughout the school year. And deals with me when I take 6 weeks off every year when I go to Japan. Trust me, no other job will let me do that and let me have the same schedule back. He was my first subject for the view camera and I was just nervous handling the camera. It was funny how he knew more about setting it up than I did. In the picture above, you can kiiinda see a smile in there :)

View Camera by airi katsuta

So for those who don't know what a view camera is, there ya go. Why yes, I am photographing a strangely real looking chimp that my boyfriend gave me.

You look under a cloth to see the image. It's pretty cool when you get it focused, everything is flipped and it looks crisp.

Thanks Dad for helping me today.

 

Check out the view camera pictures. Tony, Dad, Nick.