A story of Fuksuhima Children, Minoru (14) Visiting Sado Recuperation Home this winter 2013

This is a story of Fuksuhima Children, Minoru (14)
Visiting Sado Recuperation Home this winter 2013!

 In Sado city on Sado Island which is in the Japan Sea in the Chūbu region of Japan, efforts to let the people use the old house as a second home, called Minka, were successful since there was no longer any person living in it.  It is now available for the children at the camp who can not play freely outdoors at their  homes by the effect of the FukushimaⅠnuclear accident. A junior high school student living in Fukushima Prefecture participated in the renovation work of the volunteers.

But this winter, a project to rebuild the old house  has began.

Minka, is an old Japanese-stye house        

Minka usually  had a space called a doma in the entrance of the inside of the house, 
 which is simply a place to remove shoes and had an important function which was to provide work space for gaining earnings,but  is now generally excluded from the living quarters in the house.
 Here is a house of over 100 years old. In the past, a farmer family engaged in silk farming,  though the house became vacant 15 years ago. The elderly owner kindly offered the house for the use of the camp.   
Over 100 years old house.

 Minka and work were closely connected:  people  traditionally did their work in the doma of their own house, such as farmers and craftsmen.
the doma floor cannot rot and has few flammable items, the doma was naturally used for cooking, which requires much water and fire.
replacing Tatami-mat
      Two NPO, Ryozen Satoyama School (Fukushima) and Fukushima Support Net Sado (Niigata)  have promoted the project of rebuilding the Minka.
 Soon after the earthquake, both NPO have been a supporter of children living in Fukushima.This project,  renovating old house and changing to a recuperation home for Fukushima children has taken over a year.

This winter
, junior high school students who come from Fukushima for a recuperation, join a part of this project  with the adult volunteers.
 Minoru Endo-kun, 14-year-old, living in Fukushima city.

It will be a Third time to come to Sado, this winter, for Minoru.
Minoru had visited to Sado in the spring and summer 2012 at the invitation of NPO: Ryozen Satoyama School (Fukushima).
He enjoyed camping and playing football with friends joining from Fukushima.
He felt peace and ease for the first time in a while staying at the recuperation home in Sado. After 3.11 earthquake 2011, the aftershocks have continued almost every day in Japan. Since FukushimaⅠNuclear fallout, the radioactive exposure  has become serious in many areas out of Fukushima, too.

Minoru says,
"feeling very right and ease in my mind and body for enjoy eating good delicious food, breathing really clean air!"

It was a relaxing soothing time to the children visiting from Fukushima .
Picture right : Minoru was building  a second home.
Hearing about lack of hands for the rebuilding old house project, Minoru had offered himself to the volunteers.

Over half a day, he finished cleaning the entrance, and next repaired the bath and chopped firewood.  That would be a full day-long work.  For his efforts he was honored to make the first fire in the hettsui traditional stove. (See photos and thoughts below.)  

Though, he wouldn't stop his hands.

Minoru : ”It would be necessary to refresh the body and mind in a special place.”
Minoru who lives in Fukushima with uneasiness put a lot of thought into the work.
"Since cesium (in the air doses) was high in the school grounds, I refrained from exercise in the  outside. I hated sitting on the ground.
I think that such place
is necessary to refresh a body."
Front of the old cooking stoves (Left)  / The Moment of Minoru's fire on (Right)
That night, after all the work rebuilding the old house,
the moment came to light the fire in the old cooking stove, which had no fire for more than 15 years since the last owner had left this house.

Mr. Seki : "Minoru, you worked very hard and did very well.
You deserve to put on the first fire in the stove."
Then he gave the lighter to Minoru.  (Picture left: ↑)
Minoru : "I'd like to invite my friends from Fukushima as soon as possible," saying as he continued working until dark.
Minoru : "I love Fukushima and can be a good company with Fuksuhima's friends. I'd like to do the best in many way for such friends and people."

Fukushima Children spent for Nine days in Sado.
Minoru is going to visit Sado next spring camp, too and help with the repair work of this house.

 Minoru : "I hope I would be familiar with the new life for the self evacuation leaving hometown. And I'd like to return here to Sado recuperation home again, because I will be able to meet friends coming in from many other areas of Fukushima. My dream is to make such a home that such a people who evacuate in other place, leaving their hometown, can enjoy heartily and be refreshed totally."  

In this house twenty children can stay at one time. It is a plan to finish renovating house  this year at the earliest. This citizen organization is going to call out to Fukushima's families to spend time in this space willingly by all means.
 (Story end)


Donations to support the Sedo Island Recuperation Project may be sent to the address below

Remittance from overseas banks

【Payee Account Number】
【Name of Account Holder】
Fukushima support net Sado
【Payee Address】
256 Yahatamachi, Sado-city, Niigata, 952-1313, Japan
【Payee Telephone Number】


They named this old house,- 'Hettui house.'    


Inside of the  Hettsui house                                                

Q.what does the "Hettsui" means ??

A.Hettsui, (へっつい)means; ..

It's a"Traditional cooking stoves!"

In old time of Japan, people called this traditional styled cooking stove  "Hettsui" in a dialect. People traditionally did their work in the doma of their own house, such as farmers and craftsmen. The house was separated into outdoor space and living space by the doma such as the yard so that it was safe to use water and fire on the floor. The cooking stoves on the doma floor are called Kamado, or "Hettsui" in dialect.  That time people used to use   firewood for cooking.

The house which is used for the recuperation home at Sado Island is more than 100 years old. In this modern time these old houses are getting lost. The children who are staying in this old house will be able to see Japanese culture and will have a chance to experience a traditional life style while staying for the recuperation program.
a silk farming :

silkworm and cocoon

Japanese culture in this site

 Japanese - Japanese reading - English meaning

Sado-ga-shima, (佐渡島 or 佐渡ヶ島, both Sadogashima), Sado Island
Sado-shi, (佐渡市),Sado city
 Sado  is a city located on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture, in the Chūbu region of Japan. Since 2004, the city has comprised the entire island, although not all of its total area of 855.26 km2 is urbanized. Sado is the sixth largest island of Japan in area following the four main islands and Okinawa Island (excluding the Northern Territories).
佐渡全体としては、佐渡沖を、暖流対馬海流が流れている影響から、は、新潟県の本土側に比べて、気温が1 - 2度程度高く積雪は少ない。ただし大佐渡山地の北西側の相川地域のように、北西方向からの季節風を受ける地域もある。は、周りが海のため、朝と夜の温度差は本土のそれより小さく、気温は新潟県の本土側に比べ1~2度程度涼しい。

Hoyou, (保養), Recuperation

about Wee sing: 'Open Shut Them'


   Open Shut Them (お手手を)開いて閉じてむすんで
   Open Shut Them 
   Give a little clap, clap, clap 手拍子3回パン!パン!パン!
   Open Shut Them 
   Open Shut Them 
   Put them on your Lap Lap Lap 両手をひざの上に置きます。

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