Visiting in Iitate

I joined with Team Ginji on 5th February, which supports the pets have been left in Iitate village Fukushima.
Team Ginjji was organized by friends of Gallery ef in Asakusa, Tokyo.
Totally 8 volateers participated it.
Team Ginji gathered at Gallery ef at 3 oclock mornig on 5th February.
We were concered the weather in Iitate, because it was quite heave snowing in the evening time in Tokyo.
Fortunatry snow stopped in the midnight, I could cycle to Asakusa.

I have been Iitate village twice in the last April and December.
This time was the first visiting there in the mid winter.
I have seen Izumi-san’s recent photos of Iitate.
That shows full of snow covers in Iitate in January.

We took two cars and we divided two teams and shared the visiting places.
Our basic missions are feeding, clean up, dog-walking and checking their conditions.
And Izumi-san reports the our activities and up-dated information about pets for other volunteer teams.

We started to work in the village before 9 o’clock.
We had quite heavy snow in the beginning.

The first work of our team started the edge of Iitate which is my first place in the last April as well.
Nobody has been lived in the house for nearly three years.
Balls for cat foods were already covered full of snow.
Two cats appeared suddenly from somewhere while we were working.
They cryed and waching us from the snowed bush in the garden.
We are not sure how they are surviving.
They did not get closer for us.
We put their foods in the bush.

We visited 4 or 5 houses before around at 13:00.
Our visiting time was limited. we have to work fast and take care them as much as we can.
And no time to care about contamination and this terrible situation.
The most of Iitate people owned dogs for guard dog or hunting dog.
Usually one house owned two or three quite big dogs.
They are usually well trained and friendly.
The cats are better situation than dogs, because they are free.
We met a temporally visitor at front of his house.
He has cat in his abandoned house.
He told us that cats are increasing and getting a little problem.
Nobody can answer properly how to sort it out.
We can only do the best as much as we can.

There are most dogs in Our last area.
We were supposed to meet up the separated group in there.
The road was already frozen.
I was fallen down with the most cheerful dog Mei-chan and I was hit my back on the road.
After I and Mei-chan walked about for 10 minute, we walked back to her house.
But I lost her house at dark village road.
Because many of Iitate houses are situated similar place where located at the back of road.
I walked up to the wronged houses two or three times.
Finally Mei-chan took me her house.

The weather turned very clear in afternoon and very windy like we had in the last December.
The wind of Iitate is very different from Tokyo.
The sound of wind is like a screaming of wild beast and very strong.
It blew massive dry snow. It was very stunning view.
We did not see a number of cars.
That is quite difficult for the elder people to visit there in winter time.

After the lunch we visited one place which I had not been there before.
The place is like a small pasture. We found five tied dogs in the middle of snow ground.
The have house for each one. but the strong snow wind hit there limited living place directory.
Two of them are very friendly, the others are a little intimidated.
I took one to walk.
All of dogs which I met, run very happy and fast.
I can not catch them up.
If no strong wind and snow were there, the small pasture is much better place than others.
But I felt these 5 dogs are in the most extreme environment than I have ever seen in Iitate.
The only things they can, is to suffer and wait for someone can give them new better place.

some a bit became skinny, some got weight because the dogs are tied chaine at outside.
I think happiest time for them is to meet someone specially for dogs.
Most of dogs are very cheerful for dog-walking.
They are usually tied in small, dark and cold outside.
It is too diverstating situations. I can not imagine if I were in the same situation.
Snow was stopped before noon.
But very strong wind blew like same one we had in December.
And we found the another problem that all balls of drinking water for them is frozen.
We used a hammer to break the ice and put normal water.
But it is frozen in a several hours.
And my Geiger counter got highest radiation level in this time at one place
one dog still live by itself.
It was more than 10 μSv. on the ground through snow.
I was concerned how it has effected to a dog for nearly three years.
And people specially in Tokyo and western Japan lost attention for Fukushima and this nuclear crisis.
But only thinking does not work for it. Do something for them when I can make.

After we finished Mei-chan house.
We met up the other group ‘ Ao-Gin’ at Mark’s house which has electricity.
We did not get any problem and done all missions in a day.
Izumi-san group had a plane to stay in Minami-soma and work Kibono-bokujo in Namie-cho in the next day.
We separated them and I and Kamimura-san, Naoko-san drove back to Tokyo.
We arrived in Asakusa at before 23:00.
temrature was around zero. but felt not too cold, because Iitate was -6 or -8 degree.

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About hidetoshi0

Artist currently working in Tokyo. http://www.hidetoshiyamada.com/ Ver.2.0: http://www.hidetoshiyamada.com/Ver.2.0-Top.html
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