Japan earthquake: Fish seller vows to rebuild despite many people leaving Wajima


TOKYO (AP) — Yoshi Minamidani’s heart leapt when he saw the stray tabby cat who is a mainstay of the famous Asaichi Dori shopping street in the city of Wajima on Japan’s west coast.

Like the cat, she is also saved from this 7.6 magnitude earthquake Wajima shook Ishikawa Prefecture and surrounding areas on New Year’s Day, killing at least 202 people, leaving many missing and leaving buildings in ruins – including Minamidani’s Seafood Shop. .

“We’re coming back. I’m determined,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday. “There’s a lot we must protect, even though we’re starting from scratch.”

When she first saw the crooked doors of the shops, the roof tiles scattered on the broken sidewalks, and the yellow tape blocking entire sections of the road, her chest tightened and she was unable to speak. burnt by fire,

“The Asaichi cord I had grown up with had disappeared,” she said.

Containers of processed fish in various sauces also included Japanese-style anchovies, which were tumbling down the hill from the storage area of ​​his processing plant. She was not sure when they would be retrieved, if ever.

They were priceless, he said, requiring many days of hard work and a labor of love.

His The city was most affected, Of the deaths, 81 were in Wajima, and 91 in Suzu, while 102 people were still unaccounted for, and 565 people were injured. Thousands of homes were without water or electricity. Many people, including Minamidani, found their homes too damaged to live in.

Floors in Minamidani’s stores and processing plant had collapsed, making them dangerous to live in. Fortunately, another house nearby was still standing and now houses nine people, including her husband, two children and other relatives who lost their lives. Home.

The power was back on, but still no running water,

There were more than 1,400 homes in Ishikawa that were destroyed or severely damaged. 30,000 people lived in evacuation centers, Heavy snowfall and more than 1,000 aftershocks Danger of more landslides,

Burnt vehicles walk after a fire near Asaichi-dori shopping street in Wajima, on the Noto Peninsula, facing the Sea of ​​Japan, northwest of Tokyo, on January 5, 2024, following a deadly New Year's Day earthquake. And other debris has been seen.  ,  (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

Burned vehicles and other debris are seen after a fire near Asaichi-dori shopping street in Wajima on the Noto Peninsula, facing the Sea of ​​Japan, northwest of Tokyo on January 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Hiro Koma)

This image from video provided by Yoshi Minamidani shows damage caused by the powerful earthquake that struck Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan in January 2024.  Minamidani is a survivor of a powerful earthquake that struck western Japan on New Year's Day.  The seafood shop she ran in Wajima, the worst-hit town, was severely damaged, as were her stores full of precious preserved fish.  He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was determined to bring Wajima back.  (Yoshi Minamidani via AP)

This image from video provided by Yoshi Minamidani shows damage caused by a powerful earthquake in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, in January 2024. (Yoshi Minamidani via AP)

Minamidani considers herself lucky. She was in the car with her husband and two children, heading to a temple to celebrate the New Year and pray for good fortune, when the massive earthquake struck last Monday. None of them were injured.

An earthquake alert started beeping on his cell phone. He called his mother to make sure she was okay.

A recently spotted cat, Chi-chan, is a neighborhood celebrity of sorts. His twin, Dai-chan, has not been seen.

Minamidani grew up watching her grandmother board trains carrying huge quantities of seafood to sell at the market. She ran back from school to help prepare the fish.

She opened her store three decades ago when she was 17 years old.

Their aim is to remember that business connects people to people. Customers come to buy his fish, not just for the fish, but because they want to buy fish from him. That’s why she can’t let them see her sad face. He has to keep smiling.

Minamidani has already joined about a dozen other people in Wajima and rented a space in the nearby city of Kanazawa, which was relatively unaffected by the earthquake, to restart their fish business. They may have to use fish caught from other ports, as the port of Wajima and the boats there have been badly damaged. Fishermen in Wajima say they need more time before they can go back to sea.

He realized that some people in Wajima had given up and were leaving. She said, she is staying and will bring back Wajima.

Minamidani recorded a video of the damage to his car and posted it on YouTube with English translation via an app. “More people see this,” is its caption. He hoped people would send donations to help rebuild.

When things settle down, she wants everyone from other countries and all over Japan to come meet her. The best thing about Wajima is not just the seafood and the people, he said.

“Time passes slowly here,” Minamidani said. “When you look at the sunset without thinking about anything, your heart becomes clear and pure.”


yuri kageyama is on x https://twitter.com/yurikageyama


Source link

Leave a Comment