Erneut haben wir vom Lippstädter Verein "Deutsch-Japanischer Verein Yawara Lippstadt e.V." Informationen über die Verwendung der Spendengelder erhalten. Einen Dankesbrief aus Japan können Sie hier lesen:

May 30, 2011

Dear Mr. Stefan Grosskreuz

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for such generous donation from the people of Lippstadt in Germany. It arrived on May 16.

Early summer is here in Japan. We feel the change of season, as always, with fresh green mountains and clear blue sky and ocean. Ruins of disaster, however, are still all around us. A hugeamount of debris is still right in front of us.

With such warm support from so many people like you, everyone at our kindergarten, teachers, staff members, children and parents have been able to move ahead step by step to rebuild our lives.


Kindergarten vor dem UnglückDer Kindergarten vor dem Unglück!

Three months have passed. Back on March 11, we were all shocked to see what was happening and could not really understand what we were facing. Help arrived right away not only from all over Japan but also from so many people overseas. That made us move forward little by little. We are thankful for all these support and at the same time we also feel the need to do our best so we could walk on our own again.

March is the end and April is the beginning of the school year, very important time of the year, when children and parents look forward to graduation and enrollment ceremony. Our priority was to put children back to kindergarten as soon as possible. Since our building was totally destroyed, we borrowed the auditorium of the junior high school nearby and we were able to hold the end-of-the-semester ceremony and graduation ceremony on March 29.


Ein Dankeschön von den KindernAuf dem Banner steht: Ganbarimasu Ashiome! - Wir geben nicht auf!


We have also been able to make an arrangement to put our children back to kindergarten by borrowing the room at our sister kindergarten, Ashinome Kindergarten. We were able to hold the beginning-of-the-semester ceremony on April 11 and the enrollment ceremony on April 12. We now have 320 children from two kindergartens spending together at one Ashinome Kindergarten.



We only have 6 classrooms. Each classroom has 50 children or more. There are 70 older children from Ahinome Hoshiya Kindergarten and they all spend together as one class at the hall. They are a little bit cramped, but they are getting used to it. Everyday they come to their class withfull of energy and we are happy to see their smiling faces.



Kindergarten nach dem UnglückDer Kindergarten nach dem Unglück!

These children have to commute longer distance, but they endure those inconveniences. We are proud of them. We are also lucky to have parents who are also very supportive. For these children and parents, we would like to do our best to reopen Ashinome Hoshiya Kindergarten assoon as possible. We would like to use your generous contribution to rebuild our kindergarten.



Please send our heartfelt appreciation and best regards to your friends in Lippstadt. I understand you see some pictures on our website, but we will put together some photos to send to you.


With appreciation and warmest regards,


Ineko Ishikawa
Ashinome Hoshiya Kindergarten



Here are answers from your students.


How many children are at the Ashinome Gakuen?


There are 167 children at Ashinome Hoshiya Kindergarten, and 153 children at AshinomeKindergarten. There are 320 children all together.


How old are the children?


3 to 5 years old. Within our capacity, we welcome children who reached 3 during the year.


What will you buy with the donated money?


We would like to use your donation for rebuilding our kindergarten and other necessary facilities.


Is there anything else we can do to support you?


We cannot express enough appreciation for all these support delivered to us right after the disaster. We have received different kind of necessary goods we need for children both from all over Japan and from so many foreign countries. We also have volunteers who are helping us out here.


Can you describe what happened on March 11?


On Friday, March 11, children at our Kindergarten started getting ready to head home at 2pm. At ourKindergarten we have three buses to send children home. Some parents come to pick up their children. Some children stay with us until 6:15pm for extended-hours of care. At the time of the disaster, three buses had already left. There were children waiting for the next bus. There were children waiting for their parents. All together there were about 40 children in their classrooms. It was 2:46pm when we felt the strong shake. Children, who have done emergency drills, listened carefully to the direction of their teachers, moved out of the building, got together on the playground to wait until the shake stopped.


However, it was such a long, strong shake. Weinstantly thought that tsunami might come. We left the kindergarten and moved up to the nursinghome for the old which was on higher ground. At 3:30pm we heard the sound of tsunami. High wave of water together with debris swept the area. It also destroyed our kindergarten totally. Our Kindergarten’s busses, which had left the Kindergarten right before tsunami, were able to escape too. However, we later learned that there was one child, who had already arrived home, was killed in tsunami.


Some children lost their parents and other family members, and among them we have missing people too. At the time of the disaster, we lost all power and water and communication tools. The streets were shut down with mountains of debris and we lost all means to get contact with children’sfamilies. It took a whole week for us to finally find out the safety of all children (except the one child who was killed.) There are children whose houses have been totally or half destroyed, and they are living in shelters. There are teachers and staff members whose houses were damaged. But they are trying to keep the spirit up to take care of the children.

I would like to thank you all for such kind concern and warm support. We would like toshare our updates and photos on our website.

Can you send us a map of Kesennuma and show us where the Ashinome Gakuen is located?

We will send map by mail.

How is the situation at Kesennuma now?

Right after the quake and tsunami, the whole city was full of debris and ruins stretched as far as theeye could see. Our country’s self-defense force, police officers, firefighters, and other rescue teams from foreign countries arrived right away, and they immediately started rescue efforts. We are all thankful for their hard work on getting rid of debris, searching for the missing, rebuilding the streets and other infrastructure such as water, electricity, and phone lines, etc., and delivering food and other necessary materials to the people in shelters. Our children are waving their hands to show appreciation to their work. Every time we receive relief goods from all over the country and from overseas, we feel that you are with us. Little by little we can see that we are moving forward.

Now that the seawalls were destroyed and gone, we feel sea water so close. We also lost our Matsubara pine forest, one of the best scenic spots, and so many buildings as well. Kesennumahas always been a city of fishing industry, which was totally destroyed as well. We need to start allover again. We are hoping that all of us here hold on to our hope for the future and move forward.



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Theater Cappel, Vorhang auf! Wir sind immer super drauf! Bühne frei, Bühne frei, Bühne frei, frei, frei.
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