Disaster Storyteller Joins Olympic Torch Relay in Miyagi


Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Pref., June 20 (Jiji Press)--University student Hikaru Takeyama, engaged in activities to convey her experiences of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, joined the Olympic torch relay in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, on Sunday.

Takeyama, 20, ran as a torch bearer, hoping to express thanks for a lot of assistance given from around Japan to her city in the Tohoku northeastern region, hit hard by the disaster.

"I want to show my gratitude. I'm happy if people become interested in visiting disaster-affected areas," she said.

On March 11, 2011, Takeyama was in a vehicle with her family when the massive tsunami struck them. All of them survived, but they lost their home and had to live in evacuation centers and temporary housing.

As she interacted with volunteers and people living in other prefectures who cared about disaster areas from afar, Takeyama began to think, "Now I want to give something back." She then joined a group of students engaged in storytelling activities.

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Jiji Press