In writing Kibō I wanted to console and assist those survivors who were struggling to rebuild their lives and livelihoods after the March 11, 2011 disaster. And, I wanted Kibō
to be a way for the global community to share and support the aspirations
and resolve of the people of the Tohoku. Both my publisher, Ten Speed Press, and I have pledged to donate half of our respective proceeds
the work of Japanese non-profit organizations in the Tohoku region. We have
designated our contributions be used to Sponsor Fellows for Tohoku and Japan’s
Recovery. This project, launched and managed by Entrepreneurial Training for
Innovative Communities (ETIC) has a dual goal: creating jobs in the area
devastated by the disaster and developing a new generation of business leaders
in Japan. On this page, Moving Forward, I introduce you to the work of some of those Fellows and the Tohoku-local businesses they are helping to jump-start.
Rikuzen Takata, a small coastal community in Iwate Prefecture, was wiped away by the tsunami on March 11, 2011. Horrifying, mesmerizing, news-reel footage played the scene over and over to the world. In the wake of the disaster, assistance poured in to support the efforts of local community organizers. Among the many projects initiated was the Mirai Shōtengai, "Shopping Street for the Future," a cluster of shops and businesses housed in pre-fabricated building units.
Devastated by his own loss, Kumagai recognized the need for creating a comforting space where locals could gather -- to enjoy good food, and the company of others. Kumagai began planning for a new café. His eatery would become one of many retail operations to be housed in the newly conceived Rikuzen Takada Mirai Shotengai. With the encouragement and support of ETIC and other organizations and community leaders, Kumagai opened BRICKS HACHI MARU HACHI (Bricks.808) on May 7, 2012.
For more information about the Fellows Project, and an opportunity for you to make a contribution, please visit my KIBŌ page at GlobalGiving