【 Reports 】Oyster business reconstruction project from the Great East Japan Earthquake


Karakuwa, Kesen’numa, Miyagi prefecture

I will be the courageous first one to bring this up 4/4/2011

I met up with Mr. Masanori Hatakeyama and Mr. Kazutaka Kan’no.
The day I visited was the very first day Karakuwa fishery cooperative oyster division had a meeting after the disaster.

Mr. Hatakeyama told me that he fortunately has a ship and had less damage done to his house than others’.Some of his coworkers lost their families, others lost everything.If he mentions “reconstruction,”they might be offended and say “What are you talking about?”However, he thinks that somebody has to speak up, or Karakuwa will be dead.

So, he was resolved to take any criticisms and spoke up.
Although I assume that many people are still lost and confused, I believe there will be more and more people standing up.I would like to support this courageous Mr. Hatakeyama.

This is not a drama on TV, but reality. This is happening in front of my eyes.
Fishermen lost their loved ones, and their houses filled with memories were swept away. However, those oyster producers still try to stand up.

I think it is my duty to report this fact to the world.

It was decided to support 3000 sets of oyster seeds 4/23/2011


I met up with Mr. Masanori Hatakeyama, an oyster producer.On that day, he had been interviewed by Tokyo Shinbun newspaper, so they came along with him.
In the picture above, Mr. Hatakeyama is holdingthe copies of messages from oyster owners.
As Mr. Hatakeyama read through the messages with smile on his face, he said, “Well, I somewhat feel pressure, but also feel like making my best effort.”
Luckily, on the same day, fishery cooperative was holding a meeting.
So, I suggested supporting the purchase of 3000 sets of oyster seeds (worth 3,000,000 yen/approx. US$35,000) from this project to start oyster culture in Karakuwa in front of Mr.Hatakeyama and about 10 other oyster producers.They willingly agreed.


This time, these oyster seeds will be put in full oyster culture from this or next month, and they will be sold one or two years later.

Commemorative first support from the project 5/7/2011

We purchased oyster seeds from oyster producers, Mr. Haruhiro Chiba and Mr. Kunihiko Kondo, in Mangoku'ura, Ishinomaki, Miyagi. They belong to Miyagi fishery cooperative Ishinomaki branch. 

Although the destination of these oyster seeds is Mr. Hatakeyama in Karakuwa, Miyagi prefecture and other oyster producers, oyster producers in Ishinomaki earned cash by selling oyster seeds.  As a result, producers both in Karakuwa and in Ishinomaki benefit from the project’s supports.

1300 sets of oyster seeds, which are worth 7-days of  work, are loaded on five trucks and head to Karakuwa.
As shown in the picture, they use scallop shells linked together (called ren).  Inside each pair of shells, there are about 5mm of oyster seeds.  They hang these from rafts and raise oysters.


Finally, oyster seeds arrived in Karakuwa.
They are unloading oyster seeds from trucks to ships.


I was worried whether they can sail in the sea today because of the strong wind, but the wind stopped just before the planned time.  They are now heading to the sea. 

Today, there is also an interview from TV station.  As soon as the broadcast date is decided, I will report on “News” section in top page and twitter.

Tomorrow, May 8th, 1000 sets of oyster seeds will be delivered to Karakuwa, and 2000 more on 22nd.  In total, 3300 sets of oyster seeds will be provided to Karakuwa.

Second group of oyster seeds arrived 5/23/2011


On May 22nd, 1000 sets of oyster seeds, which were purchased from producers in Miyato, Okumatsushima, arrived in Karakuwa.  This made 3000 sets of oyster seeds arrived in total.  Usually, they are going to hang them in the sea, but there are not enough ropes to tie oysters.  So, they temporarily hanged oysters.

Mr.Masanori Hatakeyama has been interviewed by media, so ships and rafts are crowded. 

Ocean floats and anchor blocks 6/3/2011


(The right in the picture: Mr. Yoshikawa, the chief of Karakuwa fishery cooperative’s branch)

With connection of oyster producers in Hokkaido, who have had business with my company, they are trying to buy longline ocean floats. By May 30th, 800 of them arrived in Karakuwa, and 1350 more came on June 3rd.(They ordered 3000 in total)


Currently, materials are lacking everywhere, but I am striving to receive more supports, using the company’s network with oyster producers across Japan.

We bought anchor blocks to support full oyster culture in Karakuwa.  Anchor blocks are used as weights to hold longlines.  150 anchor blocks are needed.  In any case, because all fishing equipment and materials were swept away, even one oyster producing area needs a lot of stuff.

Karakuwa is the area where reconstruction is most progressed in Miyagi prefecture. Therefore, I believe that if Karakuwa's oyster culture gets back on track, that positive trend must spread into other producing areas. 

Approximately 5400 ocean floats in total 6/14/2011


With Mr. Sato’s, an oyster producer in Suttsu, Hokkaido, connection, we were able to buy approximately 5400 used longline-ocean floats.  Our company has had business with him. 

Due to this purchase, Karakuwa now has one of the most important materials to start full oyster culture.

This all owes to oyster owners.  Thank you so much!

Meeting for a guard lodge construction 6/16/2011


I had a meeting with Dr. Takeuchi from Miyagi University, Mr. Masanori Hatakeyama, and Mr. Yoshikawa the chief of fishery cooperative.  This guard lodge will be built by “Ban’ya (i.e., guard lodge) project” launched by students of Miyagi University under supervision of Dr.Takeuchi.

By summer, a guard lodge and oyster lodge where fishermen gather will be built.  As an oyster reconstruction project, we supported transportation fees for students and material fee.
In the meantime, at the coast, preparation for hanging oysters is in progress.
Ropes are getting tied to anchor blocks that were provided from this project. 

              This year in Karakuwa, oyster producers use longlines to hang oysters, switching from oyster culture using rafts.