Reopening of beach welcomed by surfing couple(地元の海復活信じ続け清掃)

 
Makoto Kawakami, left, and Terumi clean up debris along Tsurushihama beach in Shinchi,?Fukushima?Prefecture, on July 7.(海岸の清掃を行う川上亮さん(左)、照美さん夫妻。「やっとこの日が来る」と海開きを心待ちにしていた=7月7日、新地町・釣師浜海水浴場)

 FUKUSHIMA-- A couple living in Shinchi, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 20 welcomed the reopening of a local beach, a location the two have been cleaning monthly since it was closed following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

 9年ぶりの海開きを20日におこなった新地町の釣師浜(つるしはま)海水浴場で、東日本大震災の年から清掃を続けてきた夫婦がいる。被災経験を絆で乗り越え、慣れ親しんだ地元の海が元に戻る日を信じてきた。

 Makoto Kawakami, 43, and his wife, Terumi, 44, saw a number of precious items taken away in the tsunami -- brought on by the quake -- and also lost Makoto's grandmother, 86, along with friends and the family cat.
 They also lost their house, which was located about 100 meters west of Tsurushihama beach.
 After the quake, Makoto thought he would never fancy going to the sea again. Although he loved the beach and was a competent surfer who participated in competitions, he was not able to venture near the beach where his grandmother and friends lost their lives.

 新地町の川上亮さん(43)、照美さん(44)夫妻は、震災による津波で祖母のシキ子さん=当時(86)=や家族同然だった猫、知人が犠牲になり、海水浴場から100メートルほど西側の家を失った。「もう二度と海は見たくない」。亮さんは地元の海を愛し、大会にも出場するほどのサーファーだったが、祖母らの命を奪った海に近づけなくなった。

 Terumi thought she must find a way to get Makoto back to the sea next to where he grew up. To encourage him, she came up with an idea of cleaning up the beach, which was awash with debris.
 She embarked on the cleanup effort in August 2011 with her three surfing friends, and the number who joined the activity gradually increased.

 「海で育った人。この人を海に戻さなければ」。夫を元気づけるために照美さんが考えたのが、がれきであふれかえる釣師浜の清掃活動だった。2011(平成23)年8月にサーファー仲間ら3人と共に始めた活動は、次第に賛同者が増えていった。

 In the autumn of 2012, she organized a volunteer group to clean up the beach with those who supported her idea, and she took the lead as its representative.
 The group pick up waste along the shore of Tsurushihama and other beaches on the fourth Sunday every month. It now has more than 250 registered members nationwide.
 More than eight years and four months have passed since the disaster, but items such as clothes, and even a drawer -- all are believed to have been swept away by the tsunami -- still wash up on the beaches.

 翌年の秋には、賛同者らと共に海岸清掃ボランティアのグループを組織し、照美さんが代表となった。毎月第4日曜日を活動日に定め、今では全国から250人以上が登録する。釣師浜以外の海岸でも活動。震災から8年4カ月を経ても生活用品や衣服、タンスなど津波で流されたとみられる漂着物も見つかる。

 Makoto, who serves as a leader of the volunteer group, has slowly softened on his attitude toward a return to normal life. "We need to live just like before the quake."
 Three years on, he resumed surfing with Terumi. Recently, he has been able to smile at the beach.

 隊長を務める亮さんの心境も、少しずつ変化してきた。「震災前のように生活することが必要だ」。活動を始めて3年が過ぎるころ、照美さんと一緒にサーフィンを再開した。最近はようやく、海で笑えるようになった。

 On July 7, about 30 volunteers were on hand to clean up Tsurushihama.
 "Thanks to many people, we've managed to come this far," Terumi said, on a day when the group collected empty cans and other waste.

 7月7日にも、約30人で釣師浜海水浴場を清掃した。照美さんは「多くの人のおかげでここまで来ることができた」と、亮さんと2人で空き缶などを拾った。

 There were other beaches in the prefecture that reopened prior to Tsurushihama, but they have seen fewer visitors since the disaster. Terumi thinks many people have stopped making routine trips to the beach, and they feel uncomfortable being in the water there as a result of the disaster.
 "I want to continue our activities until the place becomes as cheerful as it was before," she said.

( Translated by The Japan News )

 先に再開している県内の海水浴場は、震災前より海水浴客が少ない。照美さんは、海で遊ぶ習慣が薄れたことに加え、被災から海に抵抗感があると考える。「にぎわいが戻るその日まで活動を続けたい」。そう海に誓った。

 【 2019年7月14日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】

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