REBUILDING JAPAN: Architecture for Humanity Raises Hikado Marketplace from Tsunami Rubble

by , 07/05/11

It’s only been 3 months since a devastating earthquake and tsunami ripped through Japan, but the horrifying images have already begun to fade from the news and the public’s mind – a situation that unfortunately isn’t rare following these types of catastrophic events. But as fewer and fewer mentions of the disaster appear in the media and donations have stopped pouring in, the fact remains that thousands of Japanese are still homeless or living in emergency shelters without a real roof over their heads. Just because we no longer see photos of these displaced people on the five o’clock news doesn’t mean that they’ve stopped suffering.

Architecture for Humanity, cameron sinclair, hiromi tabei, rebuilding japan, green architecture, eco architecture, inhabitat, inhabitat donation, japan earthquake, japan tsunami, sustainable architecture, architecture for humanity japan, japan disaster, humanitarian design, hikado marketplace, hikado

Fortunately, there are groups of talented and passionate people making it their job to help and rebuild, such as design non-profit Architecture For Humanity. AFH members have been hard at work collecting donations and trying to help the Japanese people rebuild their homes and communities by initiating local design-build projects that have a big social and community impact. One such project currently underway is the rebuilding of the Hikado Marketplace in Motoyoshi, Japan, which is a community marketplace for food and drink vendors made from debris wood scavenged from the tsunami. Read on to see how the marketplace came to be and how it is returning the lives of the citizens of Motoyoshi back to normalcy, one beam at a time.

The following article is part of a two-part series sponsored by Yahoo! Every time one of our readers clicks here to make Yahoo! their homepage, they’re showing their support for Architecture for Humanity and the incredible work they are doing in Japan. So click now to help us make our $10,000 donation!


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  1. JenniferL July 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Doing all that is within our power to help those in need, is one of our greatest strengths. Keep up the wonderful work!

  2. mercurydan July 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    This is a disaster, but lets not forget also the people in Africa that face this tragedy everyday yet never get televised because its become the norm. or the starving people in North Korea, or the fighting in Somalia, or the Iraq and Afganistan people being bombed by “Allied” forces you are so proud of, that killed well over 200,000 people for revenge of your 3000 that died in twin towers attack. WHERE IS THEIR MONEY PEOPLE???? tragedies are happening all over the world can we feel better that we just helped one country and not the rest?

  3. tmock June 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Given our new found knowledge of repeated near-shore earthquake and landslide tsunamis, how should our strategies for building/rebuilding in tsunami zones change?

  4. nyoneda June 29, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    It’s easy to forget, especially after we stop seeing a tragedy on the evening news, as was decisively pointed out in this article. That makes this effort all the more admirable. The past few months have shown an interesting perspective into the Japanese people and their ideals. They have a tendency to suffer quietly, but those survivors deserve more. Thank you Inhabitat and Yahoo. We can learn a lot from your work.

  5. jkgreen June 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    what a great program

  6. Jessica Dailey June 29, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    What an amazing story. It’s wonderful to see big companies like Yahoo donating to the cause.

  7. Cliff Champion June 29, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    i think it’s fantastic how the world has come together to help Japan’s recovery. yahoo for yahoo!

  8. Kestrel Jenkins June 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Yahoo – this is rad. Thanks!!

  9. Dan Mendes June 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Just a couple clicks and you’ve done your part to help Japan! How simple.

  10. Nicole Abene June 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    so much destruction .. glad to see people are working to rebuild!

  11. JasminMC June 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks Yahoo and Inhabitat! This is amazing!

  12. Rebecca Paul June 29, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Amazing! Architecture for Humanity is such an inspiring organization, and I am happy to make Yahoo my homepage to support the cause!!!

  13. Mike Chino June 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    This is an amazing initiative that will provide a much-needed service. Thanks Yahoo!

  14. Diane Pham June 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    thanks Yahoo! you rock!

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