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.
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.
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