The Stronghold of Hope for the Disaster-Stricken Area
Shinran-followers in Miyagi prefecture, who had been hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake, enthusiastically took part in the construction of the Yamagata-Shonai Shinran Center.
“This center is on the Japan Sea side, so the next one in Northeastern region must be on the Pacific side!” They have already started to prepare for the construction. They talked about recovery from the disaster in the true sense.
The Best Way to Show Our Gratitude is to Convey Buddhism in the Stricken Area.
Yoshiko Aizawa (Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi prefecture) is still living in temporary housing. Her house was washed away by the tsunami two years ago.
Every day Her mind was filled with how to live. However she recalled those days and said, “We know the true purpose of life, so we must not be discouraged by such a disaster. I often tell my husband, ‘We must have survived to listen to Buddhism and seek Amida’s salvation.’”
June last year, they rented a room to hold meetings in Sendai city thanks to the donation from Shinran followers throughout Japan.
Yoshiko said, “We are really grateful for having a place to hold meetings. It enabled us to encourage each other and listen to Buddhism.
So, now we want to build a ‘Buddhist Castle” to listen to lectures with people in disaster-stricken area as soon as possible.”
Mayumi Watanabe (center in the picture) also lives in Higashi-Matsushima City. Her house was flooded up to a meter. The water subsided by only 10 centimeters a day and mud accumulated inside her house.
The rescue party from Shinran-kai helped her clear the heaps of mud. They managed to prepare her place to be a plce to hold webinars on Buddhism only 20 days after the earthquake.
She talked about those days, “During the first few weeks after the earthquake hit us, I acutely felt that it was not possible to listen to Buddhism without a gathering place even though we wanted to listen as soon as possible.”
She also said with zeal, “We often see cars with the stickers ‘Let’s go forward!’ around my house. That’s an encouraging message.” However, some people say ‘I don’t know what to live for from now on.’
We want to deliver the true teachings which enable us to overcome hardships. For that purpose, we need a place where everyone can listen to Buddhism together.”
Hiroyuki Hosokawa, the Shinran-kai chapter leader, enthusiastically said, “The best way to show our gratitude is to convey Buddhism in the disaster-stricken area. NOW Shinran followers in Northeastern region will take action to build a ‘Buddhist Castle’.”
After fliers of the monthly Buddhism magazine were inserted in newspapers in the region, applications for subscription have been pouring in.
Donations which are directed at people in the disaster-stricken region to subscribe to Buddhist magazines for them to see why we live even when life becomes unbearable, are donations put into the best use ever
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #28 | 2013, The True Revival from the Disaster
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