Kitakami ‘We Are One’ Market
and Youth Center
Tohoku Earthquake Tsunami Rebuilding
Located along the jagged Tohoku coastline, the Kitakami community was deeply impacted by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Displaced families were moved into temporary housing, and three schools were consolidated into one. Residents lacked access to fresh food, and the local farming industry no longer had a market at which to sell their harvest.
Community leader Naomi Sato proposed the ‘We Are One’ Market and Youth Center to address the area’s post-disaster needs. Completed in January 2013, the center is a true hub for the community, with a robust calendar of events and classes. The market, which provides fresh local produce to the community, now employs four Kitakami mothers – who can easily supervise their children thanks to an adjacent play area.