Image: Screenshot from Sanriku Shigoto Project promotional video.
Six months after the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we've gotten word of a heart-warming project that has been turning the damaged tools of one trade into livelihoods for women in a hard-hit coastal village.Following the tsunami, a group of women in the town of Sanriku began using donated fishing nets damaged in the tsunami to make braided "misanga," or friendship bracelets, according to the gadget website Tokyo Bounce:
Following a pattern created specifically for the project, they started making misanga bracelets to provide themselves with some income during the recovery period, when there was plenty of clean-up work aimed at men, but few opportunities for women.
A video about the project posted on the website is all in Japanese, but beautifully shot, and the scenes of women laughing while they braid against the backdrop of their severely damaged town don't really need words. (The Sanriku Shigoto Project website is also all in Japanese, but contains lovely photos.)
According to Tokyo Bounce, the the first batch of the bracelets sold out the same day they went on sale, but the women of Sanriku are still hard at work. Tokyo-based New York Times reporter Hiroko Tabuchi, whose Twitter messages first tipped us off to the project, spotted the bracelets on sale recently at a fair organized by the volunteer association Hands on Tokyo.
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