○ The First Year
The First Prize： Ms. Matsumoto “Live Your Life”
The Second Prize：Ms. Matsubara “1・2・3・Peace!!”
The Third Prize： Ms. Kikugawa “Having Cellphones”
○ The Second Year
The First Prize： Ms. Kawakami “The message from Urayasu”
The Second Prize：Ms. Shigemura “Dreams aren’t just for wishing, they’re for realizing!”
The Third Prize： Ms. Katabami “A rich diversity of English”
“The message from Urayasu”
Do you know the town named Urayasu? What did you imagine about this town when you first heard it? Tokyo Disney Resort, the modern town, the sea or maybe liquefaction? On March 11th, Japan had one of the biggest earthquakes in these few years. It took the lives of two thousand people. Many people got injured physically and mentally.
Urayasu where I live, had a big damage called “liquefaction”, which means “Ekijyoka” in Japanese. In some places, the land sank and some of the streets got bumped.
For me Urayasu is my hometown. So I was very shocked that my town has been entirely changed once and to be called as “Urayasu with liquefaction”. But I’m still proud of my hometown. Now Urayasu is working hard to get over the damages. So does Tohoku. I’m going to talk about what I experienced in my town and what I felt.
That day I stayed overnight at school with my friends. However many aftershocks scared me and I couldn’t sleep at all.
The next day, when I came back to my town Urayasu, I lost my word. The streets were covered with mud and water. The land sank and caused the street bump. At some areas, the manhole jumped out. Fortunately the apartment where I live didn’t have these damages. But the water pipe broke. We were told that we couldn’t use the water for ten days until the pipes recovered. That ten days were the most painful days. Because the water supply cut off means that you can’t use tap water, toilet, and never take a bath.
Some “Jieitai” came to supply the water to us. But the water we can get was a little. It was totally hard to save the water with my family until the pipes recovered. So we went to a convenience store and a supermarket, but all the water was sold out. And I saw many people rushing to the store to buy foods.
Some temporary toilet was built near the school. But it was really scary to go there at night because there were no lights and almost no people walking there. So I didn’t feel like drinking and eating.
We also couldn’t take a bath so we went to a hot spring, but there were many people so we couldn’t get in. Sometimes I couldn’t take a bath for three days.
At the same time Urayasu started to be reported on the news as “Urayasu with liquefaction”. Some TV reported, “The value of town fell” and also “The nearest stricken area from Tokyo”.
Having these damages, many people started leaving Urayasu. It seemed that Urayasu completely lost life. I thought as if my town was isolated and deserted.
But one day, my friend who lives in Hyogo, sent me an e-mail. The message was “I had been worried about you! Are you OK?” Not only she but also my grandparents and my aunt gave me a message. Then I realized I was not alone. Also was Urayasu. Many people from other cities encouraged us. Moreover some even came to Urayasu for volunteer. Urayasu was not alone.
Although the damage I experienced was nothing compared to Tohoku, I was very shocked of the damages and the change of my town. But through my experiences I realized the happiness of eating, taking a bath, connections with other peoples are the most important things.
Now, Tohoku is working hard to get over the damages. So does Urayasu. I saw many college students cleaning the road then, and the movie “Quartet” was taken at Urayasu, with a hope of revival. What do you think of Urayasu? Do you imagine the town that is covered with mud and water? Well it is a damaged town, but we are recovering little by little. So please don’t call as “Urayasu with liquefaction” in one word. People might think this town is a dangerous place, but it’s not, it’s safe, and also a beautiful town. I am proud of my hometown. Through my speech I want to give a power to my town. So when people ask me “Is your town all right? You had a hard time”, I will answer, “Urayasu is a beautiful town! Please come and visit us!”
Thank you for listening.