I decided to pretend to be alive in order to maintain my life.

I left Oga, moved to Tokyo, started working in the apparel industry, and was eager to open my own store in Tokyo someday, when my wife and I had our first child.
It happened while I was on a business trip to the headquarters of the company I was working at (in Yamanashi), looking forward to meeting my first child soon.

March 11, 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake

At the time, I was involved in planning and sales for a necktie company, so I often traveled back and forth between the Tokyo branch office and the Yamanashi head office, and at that time, I was also picking up fabric (patterns) for neckties at the head office. .

The looms that weave the fabric stopped all at once, and the company itself began to shake violently with a rumbling sound. The rack I was hanging the fabric on looked like it was going to fall over, so I went outside for now.

The cars in the parking lot were shaking a lot, and all we could do was stick to the ground and not move.

Although the shaking has subsided, aftershocks continue to occur frequently.
The electricity in the area was cut off, and there was no mobile phone reception.
The expressway on my way home was also closed, so I had to stay at the president's house.
On my way to the president's house, I stopped at a supermarket, but it was full of people buying heating equipment (reflector stoves).
When you think about it, it's obvious, but the cash registers are all entered manually using calculators, and the doors are automatic and customers manually open and close them. I was frightened as I realized once again that the scenery I had taken for granted was actually something we took for granted with electricity.

Even when I'm at my president's house, the power is out, so I can't watch anything on TV, and as usual, I can't get through to the phone, so I don't know what's going on.
I went into the night with no idea what was going on, where in Japan, and how much of it was happening.

It was around 8pm when I finally got through to my wife on the phone. We were able to check each other's situation, but
There were no trains running from where his wife worked, so he decided to stay at the company.

At first, I felt a little relieved and went to sleep, but due to the current situation, I was feeling groggy, and before I knew it, it was around 4am.

The light in the Buddha room I was sleeping in suddenly turned on, and I woke up instantly and quickly turned on the TV.
It was a video of a huge tsunami with flames on top of it, engulfing the city.

The images, words, aftershocks, and J-alerts coming from the TV are so much information that my brain can't process them at all.

"Massive earthquake in Tohoku..."
"The tsunami has arrived..."
"Due to the aftershocks, I can't confirm whether they are safe..."
"In Fukushima, the seismic intensity was 6+..."

By the time I was able to grasp the situation, I couldn't stop crying.
I just felt helpless and couldn't think straight, but the expressway had somehow been restored and express buses to Tokyo were starting to run, so I hopped on and headed back to Tokyo.


I had imagined that Tokyo would be damaged to some extent, but somehow it felt like normal driving, which made me feel very uncomfortable.

The images we saw on TV were just what was happening in the movie, and were happening in a place other than the world we live in, so we should just go about our business as usual, since it's just entertainment. An atmosphere like that.

One person said, ``Because things like this are happening in Tohoku, we, the people who live in Tokyo, have to work hard to revive the economy.''

I think you have a point.

But I couldn't make sense of those words.

Totalitarian values, such as the idea that it is important to keep society running even in the event of an earthquake or other emergency, and the idea that working people are disqualified unless they become a cog in society, seem very distorted. .

Once the structure starts to look distorted, you can't just blame it on your imagination and get away with it.

Meanwhile, my long-awaited first child (daughter) was born.

My daughter's smile and gestures are a true comfort, as they help us settle all the problems and worries we have.

Accelerating discomfort

On the other hand, I began to have even more doubts about my current situation.

"Is this what my life is like?"
"An earthquake happens while I'm at work, and I might die without being able to see my family, but I have to make money for my children!" "I can't see my children growing up, and I have to support my own family. "Was your life happy by continuing to work to make society better?" was what the other self, looking down at me, kept saying to me in my head.

To add insult to injury, the nuclear power plant accident occurred.

Next time, we asked, ``Is radiation safe?'' ``Is what I'm eating safe?'' ``Can I protect my child?''
I started to worry about the safety of ingredients every day (from this point on, I became very conscious of food), I started to refrain from eating out, my wife stopped leaving the house, and I didn't want to go to the office either. , the sky remained high for about a year.
I think I was a bit neurotic at that time.

“Let’s go back to Oga.”

My wife brought it up to me.
My wife's family home is in Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture, but she was also concerned about the effects of radiation, and chose Oga as a place that seemed less affected.

Once again, Oga is my hometown, but in terms of location, it's on a peninsula that juts out at the edge of Akita Prefecture.
It's a place with a lot of nature, close to the mountains and the sea, and fortunately has a rich land where you don't have to worry about food.
It is also famous for its "Namahage" culture, which was recently registered by UNESCO.

I decided to return to Oga with the 100,000 yen in debt I had racked up in Tokyo and the old clothes and household goods I had collected.
(without deciding on a job)


We decided to drastically change our "concept of life" .

From "living with dreams" to "living first to sustain life."

"One day we will open our own shop in Tokyo and make a name for ourselves" → "We will laugh and enjoy life together with our precious family while doing what we love"

I don't have much money, but I want to watch my children grow up, make sure to spend time with the people I care about, and not have any regrets even if I'm destined to die one minute later.

Makes me think I had a good life.

I can't make a living in the countryside because there are no jobs.

People tend to say that they can't afford to start a family, or that there are things they want to do but it's impossible in the countryside.

Of course, such a reality exists, but I think it wouldn't be so difficult if we could lower the hurdles to living (the size of our own finances).

We lived in a blue seat, and since we didn't have much money, we decided to live by catching fish in the sea, eating wild plants, and picking wild vegetables when the season came, so we returned to Oga. (I heard later that my wife didn't like the blue seats. I think she'd be fine with the gray seats lol)

I may not be able to survive as a member of society, but I think it's okay to feel like I can survive as a human being.
As long as life can be maintained, economic activity is a positive thing for us.
If I had a role model who lived happily in a small economic zone in a rural area while taking care of her children and important people and things, wouldn't the hurdles in life be a little lower?

Thinking of that,

We named it "Own GArment products" .

OGA = Oga with "O" of Own and GArment "GA".
If there are people making clothes and making a living in Oga, a city with the possibility of extinction, then more people will be able to make a living no matter where they go or what they do.

This is a brand that has been in its 9th year since coming up with this idea after a long and complicated history.
If I explain it properly again, it's really lame.
I know that lol

There are other people who have given me opportunities and motivation, but I'll talk about that another time.

Well then.

Illustration of camping with my beloved eldest daughter

#Akita #Oga #Living in the countryside #Creating clothes

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