It has been almost three months since Japan was struck by two natural disasters in the same day. As the country works towards rebuilding, we continue to hear stories of strength and determination from a population that has faced so much in such a short period of time. This week, we received another letter from Chikako that talks about her return to Soma City. Today, we share Chikako's story and how she has seen the progress, and struggle, through her eyes.

I hope you are well.

I went to Fukushima, Soma city once again.

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This time I took an ex national volleyball player who is my friend to a school in Soma
where some of the students became the victims of the tsunami on their way back home.

It was so touching to see them and teachers happy to see her and listen so hard about her player life, how hard it was, but all she remembers and the reasons for making who she is now is those hard days she had with her team.

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I also visited Tamano town in Soma city where I stop by whenever I go to Soma. This place is higher up on the mountain so the radiation level is higher (not 0 but not that high of course)
than Soma city centre but people are trying really really hard top maintain their village. I got so attached to the place and the people there, it reminds me of my younger days in England
countryside somehow. On the day of my visit this time, school was digging the soil (all of it you see on the pictures)
which was contaminated so children weren`t allowed to play outside. After the renewal of the soil, the level dropped dramatically so I was so so happy for them.

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We just had this huge relief event volume 1, Soul Of Tohoku in which all the renown chefs and restaurants and food companies came together for years long project.

Japan Resturant

We as TORAYA confectioner went to this Tamano area to get Yomogi leaf to make three kinds of sweets. Everyone said don`t get your hopes up because radiation level is high you won`t be able to use them, but my team had it tested and it was all clear of the radiation so we presented last night people with sweets using Yomogi from Tamano. We walked and walked on the mountain to get the Yomogi, I`ll never forget this experience.

About the clean up process, I sincerely hope that is progressing but the truth is we just can not believe until it is really done. We hear news of the places where high level radiation was found and etc but all we can do is to hope to get back what we had and in order for us to make that happen we must move forward.

It is a long long way and we are definitely facing a whole new challenge but little things like this I hope to do for however long possible to make things better for our future and we must believe in ourselves that we can do it.