Tōni Market Revitalization Project

Tōni Market in Tōni-cho, Kamaishi City, which sits along the town’s main thoroughfare, was badly damaged by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Considering its adjacency to an ongoing public housing revitalization project and its significance in cultural events such as the “Kamaishi Cherry Blossom Festival” and the nationally famous traditional “Tiger Dance,” reconstructing Tōni Market is vital to the town’s identity and thus, its restoration. Our goal is to work together with the Town Council, Tōni Market Board, and Tōni-cho residents toward both improving community development and preserving the town’s heritage.



Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture, launched “Kamaishi Mirainomachi Project” aiming to revive the city by coordinating closely with local government administration, experts and residents. Chairman Yamashita is in the middle of designing the revival public housing in Toni district as one of the experts. Historically people have lived by fishery in Toni, and traditional arts, such as “Tiger Dance”(prayer for a good catch of fish and safety) ,’kagura’ and the drum, were for prosperity of the fishermen. Once in three years, a traditional festival“Kamaishi Cherry Blossom Festival” is held. Although every district has the characteristic role, it is difficult to continue because residents were dispersed by the earthquake. To aim at the revival using the characteristic of the town including the continuation of such traditional arts, it is important to recover the previous vigor of Tōni Market which is opposite and facing the public housing and the only important area within walking distance.


We support the continuation of traditional arts during the reconstruction of the town. It is important to revitalise the town and regain the previous vigour, and for the mental health of the residents. An opinion exchange workshop is a good way to start.


As for the opinion exchange workshop as the center of this project, we consider the residents would participate with their own initiative and positively. We sometimes will be the leaders who have know-how, and sometimes we push as the supporters. As we will coordinate this project closely with the residents, Mr. Sasaki - the chairman of the neighborhood association, RCF General Incorporated Association disaster recovery support team, and TeMaLi Architects designing the public housing, we think the know-how will penetrate gradually. As the local government administration cooperate with us, there is a possibility that this project will be concretely linked to“Kamaishi Mirainomachi Project” in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture.