Yoshida Sisters (Art book)

Some of the particpants use their original contents as their learing material at Komo’s English class@Rikuzentakata. We consider English is a communication vehicle to deliver what you would like to express. We thus encourage using his/her original learning material.

Emi and Yumi Yoshida created “tanka” and poet quite a long time before the tsunami.  Coaches and volunteer members of Let’s Talk Foundation translated one of their “tanka” and poet per month. As Emi and Yumi participated every single month, the accumulated “tanka”/poet after one year became great volume to be a book. With their heartful poet, we assorted their oil paintings and published as an art book. The artbook published March 2013 was sold out in February 2015 thanks to the supporters. All the work to publish were done by the volunteers (Active contributors) of Let’s Talk Foundation at that time.

詩と絵で綴る陸前高田Forward From the Artbook

Rikuzentakata – where the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami on 11th March 2011 devastated almost ninety percent of the city.

This book is a collection of poems, tanka*, and paintings by twin sisters Emi and Yumi Yoshida. The works are from before and after the tsunami. Emi composes the poems and finds she can move forward from the natural disaster by changing her mindset, despite her grief over countless losses. The tankas are written by Yumi, who moves forward by focusing on helping those around her. The twins both contribute paintings.

We first met Emi and Yumi Yoshida in January 2012, almost a year after the Great East Japan Earthquake. We were visiting Rikuzentakata as volunteer coaches for Komo’s English class@Rikuzentakata**, which had started just a couple of months earlier. It was an unusually cold winter for the Sanriku region, which is located in the southern part of the Tohoku region. It was snowing, and the temporary classroom was freezing cold, however, the room was filled with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We were all moved and energized by the gentleness of the people.

Since then, we have been commuting regularly to Rikuzentakata as English language coaches. Looking back at the past year, we believe we have learned and received far more than we have given to the people of the tsunami-devastated area. Countless lives, properties, and landscapes have disappeared.. Although we cannot relieve their grief, we can develop a relationship with them – meet, talk, relate, and offer a helping-hand which connects individuals. This experience has helped us to rediscover the fact that relationships and communication are the vital aspects to human society.

At Komo’s English class@Rikuzentkata, we use Emi, and Yumi’s poems as personalized lesson content, and we translate one poem and one tanka each month from the Japanese into the English. The paintings in this book include some works which were swept away by the tsunami and then later re-discovered among the debris and returned to the Yoshida twins. Please take a moment of your time to feel their home, Rikuzentakata, from the perspective of Emi and Yumi. Sincerely, Let’s Talk Foundation, The coaches of Komo’s English class@Rikuzentakata

* A type of Japanese poem with 31 syllables. ** Based on the founder’s belief that the disaster area should develop global talents faster than many other areas in Japan. The classes focus on teaching the essence of English, and encourage self-directed study through coaching. The program started in November 2011, and plans to continue until 2021. The coaches commute to Rikuzentakata from Tokyo on a monthly basis.

Please visit “Making of the artbook” from the following link: