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東日本大震災翻訳プロジェクト〔第13話〕

  • English
  • 日本語

I let everybody know safety of fish

Ishii Teizo, 57, President, Sushi Tamura, Taira, Iwaki City.
Translated by Ohsawa Kasumi

 On March 11, I finished my routine work for lunch time by two o’clock. When I went out, it was 2:46 pm. “Earthquake!!” I couldn’t keep standing with the long shaking. I was worried about my sushi restaurant. I took out my phone, and called the restaurant.

 I was worried about fire as we use cooking oil for evening menu. I tried to call my restaurant many times, but I couldn’t get through due to confusion caused by the quake. It took 40 minutes by car to go back there. Young employees came out and said, “Boss! We have a serious problem. Our restaurant is in a mess.” There were a lot of tableware and bottles on the floor. Kamidana (a household Shinto altar) fell down and it was broken. On TV, I watched big tsunami breaking and washing away cars and houses one after another.

 We were fully reserved with farewell and welcome parties in March and April. After the disaster the reservation was cancelled one after another. Suspension of water supply also annoyed me. Then, I changed my way of thinking, and I tried my best to open my restaurant as soon as water supply would restore. Thanks to my longtime business partners, I could get fish from Tsukiji, Tokyo. A president of tuna distributor said, “Boss, don’t worry. Leave fish to us. We get it all”. I was really grateful to them.

 There was, however, no way to transport the fish from Tsukiji to Iwaki. We had a shortage of gasoline, and home delivery service refused to enter Iwaki due to the nuclear accidents. But a delivery company told that they could transport it to Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture. So we managed to get gas and went to Mito by ourselves. At last we could get fish.

 On March 19, water supply was restored. We could open our restaurant again after 11 days from the disaster. We hung our noren (traditional Japanese curtain with a shop name) as a token of reopening of the restaurant. After one hour, all the seats on the ground floor were filled with 40 guests. On the blackboard, the recommended menu of fish from Tsukiji were written. The guests were drinking and eating raw fish after a long time, and they were smiling a lot.

 Lively and cheerful atmosphere lasted until the restaurant was closed. It was such a wonderful day. This is our new start. We will never forget the initial resolution, and pursue safety of food. I dedicate my life to this profession, and want to enjoy my life with smile and happiness.

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