The district of Ogatsu is located to the east of Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi Prefecture. Several small fishing villages in that area were destroyed by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Since 2012, we have helped disaster victims make plans to move to higher ground and into disaster accommodation. This paper presents their preferred locations for reconstruction and the locational features of new towns made by group relocations for disaster prevention in Ogatsu.
In 2012, the Ishinomaki government surveyed the final opinions of affected households about housing reconstruction. Analysis of the data revealed several issues. Most of the victims wished to live close to where they had originally resided. In districts where the proportion of affected households was low, many of the affected householders wanted the reconstruction to be where they had previously lived.
Sixteen new towns have been built in Ogatsu. They are located in places that offer views of the sea and access to the nearby harbor. They are also close to main roads. They can be divided into three types according to the relationship with existing villages. Among them, one type consisted of towns built in the vicinity of existing villages in districts with a low damage rate.
Comparing the opinions of affected households about housing recovery in 2011 with 2017, the number of householders who hoped to move back to Ogatsu decreased by 48.0%. The rates of reduction were particularly high in cases where the extent of damage was high or new towns were taking too long to build.
Regarding the conveniences of daily life, small fishing villages are poor compared with urban areas. Only residents who needed to live in such villages returned there after the reconstruction. This trend is very evident in Ogatsu. Many of the householders who moved back to Ogatsu are elderly and engaged in fishing. It is necessary for them to live near the fishing harbor together with people in their local community and to be able to observe the sea from their new towns.