寄付・募金・ボランティアのセーブ・ザ・チルドレン・ジャパン

Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami Emergency response and recovery program

Children Created the Character “Matsushii” for the Revitalization of Yamada Town (October 3, 2013)

Yamada Town Children’s Community Building Club, “Keppare Yamada Toekomst” (KYT) strives for the reconstruction and revitalization of Yamada Town, using their character “Matsushii” that was born from a children’s sketch. “Matsushii” was created in the summer of 2011. Here we would like to share with you how “Matsushii” and the KYT members have worked since then, including how they took part in events held in Yamada Town from August to September 2013.

matsushii

Click here to watch KYT’s past activities ⇒ YouTube “matsushii KYT” channel” (in Japanese)

■ The character “Matsushii” created for the revitalization of Yamada Town ■
“Matsushii” is a character that KYT members created for the revitalization of Yamada Town. In the summer of 2011, when the members were preparing their “Dream Town Plan” (in Japanese) for the reconstruction of the town, a sketch that they happened to draw at the time became the basis of the character.
The name “Matsushii” comes from combining the names of matsutake and shiitake mushrooms, both of which are specialties of Yamada Town. In November 2011, the children created a carnival cutout (or standin) of “Matsushii,” as well as its full-body suit in May 2012. In 2013, “Matsushii” has been showing up more frequently in public and joining in at local events.

Drawing of Matsushii         Matsushii and friends

 

■ The first step: Letting people know about “Matsushii” ■
At the Children’s Community Building Leaders’ Tour 2013 held from July 27 to 30, the KYT members learned about the case of Shin-Nagata, Kobe City, where a character was used to help revitalize the town. Based on this, they first planned to take part in local events of Yamada Town together with “Matsushii” to help local people feel an attachment to their town’s character.
They visited a summer festival held at Yamada Town Second Nursery School on August 3, 2013. It was a great opportunity for them to let many people know about “Matsushii,” because there was a large range of people, from nursery school toddlers to the elderly visiting the festival. Together with the children, “Matsushii” enjoyed the bon odori (seasonal festival dance) and gave a tremendous boost to the venue.

Matsushii at the local festival

 

■ The second step: Encouraging people to remember “Matsushii” ■
On August 11 of the following week, many people gathered at a fireworks festival. There “Matsushii” played the very important role of Ebisumaki, which is to scatter sweets or rice cakes for people coming to the event. Both “Matsushii” and the KYT members were so happy to see even more people there. They also met the kids from the nursery school they had visited the previous week, shouting, “Matsushii!” It is likely that the kids would now remember “Matsushii”.

Friendly Matsushii

 

■ The third step: Making “Matsushii” a character loved by everyone ■
The Yamada Ganbappeshi Festival was held from September 14 to 16. Everyone in town knows about this festival and “Matsushii,” who loves to party, joined the festival wearing a happi coat, of course!
On the 14th, “Matsushii” had a booth at the festival with the KYT members. The KYT members had planned the contents and interior of the booth from scratch, and it overflowed with their hospitality. Included in the booth were panels that displayed some of the activities conducted by the Yamada Children’s Community Building Club and a folding screen of festival that the KYT members had drawn. There was also a space where visitors could have a photo taken with “Matsushii.” We hope that through the hospitality shown by “Matsushii” and the KYT members, “Matsushii” has taken one step closer towards the goal of becoming a character loved by the local people.

■ “Matsushii” becomes an officially recognized character of Yamada Town ■
“Matsushii” represents a wish of KYT members that more people come to know about Yamada Town, and then come to like and visit the town. As mentioned earlier, in order to help revitalize the town, the members have participated in various local events to let people know about “Matsushii” and feel an attachment to it.
The activities of “Matsushii” and KYT members have been well acknowledged, leading to “Matsushii” being recognized as an official character of Yamada Town! On the second day of the Yamada Festival, on September 15, “Matsushii” participated in the authorization ceremony together with two other new characters of Yamada Town.

■ Continuing to work towards the revitalization of Yamada Town with “Matsushii” ■
Having received municipal approval, “Matsushii” will continue to join in local events with KYT members. Please look forward to more activities conducted by the KYT members and “Matsushii.” We greatly appreciate your continuous support.