2021 marks ten years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Since then, many have helped with saving others, supplying food and water, and keeping the affected areas in their hearts. We received so much aid from around the world during these past ten years. We wanted to convey our appreciation for this reconstruction aid, which is why the Tohoku Economic Federation planned the Tohoku House – to give physical form to the feelings that the people of Tohoku share.

Giving a physical form to our appreciation

“Thanks” has no physical form. The Tohoku House Executive Committee thought long and hard about how to convey our appreciation to the people of the world. In order to showcase the people of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima that strived so hard to rebuild from the disaster, they selected people from ten different organizations, like a seller from the largest sea urchin market in the world, or students from a jazz orchestra. Each one has their own way of thanking the world, and strong feelings about the reconstruction. For example, there’s Horaguchi Rui of Iwate. She was an elementary school student when her home was lost to the tsunami. She received a new backpack and school supplies from support projects and was encouraged to keep studying – now she’s in university. Hoping to protect her beloved town and the people close to her, she is currently studying disaster mitigation at university.

Ten individuals and groups expressing their gratitude. Everyone has their own story and way of giving thanks.

In the background is the Kamaishi Unosumai Reconstruction Stadium, host to one of the games of the Rugby World Cup 2019. It used to be the site of the local middle school, which Ms. Horaguchi used to attend. Here she is giving the kick-off address.

Using new ties as an impetus for visiting the area

The people of the affected coastal areas want you to come visit and see the reconstructed area. In order to give form to this desire, the Federation continued to film the entire Tohoku region. Two years flew by before we knew it. What results is a never-before seen film that puts together the charm of the Tohoku region with the latest technology. “The View from Tohoku and Niigata” is a film that is chock-full of all the best the Tohoku region has to offer. You’ll want to visit us once you see it.

Showing off the best of Tohoku and Niigata with the latest technology on this large panorama screen (height 4 meters, length 35 meters)

Summer 2021 – The Tohoku House opens

As athletes competed at the Tokyo Olympics during summer 2021, the Tohoku House was opened in Tokyo. It was open for 17 days. Yes – it was planned to convey gratitude to the people who came from around the world to see the Olympics in Tokyo.

Unfortunately, no spectators were allowed at the Tokyo Olympics. At the time, COVID cases were on the rise in the capital, and a state of emergency was in effect. The Tohoku House opened during this difficult period.

The opening ceremony for the Tohoku House. Tohoku took over the Akihabara section of Tokyo, which is known for around the world as a symbol of Japanese culture. Lucky!

An amalgamation of digital and tradition

Organizers prepared for entrants by setting up thermometer stations and disinfectant, as well as keep tight control on entry. As they worked to enact basic measures to prevent spread of the virus, they were also able to set up some fantastic remote events of various experiential activities. People connected online with AI tour guides, virtual reality snow activities, and traditional craftspeople. There were even activities where people could join in at home.

Connecting with traditional craftspeople at home – they’re making wooden kokeshi dolls.

Future-oriented companies and their feelings about Tohoku

Many companies supported the Tohoku House thanks to their support of the reconstruction. For instance, Toyota: in July 2012, Toyoya established a production company in Tohoku where it builds Aqua, Sienta, and Yaris models. These small-model cars are the quintessential “Japanese” cars, and they are being made in Tohoku. After that, more and more companies set up shop in Tohoku, and formed business relationships with local enterprises. These ten years for Toyota has also been a step forward for rebuilding the manufacturing base of Tohoku.

The sponsors of the Tohoku House. 451 companies supported us.

Showing the world our gratitude

This is how we spent the 17 days of Tohoku House. As COVID grips the world, were we able to convey our thanks to the global community? We weren’t sure.

We wanted to continue these projects for conveying gratitude, so we reformatted the contents of the Tohoku House and from August 24, you can virtually tour the Tohoku House online. This is for all those who hesitated to visit us in person, and all those who supported us from around the world.

◆Tohoku House Virtual Exhibition






 復興が進む被災地をぜひ訪れてほしい。この思いを形にするために、東北各地を撮影し続けました。気づくと2年の歳月をかけていました。東北の魅力と最新技術を組み合わせた見たことのない映像。The View from Tohoku and Niigataは、東北の魅力を余すところなく詰め込んだ映像作品です。きっとあなたも行ってみたくなること間違いありません。






◆東北ハウス バーチャル来場体験