Mr. Osaka, the owner of the Osaka Photo Studio, survived the tsunami by holding onto a bamboo in a forest about one mile away from the coast. He lost not only his studio and house for the tsunami but also his wife and daughter. He once thought he would quit everything, but the community encourage him to start his studio again.
Traditionally Japanese people go to a photo studio to have their portrait taken by a professional photographer at major milestones of their lives such as child birth, Shichi-go-san, entrance ceremonies for kindergarten and elementary school, Coming-of-age ceremony, wedding and so on. Mr. Osaka has taken millions of pictures of people of Rikuzen-takata. He has seen babies growing up to become young men and women. Even after those young people move out of the town to work in Tokyo, they always come back to visit Mr. Osaka.
Mr. Osaka has recently appointed to become a chief of the volunteer fire corps of the district, and he manages about 1,000 volunteer firefighters. Though the city has its own fire department, the volunteer fire corps takes very important role not only in case of fire but also during any disaster or accidents. Mr. Osaka was the first person in Japan to come up with the idea of publicizing their needs on the Amazon Wishlist to collect items that the residents needed after the disaster.
Architecture for Humanity would like to help Mr. Osaka and the town of Rikuzen-takata to establish his studio as well as the hub of the community. This photo studio is not going to be an ordinary photo studio. It is going to become a place for the community member to gather and exchange their experience and knowledge.