Itís deja vu, but with a difference
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The Tsunami, which hit Japan on March 11 brought cities in Japan to a rubble, but Shigeki Endo was one of the lucky survivors. A kite-maker by profession, the 57-year-old went to help with the rescue operations, when he got the shock of his life. "There was death everywhere.You could hear people shouting and crying for help, but by the time help reached, there was an unending silence," Endo, nearly on the verge of tears.
The kite-maker was in the city to teach city children the nuances of creating flying wonders from scratch. The two-day workshop, Story of Kites, organised by the Union ministry of culture, Indian Museum and Crafts Council of West Bengal in collaboration with Japan Foundation and the Consulate General of Japan in Kolkata, saw over 350 students participating last week.
"Its a great pleasure to teach children the tricks of making a kite. On March 11, many of my friends and relatives died. My uncle's family is still missing. I couldn't touch the paper and bamboo sticks for a month. After that I made kites for tsunami-affected children of the nearby areas. Their smile and the sparkle in their eyes made my effort worth it," Endo said.
He showed a big poster signed by him, Masatoshi Hayashizaki, Toshio Masago (both from Sendai), Sachiko Modegi and Masaaki Modegi (from Tokyo), which said in bold letters ó Forward Together As One Japan/ We Will Never Forget Your Help/ Never Give Up. "After the Tsunami, India provided us a lot support and aid. We have come here to show our gratitude and that Japan has recovered from this crippling blow."
Mitsuo Kawaguchi, the Consul-General of Japan of Kolkata, said, "Kites are a traditional means of recreation in both India and Japan. It is one of our common interests. Its good to see these children learning the art so keenly." Kawaguchi roamed around handing the kids paper, gum and ribbons along with his wife.
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