Community Profile

The Kesennuma Asobiba is a playspace where children use play to heal scars and grow through the emotional trauma of disaster.  The space, starting from an empty lot full of tsunami debris in 2011, and growing through 2014 into it's present form, has evolved into multiple facilities for imagination and creation where children can express themselves and play freely without the pressures of everyday life.


Early after the disaster, local parents were struggling to rebuild homes and get food on the table – many did not have the headspace to play with their children.  The Asobiba was created as a retreat and escape for the children of these local families.

The Asobiba has around 1,000 children attending at various times of the year, from the nearby neighbourhoods of Oya, Kesennuma and even as far as Sendai.  For parents who are still under stress of rebuilding everyday normalcy for their children, the Asobiba has been an invaluable addition to the local community.


The Place to Grow club at Kesennuma Asobiba brings outside volunteers to support the children's education through dance, art, and music activities.  Each of these activities contribute to our year-end community festival.  


Mr. and Mrs. Suzuki were born in the local area and are well respected community leaders.  They have managed the Asobiba since 2013, creates the curriculum, the everyday activities for children, and coordinates with Place to Grow to hold our international club activities.


Club Leaders

Mr. and Mrs. Suzuki are the district leaders of the Teragai community.  It's easy to see that they treat every child as their own, and their caring, empathetic approach to community building comes across in the ideas and spirit of the Asobiba.


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Local Community

Kesennuma is a city in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan that was affected by the 2011 Tohoku disaster when  earthquakes, tsunami and major fires ravaged the city and neighbouring local areas on March 11th, 2011 and in the days after.