Recovery from East Japan Earthquake

By Kikki - Last updated: 日曜日, 3月 27, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

 Famous local cake ‘Kamome-no-tamago’ must lead the van of reconstruction

‘My retirement may be postponed….’ Mr. Saito pledged of reconstruction at his ruined shop in Ofunato City.

One of the most famous local cakes ‘Kamome-no-tamago’ or eggs of sea gull has sold 250,000 pieces a day. The maker of the local confectionery ‘Saito Seika’, located in Ofunato city.was also greatly damaged by the tsunami caused by East Japan Earthquake and was forced to stop its production line.

Mr. Toshiaki Saito, president (69) was cheered up by refugees’ smiles in a shelter in Rikuzentakata City when he brought and distributed unsold left cakes from his factory.

‘Our cake makes people happy!’ He realized and decided to lead the van for recovery of local economy from the tsunami disaster and just sat about reconstruction work. Mr. Saito and his staff created this cake while Ofunato City had no special product other than fresh seafood and started selling it since 1952. Present shape of ‘Kamome-no-tamago’ in which a steamed bun coated with white chocolate has formed since the beginning of 1960s. The cake named as ‘Kamome-no-tamago’, of course, it is derived from sea gulls flying about nearby Ofunato fishing port. Ironically, the tsunami rushed up from that lovely sea and destroyed his main office and shop located next to JR Ofunato station.

Popular cake ‘Kamome-no-tamago’ & Main shop of Saito-seika before the tsunami.

His two-story ferroconcrete building was completely messed and only the outer wall was left at the site. All his five shops located in the seaside areas in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures were also greatly damaged and were impossible to operate. His confectionery factory in Akasaki, Ofunato saved from the direct onslaught of the tsunami but its wall was cracked.

He now wanders with his wife from one relative’s house to another for living, because his own house was destroyed partially. Fortunately, all 250 employees including from associated company could escape unhurt.

Therefore, confectionery factory is ready to start production anytime if food materials and electricity are provided.

A few days after the tsunami, unsold cakes of ‘Kamome-no-tamago’ in the factory were brought and distributed to refugees in the shelter in Rikuzentakata city. ‘We enjoyed eating sweets after a long time. Thank you very much.’ Refugees said in appreciation. Mr. Saito nearly wept for joy in seeing refugees who enjoy eating ‘Kagome-no-tamago’ in smiling.

He had thought of retirement before the tsunamai disaster but he is now ready and eager to take on reconstruction. ‘Let’s stick it out and follow him!’ If they think like that, Mr. Saito will be glad too.

View Saito Seika in a larger map

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