Sakatas close their domestic study program the Warabiya and move to Ogimi

Sakatas close their domestic study program the Warabiya and move to Ogimi

On March 25, at the local community event known as Hamauri, in the waiting area at Tokashiki Harbor, Ryuji Sakata (right) and the pupils of Warabiya say their farewells.

April 8, 2012 by Hideaki Yoneda, correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo

Ryuji and Akiko Sakata, a couple who moved to Tokashiki from Kudaka in 2007, ran the Warabiya juku as the first domestic study program in Tokashiki, finished accepting students in 2011. They then moved to Ogimi in northern Okinawa this April and will work to support children in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake such as Fukushima.

The Sakatas set up in a house in Tokashiki and took in six to seven students from urban areas, aged from fifth grade of elementary school to third grade of junior high school, every year from 2008 to 2011. Living together with the Sakatas, the children grew rice and vegetables, helped look after a goat, and went to Tokashiki Elementary and Junior High School.

In the context of the number of pupils at the school decreasing year by year, the Warabiya pupils helped to add life to the local community, so many people regret its closing. On March 25, the Sakatas and the children participated in a local event known as Hamauri, and said, “We really appreciate the support we got from the people of Tokashiki.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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