Highlighting JAPAN Vol.121 June 2018

KATSUYA YAMADANippon Steel Rugby Football Club), winners of seven consecutive national championships. Like Hanazono in Osaka—Japan’s first-ever rugby stadium, built in 1929—Kamaishi is considered one of the meccas of Japanese rugby.The Rugby World Cup will come to Asia and Japan for the first time in September 2019, and in 2015 Kamaishi was named one of twelve host cities. However, there were some twists and turns before this town—which suffered many fatalities and serious damage in the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011—was able to raise its hand as a home to the prestigious Kamaishi Seawaves RFC rugby club (previously known as An event for local childrenKnown as “Rugby Town,” the city of Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture suffered massive damage in 2011’s Great East Japan Earthquake, but picked itself up and got back in the game to become a Rugby World Cup 2019 venue. candidate site. Takashi Masaki, general manager of the Kamaishi Rugby World Cup 2019 Promotion Headquarters, explains.“The Rugby World Cup 2019 Discussion Meeting was held in December 2011, barely half a year after the disaster, and mainly consisted of volunteers who were rugby-related people living in Kamaishi,” Masaki recalls. “City residents had only just moved from evacuation shelters to temporary housing, and to be honest there were those who thought it was not a time to be thinking about rugby.”The reconstruction plan Kamaishi created had three phases, with the first three years focusing primarily on restoration and reconstruction. As the plan entered its second phase in 2014, the physical 10How a Rugby Town Got Back in the ScrumTHE city of Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture is

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