Birds of Hope


Birds of Hope

日本語 | English

“Birds of Hope” was planned so that we will not forget about the Great East Japan Earthquake and the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station that happened on March 11th, 2011.


“Birds of Hope” was planned so that we will not forget about the Great East Japan Earthquake and the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station that happened on March 11th, 2011. To assure that the horror of natural disasters and the misery of accidents caused by human hubris would not be forgotten, not only by not only those who were affected by the disaster but also by who did not experience it, we depicted the events in a way that even a 10-year-old child can understand.

Were we able to convey something to you? Did it motivate you think about how, as an individual, you can protect precious human lives? When the worst happens, you may help your neighbors, or they may help you. It would be a good idea to think about how you should interact with people in the community on a regular basis.

We never know when disaster will strike. “We want to keep living with peace of mind in a familiar town with our family, friends, and acquaintances,” is a wish we all have. To make that wish come true, create opportunities for communication with others. That is the first step to protecting the precious lives of you and those who are precious to you.


“Birds of Hope” message

The children who go forward into the future with the lessons of the earthquake are our hope.

Next year marks the tenth anniversary of 3.11. As now is the time to look back on what happened then and to go forward, I am happy to support this project. Unfortunately, as time passes by, memories of the earthquake fade away. As such, a picture book where children can vicariously experience the earthquake from various points of view and learn the lessons of the disaster needs to be read by countless future generations.

Remember how the children were depicted as adults at the end of the story? Recovering from a disaster and space exploration is alike. I believe that in the either endeavor, the future is up to the next generation. By coming together, these young people will increase their ability to convey important messages, which I believe that is the hope for the future.

Naoko Yamazaki

Yamazaki, a native of Chiba Prefecture, flew on the Space Shuttle in 2010 on STS-131, a mission to assemble part of the International Space Station. Since retiring from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) in 2011, she has worked as a member of the Cabinet Office Space Policy Committee, Representative Director of the Space Port Japan Association, an advisor to the Young Astronaut Club, a member of the Futaba School Project, and a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Establishment of an International Education Research Hub in the Hamadori Region of Fukushima Prefecture.

Introduction of the author

This story was created thanks to the encouragement of the energetic children of Fukushima Prefecture

When I talk to children at our mobile picture book library, I am always surprised by how the richness of their emotions. Whenever I thought of the shock of the earthquake striking those tender hearts that are capable of absorbing anything, our experience would overlap with theirs, and I often had to stop working on this book.

Then worry would rush over me. “Am I correctly depicting the earthquake? The story might make some people uncomfortable.”

However, it was also children who somewhat alleviated my worries. Even if they fall, children get back up and head toward the future as if it was the natural thing to do. It was this that inspired my idea for “Birds of Hope”. I hope that this story as well as my thanks will reach to those birds of hope in Fukushima Prefecture waiting to leave the nest.

Mizu Bunko Story by Atsushi Eto / Illustrations by Mika Yoshimoto

This group comprised of illustrator and coordinator Mika Yoshimoto, Keisuke Yaita, a wood worker, and Atsushi Eto, an editor/writer has worked together since meeting in Tenei Village in Fukushima Prefecture. Driven to act by the Great East Japan Earthquake, in 2013, the group borrowed part of printmaker Anzu Kanie’s collection of picture books and started a mobile picture book library. The library visits events around Fukushima Prefecture, and has become a place for recreation for parents and children.

Special Thanks


  • こくみん共済
  • ネッツトヨタ郡山
  • 東日本ダイワ
  • 福島県
  • JAグループ福島
  • JA福島中央会
  • JA厚生連
  • JA全農福島
  • JA共済連福島
  • JAバンク福島
  • プレ七社会
  • 住友林業
  • 積水ハウス
  • 大和ハウス工業
  • トヨタホーム
  • パナソニックホームズ
  • ミサワホーム
  • HARO財団
  • SBWorks
  • 株式会社COM
  • ショッピングモールフェスタ
  • 福島創価学会
  • 民報印刷
  • 山田歯科


  • あさかホスピタル
  • ネッツトヨタ郡山
  • 三和シヤッター
  • 全労済
  • 人輝
  • 富士通
  • ヨークベニマル
  • ラジオ福島
  • リオンドール
  • 連合福島
  • 福島県
  • JAグループ福島
  • JA福島中央会
  • JA福島厚生連
  • JA全農
  • JA共済連福島
  • JAバンク福島
  • 会津建設
  • キャレック
  • 有限会社SANGA
  • 日本たばこ産業
  • 書優会
  • 相双五城信用組合
  • ショッピングモール フェスタ
  • 福島創価学会
  • 民報印刷


  • 福島県
  • ヨークベニマル
  • こくみん共済 coop
  • 佐洋運輸
  • 民報印刷
  • ラジオ福島
  • リオン・ドールコーポレーション
  • ニラク
  • クリフ
  • 富士通
  • 日本たばこ産業
  • 東北労働金庫 福島県本部
  • ふたば
  • 三和シヤッター工業
  • フェスタ
  • ネッツ郡山
  • フクショク
  • 大関警備