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Saving the Mill

Saving the Mill

The amazing recovery of one of Japan’s largest paper mills following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami

Sasa Ryoko
Translated by Tony Gonzalez

Social Sciences

Published by JPIC | Hardcover | ISBN 978-4-916055-47-7 | 212 pages | 210mm (h) x 148mm (w) | March 2015

About the Book

*Due to limited stock, for those interested in purchasing a new copy of Saving the Mill, please contact japanlibrary@jpic.or.jp

When Machine 8 goes down, the Japanese publishing industry goes down with it.

On March 11, 2011, one of the largest earthquakes in human history struck offshore of northeast Japan, triggering a massive tsunami that devastated surrounding coastal areas. One of the many victims of this epic disaster was Nippon Paper Industries’ Ishinomaki Paper Mill, which was so flooded and covered in debris that it was completely shut down. NPI provided around 40% of the paper used by Japan’s publishing industry and its Ishinomaki mill—home to one of the largest paper machines in the world—was its core production facility. Loss of this plant would have been a devastating blow.

When the factory’s leader Hiromi Kurata announced that the mill would be producing paper again in just six months, few believed him. The city of Ishinomaki still had no power, no gas, and no water. Even finding food and shelter was a challenge for many, and the plant was so covered in debris that large parts were still inaccessible. Even so, the burden of saving their company, their city, and even the Japanese publishing industry had been placed on the shoulders of the mill’s employees. Their story is a monument to the indomitable spirit of the Japanese worker.

About the Author

SASA Ryoko

After graduating from Waseda University’s School of Law, Ryoko Sasa became a Japanese teacher, and then a nonfiction writer. She is noted for her research of the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku, Tokyo. Based on that experience she wrote Kakekomidera no Gen-san [Gen-san, a Man Who Devoted Himself to an Urban Shelter] in 2011. In 2012, she was awarded Shueisha’s Takeshi Kaiko Award for Nonfiction for her book Enjeru Furaito [Angel Flight] about international funereal repatriation teams.

内容紹介

*残部僅少のため、購入希望の方はjapanlibrary@jpic.or.jpにお問い合わせください。

「8号(出版用紙を製造する巨大マシン)が止まるときは、この国の出版が倒れる時です」

―――2011年3月11日に発生した東北地方太平洋沖地震とそれに伴う津波により、宮城県石巻市の日本製紙石巻工場は瓦礫に覆われ完全に機能が停止。日本製紙は日本の出版用紙の約四割を担っている。その石巻工場の主要抄紙機である8号の紙の供給が止まれば、出版界にとって大打撃となるのだ。
 工場長の半年での復興宣言に、みな、耳を疑った。石巻市はまだ電気もガスも水道も復旧しておらず、食糧の調達すら難しい状況にあった。だが、従業員は、工場のため、石巻のため、そして出版界と本を待つ読者のため、全力を尽くした。彼らの復興のストーリーは日本人がうち立てた不撓不屈の精神の記念碑である。

著者紹介

佐々 涼子

1968年生まれ。早稲田大学法学部卒業。日本語教師を経て、ノンフィクションライターに。新宿歌舞伎町で取材を重ね、2011年『たった一人のあなたを救う 駆け込み寺の玄さん』を上梓。2012年『エンジェルフライト 国際霊柩送還士』で第10回集英社・開高健ノンフィクション賞を受賞。

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Original Japanese Version / 原書情報

紙つなげ!彼らが本の紙を造っている ―再生・日本製紙石巻工場

紙つなげ!彼らが本の紙を造っている ―再生・日本製紙石巻工場

佐々涼子 著

早川書房 刊

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