NHK WORLD JAPAN RISING
Rebuilding Communities through Abandoned Homes: Renovation Pioneer – Watanabe Kyoko
In the earthquake and tsunami of 2011, Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture lost about 4,000 lives, with damage to 77% of local homes. Since then, population decline has seen more homes go empty, but, 11 years later, a unique enterprise led by Watanabe Kyoko is leveraging these properties to revive the community and ride out the pandemic. By renovating them into guesthouses, co-working spaces, communal houses and a creative hub for artists, she is actually attracting new residents to the area.