The Tohoku Region (literally the Northeast Region) comprises 6 prefectures in the northeast part of Honshu, the largest of the many islands that make up the Japanese archipelago. It is home to some 9 million people.
Although considered a rural area, Tohoku is actually surprisingly populated. Many towns may be between 15,000 to 30,000 people with just a five minute drive to the next town of 15,000 people. Within a 15 minute radius there are often as many as 100,000 people. Each town has its own identity and things the people are proud of but they are also loyal to their larger area. With significantly improved roads in the last twenty years the mobility of people has changed. They drive to the mall two towns away but it only takes 15 to 20 minutes. People often have relatives in the surrounding towns or go to school in a nearby town.
Tohoku is very community oriented. For those who love to go unnoticed this could be difficult but if you want to make much of Jesus it is handy to have people watching you. They may watch for quite a while before they act on what they see but if as they watch you build trust and show the community they can have in Christ you will have the joy of seeing them be transformed.
In March 2011 Tohoku was forced onto the world stage when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Sendai. The Great Tohoku Kanto Earthquake and the resulting tsunami caused massive and widespread damage to the Tohoku Region, particularly along the coast. For further information on the ongoing relief and evangelistic work in this area please click here.