This paper describes the post-disaster reconstruction in the Tohoku region after the 2011 earthquake. Nine years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami occurred, and many efforts have been made since to rebuild the devastated territories. Some Japanese architects and urban planners have seen the recovery as a window of opportunity to aim for more resilient cities. Nevertheless, building disaster-resilient communities remains a challenging task. This short paper presents the initiatives made to improve refugees’ social conditions in disaster-relief housing, using the case study of Iwanuma’s relocation project. Concluding remarks suggest that many efforts have been made to improve the social aspect of disaster-relief housing in Japan, for example through the development of community spaces or the pursuit of friendlier dwellings.