Welcome to Save Miyagi, a non profit, unincorporated charity organization dedicated to helping Miyagi and Minamisanriku rebuild after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11th, 2011.
Canon Purdy and her family founded this organization after Canon was stranded without contact in the town of Minamisanriku, where she had taught English for two years before.
SaveMiyagi successfully donated to the Minamisanriku Board of Education in August (check blog for details). Our next project is sending Paper Cranes to Northern Japan to support their recovery process.
Please check out the video below or the page above, and consider getting involved.
The tragedy and devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to the New York Tri-State Area has affected us all deeply. The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc., in cooperation with The Nippon Club, has decided to establish the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to aid the victims of the disaster.
Hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of JCCI’s 28th Annual Dinner, originally for October 30th, with 1,000 guests scheduled to be in attendance honoring the 100th Anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to America, JCCI’s 80th Anniversary, and awardees Professor Gerald L. Curtis and recording artist Cyndi Lauper. Through Dinner Sponsorship, JCCI was able to contribute a total of $500,000 to the hurricane relief effort: $250,000 to both the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City (supporting relief in the 5 boroughs) and AmeriCares (supporting relief in New Jersey and Long Island).
JCCI and The Nippon Club are now accepting additional donations through their Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, for which the receiving organization will be decided at a later time. All donations will be 100% tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to “J.C.C. Fund” (please note “Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund” on the memo line), and mailed by December 31, 2012 to the attention of Mr. Shigeo Kimura, The Nippon Club, 145 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019.
Send inquiries to: Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc. (JCCI) TEL (212) 246-8001 / E-Mail: info[at]jcciny.org / Web: www.jcciny.org.
The Rocky Mountain JETAA chapter has been busy with two recent events helping out their various Colorado sister cities.
Fujiyoshida, in Yamanashi-ken, and Colorado Springs just celebrated their 50th anniversary in early August, so RMJETAA mobilized their Colorado Springs and Denver JET alumni to participate in the festivities in Colorado Springs and be available to assist with translating, interpreting, and other duties for the 70 visitors from Japan. One main place they helped out was the family event held at America the Beautiful Park on August 4th. Because many JET alumni from Colorado Springs were placed in Fujiyoshida as ALTs and CIRs, the celebration was a great chance for friends and acquaintances on both sides to get together again and reminisce about old times spent together in Japan. As part of the celebration, Mayor Horiuchi of Fujiyoshida and the students presented a check to Colorado Springs for $11,415, raised by the citizens of Fujiyoshida to help their sister city recover from the recent devastating wildfires there. Although Fujiyoshida now directly contracts with Colorado Springs for private CIRs it was wonderful that they could still draw on the resources of their former ties to the JET Program.
Click JLGC link for the full blog post in English.
クリックJLGC リンク 日本語 ブログ.
JET Alum Mark Flanigan (Nagasaki-ken, 2000-04) volunteered for earthquake relief efforts in Ishinomaki following 3/11, as a way to give back to the country he has lived in twice now. As a Rotary Peace Fellow at the International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, Mark jumped at the opportunity to volunteer in Tohoku after the devastating earthquake struck Japan. He joined a group of international student volunteers, including graduate and undergraduate students of many nationalities, in helping to clean up a small fishing village in Oshika-hanto. Now a graduate of ICU, Mark continues his efforts for ongoing Tohoku relief as a Program Director with the Japan ICU Foundation in New York City.
On Friday, September 14, the Japan ICU Foundation (JICUF) will hold a special Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction in Washington, DC. The event will begin at 6:00 pm at the Old Ambassador’s Residence, adjacent to the Embassy of Japan on Massachusetts Avenue. Special guests will include the new (and first-ever female) ICU President Junko Hibiya, Dean of International Affairs Shaun Malarney and Mr. Kakutaro Kitashiro, the Chair of ICU’s board of trustees.
This Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction will continue JICUF’s ongoing support for a variety of recovery efforts in the wake of the tragic March 11th, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, with the proceeds from the evening to go towards supporting ICU’s continuing earthquake relief projects in Tohoku. It follows on JICUF’s March Sake Tasting Fundraiser at the Penn Club in New York City, which raised nearly $10,000 to support these efforts. Since the devastating March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear accident, JICUF has worked with ICU in Tokyo on key aspects of the ongoing response.
If you would like to attend the fundraiser event on September 14, you can go here for more information: http://jicuf.org/newsevents/fundraising-dinner-in-washington-dc-on-friday-september-14/
Members of the JET Alumni community are welcome and encouraged to join! Special discounts are available for Students, Young Professionals and the Media.
To RSVP for this event, please contact the JICUF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JET Alum Cycling for Tohoku
We all know what happened in northeast Japan on March 11, 2011. The devastation remained front page news for weeks following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Now—more than a year later—news of Tohoku must be actively sought out by anyone wanting to know what is going on up there. Tohoku has been relegated to the back burner of the international news cycle.
As the drama in Tohoku unfolded during the spring months of 2011, the world’s media understandably focused on the devastation, the death toll, and the threat of nuclear radiation escaping the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. A less generally reported catastrophe during the early weeks and months following the disaster was the creation of a new wave of orphans in Tohoku. If this crisis was overlooked during the initial period of the tsunami, it has now become close to invisible. Agencies such as Smile Kids Japan and Living Dreams toil in near-obscurity to address the crisis with little attention and limited funds.
Enter Tohoku Forward, the one-man project of JET alumnus Roy Moneyhun (Mie-ken, 1996-98) of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, USA. With Tohoku Forward, Moneyhun hopes to reach thousands of potential donors around the world, most of whom can be found in the JET alumni community.
Many orphans of the Tohoku disaster are babies, meaning that they will need support for at least another fifteen to eighteen years. Read More
The new issue of the official JETAANC magazine, Pacific Bridge, is now available. Read it online here.
In this issue you will:
-Learn about local efforts to support the recovery of the Tohoku region.
-Hear about how new JETs are settling into the Tohoku area.
-Read about recent events in the JETAANC chapter.
And much more!
*********** Via Eyes 4 Fukushima
For T-Shirt orders (international and w/in Japan), please visit http://e4f.fujet.net/shoppingcart/
All procceds will go towards Fukushima charities which are actively promoting rebuilding efforts after the March 11th earthquake, tsunami and power plant disaster.
Fukushima JETs recently launched a local initiative – Eyes for Fukushima (E4F). Quick blurb from their website: It aims to promote grass roots internationalization in Fukushima Prefecture with devotion to improving the lives of people affected by the March 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster through events and fundraising. Eyes for Fukushima seeks to foster ties between Japanese citizens and JET participants at the person-to-person level.
*********** Via JETAA Ottawa
On May 24, JETAA Ottawa hosted a charity concert featuring two local bands to help raise money for children affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
While Japan recovers gradually a year after the catastrophe, many children are still struggling with the aftermath and trying to regain a sense of stability in their lives. To help them move past the tragedy and build a brighter future, JETAA Ottawa continues to put in its best effort. With a team of dedicated JET alumni and their supporting family and friends, the charity concert helped raise money for Smile Kids Japan and the Tohoku Kids Project.
The concert was held in the picturesque town of Wakefield, surrounded by Gatineau hills and lakes just 30 minutes outside of Ottawa. The Black Sheep Inn, a well-known local hub with open arms to all musicians and music lovers, generously donated this venue free for the concert. When dusk broke, a yellow school bus full of enthusiastic concert-goers pulled up to this live-music joint of an otherwise tranquil town. These guests consisted of JET alumni, friends and family, Embassy of Japan staff, and followers of the talented musicians who volunteered to provide music for the night.
Darryl Wharton-Rigby (Fukushima-ken, Kawamata-cho, 2005-07) has set up a Kickstarter fund to support his documentary project about Fukushima, “Don Doko Don: The Yamakiya Taiko Drum Club Project.” Darryl was also organized a project earlier this year, together with former JETAA DC President Michelle Spezzacatena (Fukushima-ken, Kawamata-cho, 2002-05) that brought the Kawamata taiko group to D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Here’s a little info about the project from the Kickstarter page:
“Don Doko Don: The Yamakiya Taiko Club Story follows an award winning Japanese Taiko Drum Troop – comprised entirely of kids, teens and 20-year-olds – living in Yamakiya, a small town near the failed Fukushima nuclear power plant. The group is forced to flee their homes and beloved mountain community after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster wreaked devastation on them.
Living as refugees and scattered around the countryside outside and within the radiation zone, the brave Taiko troop struggles to stay together and practice; trying to keep alive the spirit of their community – and the hope of returning home one day. And then, after facing daily adversity and at their lowest point, they get invited to Washington D.C. to be the honored performer in D.C.’s 100th Cherry Blossom Festival; headlining a climatic performance at the Kennedy Center!
JETAA Northern California’s Pacific Bridge recently interviewed Ryan Kimura (Shizuoka-ken, 2004-06) who currently serves as the Director of Programs and Community Affairs at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC).
How did you wind up in this position after JET?
After JET, I opened up a small purikura [Japanese photo booth] business, Pika Pika (www.pikapikasf.com), in Japantown’s Japan Center Kinokuniya Building. I owned, operated, and grew this business for five years before hearing about an opening at the JCCCNC for a Programs Director position. When I was a student at UC Berkeley, I interned at the JCCCNC and formed many strong relationships with the staff there, including Executive Director Paul Osaki. Additionally, managing a Japantown business and staffing a number of Japantown non-profits really motivated me into playing a larger role in the community. I decided to call Paul up, interviewed, and have been serving at the JCCCNC since May of 2011.
Seeing as we have recently passed the first anniversary of the 3/11 earthquake. I know the JCCCNC has been doing so much to support Tohoku and bring awareness to the community. Can you talk about that?
Immediately after news of the earthquake reached state-side, volunteers from all over the Japanese American community staffed an all-day, all-night telethon on NBC in the Bay Area, where we raised over 400,000 dollars. All of this money was soon after transferred to the JCCCNC-led Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Additionally, we took our efforts online and put up a Causes.com page for the fund. Our page has since received donations from over 25,000 people.
Speaking on the scale of the Japantown community, the JCCCNC has hosted numerous fundraisers for the cause. The 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival, which occurred about a month after the earthquake, had many of our staff and volunteers selling merchandise to generate money. Donation cans were located at every festival booth, and, throughout the year, many Japantown merchants used those same cans in their stores. The JCCCNC has also received money from smaller community charity events, including a lemonade stand run by kids, taiko concerts, and cultural performances.
On the February leading up to the first year anniversary, the JCCCNC flew in six Tohoku students who were studying to enter the hospitality industry at the Sendai YMCA. These students’ lives were devastated by the earthquake—they lost property, loved ones, and so much more. Some of them had not even gotten over the shock. Through the relief fund, we were able to pay for their tuition, show them around famous San Francisco hotels to enlighten them about hospitality in the West, and saturate them with American culture through homestays and preschool volunteer programs. We wanted to show donors how their money was being used, and because of the community’s generous spirit, these six students have the chance to realize their futures—to arise from tragedy and push forward.
CLAIR NY has published and posted to its website a report that attempts to capture some of the efforts of the JET alumni community to support Japan post-3/11. It is worth noting that it’s difficult to capture all of the wide-ranging efforts of the JET alumni community (over 55,000 and growing every year), and there are likely many efforts that have simply not been reported or captured in other ways. That said, this report still provides a really great overview and some good details.
JETAA Ottawa will be hosting a charity concert at the Black Sheep Inn on May 24th, 2012 to help raise money for Smile Kids Japan, and the Tohoku Kids Project.
JET Alumnus Jordan Patrick (Aichi-ken, 2009-11) will open the show with his mix of indie and modern folk music. Headlining the event will be the Hornettes who will keep the energy peaked and revive classic Motown, soul and funk sounds that will leave you sweaty and satisfied. The Hornettes formed in Ottawa in 2010, and since then have developed a loyal following of music lovers drawn to their ability to keep the dance floor moving. The band consists of two female front women, Anna and Irina, backed by a hot horn section and the classic trio of guitar, drums and bass.
A shuttle bus will be provided from the corner of York Street and Dalhousie Street at 6:30 p.m. to the Black Sheep Inn, and will return once the concert ends.
Tickets for the show and space on shuttle service are limited!
Event: Smile Kids Japan Charity Concert
Date: Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Time: starting at 7:30pm (doors open at 7:00pm)
Location: Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Drive, Wakefield, Quebec
Admission: $15.00 minimum donation (cash or pre-paid donations through JETAA Ottawa or Global Giving only) *bring a printed receipt of all pre-paid donations
Shuttle: $5.00 (cash/pre-purchased tickets only) – leaving at 6:30pm from the corner of York/Dalhousie St.
Hope to see you there!
JETAA Minnesota member Ann Hershberger (Iwate-ken) recently returned to Iwate where she had previously worked as a JET. Following her trip, she created a video to support earthquake/tsunami relief efforts titled “Help Japan: Donate Now“.
To donate, go to http://donate-japan.com.
THANKS to everyone who came to the JETAASC fundraiser to benefit orphans of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami!! Your efforts helped to raise over $800 for Smile Kids Japan, the organization founded by JET alum Mike Maher-King (Fukui-ken, 2006-11). The support is heartfelt and the cause is completely a result of JET Program Participants’ efforts. If you wanted to come but could not make it, you can read more about Smile Kids Japan and how to donate here.
The below article by Jim Gannon (Ehime-ken, 1992-94), Executive Director of the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/USA), appeared originally on Smart Assets: The New York Philanthropy Blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
One constant refrain in the disaster zone is the need for more effective mental health interventions. Women who lost family members, men who are ashamed that they can no longer support their families, and children traumatized by the disaster are all grappling with psychological trauma. In response, numerous Japanese nonprofits have established salons and other kokoro no kea (literally, “caring for the heart”) programs to give survivors opportunities to socialize, but these tend be rudimentary in nature, with little input from experienced mental health professionals, and they often fail to engage people at risk who are unlikely to seek out support on their own. Overseas funders can make a difference by encouraging and supporting more specialized and nuanced approaches.
Greater support is also needed for economic revitalization. A number of innovative programs have been launched to jumpstart local economies. In Kamaishi, for instance, the Fuji Social Welfare Council has started renting food trucks to unemployed chefs who lost their restaurants so they can get back on their feet. The trucks also help stimulate economic activity by gathering where new shops are opening in order to attract local residents. Meanwhile, numerous groups are pioneering new methods for small donor support of fisheries and oyster farmers in return for promised portions of future harvests. However, these efforts are only a drop in the bucket, and much greater investment is required.
A third area where funding from the United States and elsewhere can have a particularly significant impact is non-governmental organization (NGO) capacity building. Hundreds of small nonprofits have been established in the wake of the disaster, and while many will eventually fail, others have the potential to prosper and produce the next generation of Japan’s nonprofit leaders. However, the nonprofit sector can only live up to its potential if it becomes more professionalized and if the infrastructure that supports it is strengthened.