This is, finally, my last post about Hyper Japan (which happened in July). Sorry it’s taken me so long to write about everything, but there was just so much cool stuff there! As well as all the amazing displays of Japanese culture (both modern and traditional), there was an important theme of “Genki Giving“.
Throughout the three-day event, there were various ways in which people could donate to the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund. In fact, just attending Hyper Japan helped support the people, region and industries affected by the Tohoku Pacific earthquake of 11th March 2011, because 10% of net ticket revenue was donated directly to the relief fund.
The aim of the Sakura Front project is to send a positive message to Japan from all around the world by wearing a sakura brooch every 11th March as a remembrance day.
In the community area at Hyper Japan there were lots of workshops, which also raised money. People could try origami, calligraphy and manga drawing.
Also, there was the opportunity to make Tanabata decorations.
From the Hyper Japan website: “Tanabata is a special day of the Japanese lunar calendar which celebrates the annual coming together of two wandering stars, (Orihime and Hikoboshi) on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. This is normally considered as a romantic day and a day where your wishes can come true. The largest of the festivals in Japan is held in Sendai, Tohoku area. You can experience traditional Tanabata decoration making and also message writing at our Tanabata workshop located in the Genki Giving area! All messages will be delivered by Virgin Atlantic to Sendai Tanabata Festival. Now is the time to send a message of hope to these people to show them that they are not alone. Please make a wish for Japan!”
For more information about the Sendai Tanabata Festival, which happened at the beginning of August, click here.
At Hyper Japan, there was an exhibition called Yet I Still Dare to Hope.
It was an inspiring exhibition of stunning photographs taken in the rural town of Shichigahama, northern Japan, which was badly affected by the tsunami that followed the 11th March disaster. The exhibition told stories of hope amid the destruction that followed the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan’s northern coastline. It focused on the experiences of ordinary people from the town of Shichigahama, in Miyagi prefecture, bringing home the human impact of the disaster. The photographs were accompanied by stories from Shichigahama residents who experienced the earthquake.
Naturally, it was very sad to see these photos and be reminded of what these people went through but, as the title suggests, there was a strong message of hope in both the photos and the stories beside them.
I also thought the exhibition was very interesting and informative. These pictures in particular grabbed my attention.
Now that I’m living in London, it would be very easy to push the events of March to the back of my mind and forget about the affected people in Japan. Even if I was still in Japan, I was living far enough away that I wouldn’t have had daily reminders of Tohoku. But it’s so important that we remember what happened, and that we continue trying to help.
Helping Tohoku isn’t just about donating money. There are so many other ways in which we can help Japan right now. We can send messages of hope to support those living in the affected areas and, most importantly of all, we can continue to visit Japan. Flights are really cheap at the moment, so it’s a great time to go to Japan and help out by boosting tourism. For more information about visiting Japan, check out the Japan National Tourism Organisation website.
If you wish to help by donating, too, please click on the picture below.
Supporting the region and people affected by the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake.