Thank you to everyone who has supported us (see list below).
What have we already completed?
Location filming covering over 2 years in people's lives, was finished in December 2013. With online funding and the many volunteers (see names below), we completed:
Acquired basic film and sound equipment.
Hired professional cameramen for 6 weeks. (director filmed the rest).
Collected in-depth interviews over different seasons & stages of recovery with several people and families affected by the disaster.
Documented the rich traditional customs and culture unique to Tohoku.
Gathered original and archival pre-disaster footage. (some will be seen for the first time in this film).
Worked together with many people in Tohoku.
CARE & EFFORTS FOR TOHOKU'S & JAPAN'S FUTURE CONTINUES
Tohoku and its people often feel the world has forgotten them as they recreate themselves with imagination and fortitude.
Hanging on to rebuild their communities, families, spirits and livlihoods.
Many dealing with the daily threats of radiation contamination caused by the nuclear accident.
All looking to the future.
And honoring the past.
A young student from Naraha, Fukushima expresses this in the following excerpt in an essay she wrote:
"Three years has passed since March 11th 2011, the day that the Great East Japan earthquake occurred...I was in the classroon of my elementary school, Naraha-North Elementary School. I was talking with my friends as usual.
Due to the earthquakes and the nuclear accidents, I am forced to live as a refugee in a temporary house. I still life there now and I feel most people have forgotten us.
My mind keeps thinking about the idea, 'what if there was no accident...'
I know that many people did not suffer from the nuclear accident so they they think it is not their problem but other people's affairs. I might think the same if it happened in a different place.....the world cannot think this way any more.
We are facing radiation risk...Human beings built nuclear power plants in Fukushima. Possibly we might prevent the accidents. Perhaps, I might live in Naraha surrounded by rich nature...
We have to understand how we can change energy systems...and get closer to reconstructio
I want everyone to know about us."
(excerpt from January 2014 essay byA. Yokota, 14 year old junior high school student)
SOME WAYS WE CAN STILL HELP
(*see below "Other responses to Tohoku disaster")
Support educational programs focusing on local and global understanding: e.g. natural disasters & recovery, nuclear and new energy, emotional health etc.
3. Establish the "Canada-Japan Kids for Kids Cloth Letters" project involving thousands of young people and a national exhibition tour of both Japan and Canada in over 60 cities. (see more below)
The cloth letters from Canada and Tohoku, plus a collection of original photos and poems launched at the Canadian Embassy's Prince Takamado Gallery in Tokyo from October-Decmeber, 2011. This exhibition continues to tour.
January 15, 2013 Film Class-Guest lecture, Chukyo University, Nagoya
January 17, 2013 Film Class-Guest lecture, Chukyo University, Nagoya
April 18, 2013 Cross Cultural Studies lecture, Tohoku Fukushi University, Professor Takahashi
April 29, 2013 Research Methods lecture, Aichi Shokutoku University, Professor Mika Toff
April 30, 2013 Presentation on Tohoku, Aichi Shokutoku University, Professor Mika Toff
May 2, 2013 Tohoku and Filming Techniques and Process, Aichi Medical University, Professor Tak Yamamori
September 23-25, 2013 International Career Seminar, Utsunomiya Uninversity, Matsuo Tamaki, Dean of International Studies Faculty
October, 2013 JSAC International Conference, guest presentation, University of Saskatoon, Canada, Prof. Carin Holroyd
October 2013 Documentary Filmmaking Class, University of Saskatoon, Faculty of Fine Arts, Prof Keith Bell
October, 2013 Inspiration and Passion, Department of Asian Religion, Prof George Keyworth
November, 2013 Kaisai Private High School, Tokyo, Lectures in English: creative expression
December, 2013 Aoyama University, Faculty of English Studies, Tokyo, Prof Joseph Dias and Prof Gregory Strong
December 2013 Research Methods lectures, Aichi Shokutoku University, Professor Mika Toff
January 30- February 4, 2014 Community International New Energy Conference, organized by Mr. Tetsuro Iida, Tokyo and different locations in Fukushima province
June 4, 2012 Symposium "One Year after the Tohoku Earthquake-looking back on the media coverage and the Aid"Special speaker and panel member, Kanda University, Tokyo, Contact person: Professor Norie Yazu and Prof. Fujita, Director of MULC, special Lecture on Film, showing Obaachan's Garden
June 11-22, 2012 Series of Creative Writing Class presentations, Expressing Yourself through Writing, Aichi Shokutoku University, Nagoya, Contact person Prof. Mika Toff
June 15 and 22, 2012 Film making class presentations, Aichi Shokutoku University, Nagoya, Contact person Prof Bev Curran
June 19, 2012 Special interactive Reactions to Tohoku Seminars with Senior Medical Students, Aichi Medical University, Nagoya, Contact person Prof Tak Yamamori
June 5, 2012 English Lectures-Aoyama University, Tokyo, Contact person Prof Gregory Strong
June and July 2012 Volunteer presentations and lectures to students of Sendai University, GOZAIN, English Study groups of junior high, and local community groups in Tohoku
October 11, 2012 Life Writing Lecture, Aichi Shokutoku University, Nagoya
Writing for Business Lecture--How to raise over $250,000, Aichi Shokutoku University, Nagoya
November 3-10 Exhibition of photographs and poems "Tohoku no Shingetsu", International University of Kagoshima Gallery, Kagoshima
November 10, 2012 International Exchange Special Guest Lecture: Cloth Letters in Tohoku, International University of Kagoshima, Contact Satoko Fukudome, coordinator
November 24, 2012 Speaker, Making A Difference, Toyohashi JALT, Contact Toyohashi JALT
November 25, 2012 Guest presentation, The Cloth Letters and How Young People Can Express Themselves, Tokyo KAISEI Boys High School, Tokyo
November 27, 2012 Writing for Business Special Lecture, Aichi Shokutoku University, Nagoya, Prof Mika Toff
November 28, 2012 Lectures, Poems from Tohoku, Aoyama University, Tokyo
November 29, 2012 Living Beyond Borders: International Citizenship Guest Lecture, Aichi Shokutoku University, Nagoya
Since the beginning of this project on March 12, 2011, this inspiring project has spread out to represent the voices of young people across Canada, Tohoku, and now from several cities in Japan. (please check website for the location details)
NEW ADDITONS: Originally, the project was 2 large cloth letters. Now has grown to over 20 beautiful, expressive cloth letter quilts.
Recently, the young people of Kagoshima created their 'Kagoshima' cloth letters from 104 original haiku poems. Kobe City youth added a hand-ewn 'Kobe City' cloth letter full of lyrical colorful letters that express energy and love that is handsewn.
NATIONAL EXHIBITION TOURS: This exhibition has been traveling on a national exhibition tour of Japan since it's exhibition launch at the Prince Takamado Gallery, Canadian Embassy in Tokyo from October-December 2011.
The final exhibitions in Japan will take place in TOHOKU during late November and month of December 2012. After these exhibitions, the cloth letters will travel to Canada for showings.
TOHOKU TOUR 2012: Minamisinriku, Minamisoma, Iwaki City, Kesenuma, Ishinomaki, Ogatsu, Sendai/Yuriage, Otsuchi....