Kizuna: Nikkei Stories from the 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

In Japanese, kizuna means strong emotional bonds.

This series shares stories about Nikkei individual and/or community reaction and perspectives on the Great Tohoku Kanto earthquake on March 11, 2011 and the resulting tsunami and other impacts—either about supporting relief efforts or how what has happened has affected them and their feeling of connection to Japan.

If you would like to share your reactions, please see the “Submit an Article” page for general submission guidelines. We welcome submissions in English, Japanese, Spanish, and/or Portuguese, and are seeking diverse stories from around the world.

We hope that these stories bring some comfort to those affected in Japan and around the world, and that this will become like a time capsule of responses and perspectives from our global Nima-kai community for the future.

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There are many organizations and relief funds established around the world providing support for Japan. Follow us on Twitter @discovernikkei for info on Nikkei relief efforts, or check the Events section. If you’re posting a Japan relief fundraising event, please add the tag “JPquake2011” to make it appear on the list of earthquake relief events.

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Growing Social Impact Ventures in Tohoku, Japan

I’ve just returned from an eye-opening odyssey to the Tohoku region of Japan with the non-profit social entrepreneurship organization World in Tohoku (WIT). Through WIT I was able to meet some of the people behind the dynamic social ventures formed in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster and learn how they are trying to improve social, environmental, and living conditions in the region.

Located in the northeastern part of Japan, Tohoku is a beautiful region filled with awe-inspiring bays and coastal coves, forests, deep-green mountains and fields, amazing seafood, and warm-hearted people. They’ll ...

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Five Years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

I can still remember March 11, 2011, the night of the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which devastated a huge swath of northeast Japan, as if it were last week.

It was just before midnight in Denver when I got an alert on my phone. An earthquake had been reported off the eastern coast of Japan. I turned on CNN and watched in horror for the next couple of hours as the footage came in. I saw the tsunami rolling over farmlands and crash into cities, carrying with it buildings and cars and ships. I saw footage of ...

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Remembering 3.11 in 2016: Tohoku no Shingetsu - Part 2

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When can we expect to see Tohokuno Shingetsu here in Canada?

Hopefully this fall at the Vancouver International Film Festival. We will enter our film in the film festival and hopefully get selected for their programming. That is planned to be the 2016 Canadian premiere.

The reality is…many good films are being made these days all over the world and there is no guarantee that one’s film will be noticed. Sundance Festival had 12,793 film entries this year with only 122 features selected and programmed. The competition is extremely difficult with those kinds of ...

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culture en ja es pt

Remembering 3.11 in 2016: Tohoku no Shingetsu - Part 1

This year, March 11th marks the fifth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the coastal Tohoku Region in Japan, wiping out towns and villages and changing life there forever.

As Vancouver filmmaker Linda Ohama nears the completion of her 3.11 documentary Tohoku no Shingetsu (New Moon Over Tohoku), it is an important time to pause and remember the thousands of lives lost and the tens of thousands that continue to recover.

Friend and Sendai resident, Tsutomu Nambu, works for Miyagi Prefecture and offers these sobering statistics on the number of people still in “kasetsu” or “temporary housing ...

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Where I was on March 11, 2011

In March 2011, it was only a month ago that it had begun working on a publishing company focused on Japanese culture. My job was to take care of a site whose content was related to that theme.

At that March 11, in the morning of Brazil, I heard on the radio that a strong earthquake had happened in Japan. Although earthquakes occur regularly in the country, by the tone of the news, I realized that it had been much more serious.

I went to the office, following the news on my cell phone. Estimates of the number of deaths ...

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