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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Three years after the Great East Japan Earthquake: Interview with Yoshihito Yonezawa the President of the Nanka Miyagi Kenjin Kai - Part 1

“I was so touched by people’s kindness I wanted to do all that I could to help others” 

The Great East Japan Earthquake has become an unprecedented disaster. Nearly three years have passed since the day of March 11, 2011. There was a widespread call for support all over the world in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake; and in California, too, the Miyagi Kenjinkai, under the direction of president Yoshihito Yonezawa, actively launched and expanded its charity drive.

Japan has yet to recover from the devastation as many are still living in shelters. We decided to interview Yonezawa ...

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Ai Love Japan 2014: Visiting Tohoku After the Quake

After the “Tohoku Insights 2013” event at JAMsj [Japanese American Museum of San Jose] last year, I was inspired to visit the Tohoku area and see the aftermath first hand. My journey was made richer because I was able to visit the region with professional photographer and journalist Darrell Miho, a co-founder of Ai Love Japan. Because the mission of Ai Love Japan is to document survivor stories and provide direct aid to the people most affected by the earthquake, Miho has visited the Tohoku area more than a dozen times since the disaster of March 2011. We made the ...

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Ohama’s Cloth Letter exhibition begins in Toronto and Mississauga

After a long trek across the country, Linda Ohama’s Cloth Letter exhibition has finally arrived in Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario for the Christmas and New Year holidays. 

The exhibition can now be viewed at the Toronto Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre from December 12 to the end of January. Another exhibition will be on display at the Mississauga Central Public Library from January 11 to February 16, 2014.

After an extensive tour of Japan, the tour arrived in Canada in the spring of 2013. The tour began with exhibitions in Burnaby, Richmond and North Vancouver and downtown Vancouver, British Columbia ...

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Ohama’s Cloth Letter Tour Begins in Vancouver - Part 2 of 2

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Q: Why do you want to bring the letters back to Canada now? 

The first cloth letter was made on March 12, 2011 by my granddaughter in Vancouver. From there, it spread across Canada to Halifax, Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal, Winnipeg, Whitehorse, Peace River, Nanaimo, Steveston, Bowen Island, etc.

And, now, 24 months and thousands of letters later, the cloth letters return to where they began!

Q: What are your hopes for this Canadian tour?

My hope is that many Canadians, in many different cities and regions, have the opportunity to see these special and ...

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Ohama’s Cloth Letter Tour Begins in Vancouver - Part 1 of 2

After touring around Japan for almost two years in support of the victims of the 3/11 tsunami in Tohoku, showing in 55 locations, Linda Ohama’s Cloth Letter exhibition is coming back to Canada where it began.

The Canadian cloth letter exhibition tour begins July 8 - 22 in Vancouver, B.C. with cloth letters displayed at the YMCA (Burrard Street); Artists for Kids (Lonsdale Avenue); National Nikkei Centre (Burnaby); the Murakami Museum at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard (Richmond B.C.); and the main exhibition at the HSBC Pendulum Gallery (downtown Vancouver), including a performance by Chibi Taiko.

There are ...

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