Right now, a lot of people are still coming together to help Japan. I’m very glad. Watching people unite and get through the tragedy has been inspiring. It easily could have been soul-crushingly sad, but people want to keep hope and push through to succeed and keep moving, and they should. I admire them.
The above piece is something I created to sell in order to raise more money for Japan tsunami relief. It is currently on sale here at Etsy. Funds from the sale of this piece will go to the Tennessee Tomodachi Fund, founded by the Japan-America Society of Tennessee in response to the recent events. I’m spreading the word because I just want to do as much as I can, when help is needed most. I’ve felt particularly powerless lately, but that shouldn’t stop me or anyone else.
(I’m also selling another piece right now, the funds from which may or may not go to a similar charity, but will go to a charity.)
As for the other related art projects I’ve had my eye on…
Art for Japan‘s first batch of artwork just went up auction! It has a lot of wonderful submissions, the sale of which will benefit AmeriCares Japan relief.
Aftershock will be releasing a charity book soon! My above artwork will appear in it in a slightly altered form
CFSL is going to print a charity book later this year.
Please, everyone, keep your hearts open, and send your power to the places that need it!
I actually have a lot of articles planned right now, all lying dormant due to a momentary dip in language-studying momentum and real-life happenings. Yet all those things pale in face of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami which has rocked northern Japan.
Last Thursday I went to bed at a decent time, for once. At that point, all I had heard was of a relatively light earthquake in Japan a day or so earlier, which I hoped to be the most of it (I thought something big had already happened). I would wake up and see a frantic Twitter and news of a much bigger earthquake at hand, destruction in Sendai and nearing areas abounding; friends worrying about family; movie-like images streamed and posted on Youtube which were, in fact, real.
Japan is basically on one giant fault, so they're pretty prepared for things like this, but STILL.
Nature was taking a big toll on Japan, with aftershocks left and right, and even a volcano erupting, and in the meantime some seriously idiotic things have been said (I just want to be clear — I don’t tolerate this; these people should be branded for life for their brazen stupidity). In the wake of it all, nuclear happenings at the Fukushima nuclear plant as a result of the quake/tsunami are getting everyone tense; some say it’s really bad, and others say it’s not nearly as bad — no one’s quite sure who to believe. (Though, I think since I began writing this, the Japanese have kind of gotten angry with the sensationalistic news reporting.) At this moment, the nuclear topic is still being discussed fervently. It has even gotten the Emperor to address the people directly on TV for the first time.
I didn’t blog about all this right away because honestly, I have no idea what to say — many Japan bloggers, news outlets, and others have been relentless in their coverage and are doing the best they can for it, and amazingly so. The news gets out there, quickly and in a big way (dominating all top trending topics on Twitter on the 11th), and surely I can do no better to spread news or add anything than English speakers in Japan themselves. All I could do was sit at my computer gawping; here I was making sure some of my newly-acquainted friends residing in Japan were okay (they are, for the most part), which didn’t take long, and watch various news streams throughout the day on Friday and parts of Saturday, checking in on them whenever I could afterward. Others were panicking about friends and family, JETs and others in Japan. Though, for my own reasons, I, too, was very shaken. I watched Obama address the situation on TV, wondering how it would all pan out.
My main Twitter account’s dashboard is still abuzz with news, for which I am thankful; the Twitter dashboard for this blog’s account is still running with news, so much so that it’s hard to discern immediately what is accurate when something is immediately reported (many tweets without source links). I had never seen information roll out quite like this before, and especially not for a country like Japan.
I don’t like making reactionary posts. It’s against my nature, and doesn’t fit with what I do (I could never be a news reporter). So, I’ve been sitting on this article for over a week. I feel as though I can’t continue blogging until I at least acknowledge what happened. And I wanted to do that justice.
One good thing is that this earthquake really isn’t as bad as it could have been…but it’s still pretty awful. I actually admire the preparation involved and the resolve of the people over there. Even more, another good thing is how forthcoming people have been in donating, even in hard economic times. I feel I owe a lot to Japan; besides just loving the culture, it has shaped a good chunk of my life, even indirectly. I was playing Japanese games before I even realized it, games which made an impact on my life and the way I think; Japanese comics opened me to a world where comics were, in fact, not niche in and of themselves. Such creations, culture, and more have inspired me in a powerful way, as they have many others. It’s undeniable, something I embrace openly. It’s really the kind of inspiration I certainly can’t shake off and leave neatly in a boxed past. So, I feel as though I should do something.
What I can do, at least, is link to some of the best sources of news/resources/visuals that I keep referring to over the past weeks.
Resources relating to this incident
How to help without donating (Tofugu)
Google Person Finder
KeyHole TV for live Japanese television
Al Jazeera English
Also, my lists on Twitter follow accounts with lots of information still coming up.
How to give DIRECTLY to Japan
GlobalGiving caught my eye early on, both because it accepts Paypal as a payment method (a big factor for me, as I avoid using credit) and because its founder is Japanese. It has given updates on how the money’s being used so far.
Art for Japan, in which I will be participating, and will probably make another post about soon.
Aftershock: Artists Respond to Disaster in Japan
CFSL Tsunami Project
Al Jazeera English
I would advise against watching the American all-day news networks. Any of them. Ever.
Artists of JUMP send messages of hope
Badass of the Week – Hideaki Akaiwa (for diving into a tsunami to save his wife)
Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival: now the Nashville Cherry Blossom Japan Relief Event, where you can donate directly to Japan through the Tennessee Tomodachi Fund. It’s this weekend, and I’m going to it. (More info here, too.)
Information about how radiation works to help quell fears related to any lack of knowledge/rumors you may have
Video (under cut)
Yes, it’s true; the only people to have seen Kusanagi’s nude (and drunkenly disgraceful) glory the other night were policemen and people legitimately concerned for their own well-being.
Hinokicho Park. 3 AM. Kusanagi, drunk, just feels like being naked in a park. Is that so wrong? Arrested while chilling on the grass, I see a surreal humor in this. He’s the least-outspoken member of SMAP and certainly looks the part.
In everything, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for the guy; then again, you realize what a discomfort it is to everyone else when someone is drunk, even more when someone is drunk and wants to take off all his clothes right next to you.
And to say this guy was drunk is a vast understatement: dude was pissed out of his mind. Ten rounds of sake will do that to a fella.
This presents a problem: his face is everywhere. Companies commercially associated with him are considering blacklisting him (or already have). For a little drunken mid-night nudity, it seems harsh, yet may very well be justified, as I can’t imagine him appearing anywhere anymore without someone bringing up his “scene”. Now all his planned appearances and TV commercials have been canceled. You’d think he killed a guy.
Unfortunately, I can’t say I’m affected as a fan (flash back to when I discovered Daishi Kajinaga was arrested for possession of cocaine and measure my reaction against this – basically, I was heartbroken); I’m not much for pop, and the only song of SMAP’s I’ve ever heard was one in Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2, in which I liked the female cover more than the actual song.