i’ve always felt a personal connection to japan and the japanese culture as i’ve long been interested in it, studied there when i was in college, and visited around this time last year.
with the powerful 8.9 earthquake (and many more aftershocks), ensuing tsunami, and nuclear meltdown worries i can’t imagine the hardship the japanese are facing right now.
the tragedy hits a little close to home as ibaraki prefecture, where i studied, was one of the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. i still have friends who live there–one of them in tochigi and went for over 12 hours without electricity, but is thankfully fine otherwise. one of the girls i studied abroad with flew into sendai airport the day of the earthquake and tsunami and became one of the missing americans. her story’s pretty amazing, and even more so for me since i know her. she has been teaching english in japan for the past several years and recently came home permanently but she flew back that fateful day to see her students graduate in march. you can imagine the anguish her family experienced after what happened, only knowing that their daughter was “staying with friends”. her sister tweeted to nbc’s “the today show’s” ann curry for help and boy, did she respond! ann curry flew out to japan and successfully located her. i can’t figure out how to embed the video in my post, but for those who are curious to hear the touching story play out, please see the clip on msnbc.
there has been an outpouring of care and aid and i’ve noticed that there has been an increasing trend of designers who want to utilize their talents to help the relief organizations. i think this is awesome and can be great for those who wouldn’t donate otherwise, or even for those who would like a physical token to remind them of the devastation that happened (and is still happening). not only does it help these good causes, but it also supports design talent.
i’ve included a lot of the ones i thought were well-designed, but there are many more. if you’re interested in purchasing or just learning more, click the image to be redirected:
so as you can see, there are a lot of options out there. for even more, check out design for japan.
and for those of you near l.a., takami sushi & robata is currently donation 100% of their profits to japan earthquake and tsunami victims. the restaurant hasn’t set a specific end date so you may want to inquire when you book reservations or while you’re there. there seems to be a yelp group organizing a dinner event there on march 31st. i recommend the chilean sea bass.
these are the ones that i’m personally considering: a paperback zine with contributors such as peter taville, alexa chung, and tavi; a 100% cotton oversized t-shirt; and a vintage lucite necklace.
as i’ve been scouring the web, i came across one designer who was flamed for the art print he created. he was accused of trying to gain recognition and profiting off of the disaster. while the consumer may not know if any of the money used to purchase these goods are actually going towards the causes the merchants claims they are, i think we should give them the benefit of the doubt. and i think it’s too much to expect that 100% of the sales price go toward the relief organizations (it’s usually just 100% of the profit/proceeds). most of these are small shops/artists who can’t afford to spend so much time to create these products at a cost to themselves.