Thoughts about Postcards Project: Japan Relief 2011

I've been thinking a lot recently, "Why did I decide to do this postcard project?" We can send money without creating postcards, so why? Why postcards?

...First of all, I wanted to do something for the Japanese people in such a difficult situation, of course.  After the earthquake on March 11th, I felt so helpless and sad because I could not do much for them, living on the other side of the planet, in Michigan. Sending money was one thing I could do. But I felt I needed to send something more, to somehow connect more deeply with them.

One day, I heard someone saying "Japan was destroyed". At that time I thought, "Wait... was Japan really destroyed?"  Of course, it's wasn't completely true, and I soon realized that the person who said this didn't literally mean it. But hearing this news of Tsunami was really shocking and strong to me. Since Japan is a very small country, I understood how this person thought it could be totally destroyed. Then it occurred to me that I'd love to share some images of Japan with people on this planet.   ...But how?

Luckily, I know several great artists in Japan who have been experiencing the earthquakes.  I started asking them if they'd be interested to contribute an image of Japan, or image which might convey their thoughts and feelings from this disaster. I would then make postcards of their images to sell and raise money for Japan Relief.

Also, since 2005, I have been fortunate to befriend many American photographers, who have visited and who dearly love Japan. Since I knew their images are wonderful, I'd like to include the images of impressions of Japan from people from another country. Fortunately, many of them joined this project!

And one more great thing! I have known such great artists in Michigan!
Some of them got to know that I have been organizing this project and asked me whether they also could join!  That was such a fantastic idea which I didn't have first! So, the possibilities which more people could join this project has been bigger! Also I started asking artists around me, "if you are interested..." Many of them contributed their beautiful images and created the postcards...
Yes.... Now, not only Japan and Michigan. Even from artist in France was interested in joining this project... This is really wow...

On the backside of the all the postcards are the words: "Japan Relief 2011".
I imagined that these postcards would begin traveling around the world...
Maybe someone who also wants to help support the cause will buy the postcards, and someday perhaps write a message on it, to send to her/his friend.  Thus, the postcards become a bridge to connect people. Someone might notice the words, "Japan Relief 2011" and wonder why/how the postcards were created. I hope that someone might see the postcard image and then feel something warm, intrigue, encouragement, or love.  It's all open-ended. I wish for the postcards to travel freely around the world and generate love.

All the money we raise will be sent to the victims in Japan. I don't know if this effort be much help at all.  Perhaps I'm just a dreamer (like John sings), but I really hope this fundraiser will have some positive effect...

Dear artist friends, thank you for joining this project. All of your beautiful images are so meaningful, and they add strong power to this project.

The postcards will be released on 12th April at first - roughly one month after the first earthquake.
I'd like to say to the cards, "Bon Voyage!!!"

If you are close to Ann Arbor, Michigan, please join us at this event! There will be wonderful local musicians playing for the event!! At Yellow Barn, 416 W. Huron, Ann Arbor, MI
I'll continue to keep you posted with further details as this project develops.
Thank you so much from my heart...




Thinking and learning, a lot...

After the earthquake, I have been thinking a lot of thing related to it.
Really still non of word is equivalent to express this whole condition over there.
There are several friends who live in the hard area. I still can't find one of them. My mom said, "Before the earthquake, I didn't appreciate my daily life much. I took it for granted. Everyday life seemed to be boring. Not exciting. However, this whole event told me how happy to have that "everyday life". I'm now so thankful to be able to do those things that are used to be just boring or non-special thing. This whole things tells me a lot. Everyday I'm learning." 
I've been really learning too. She also said, "If there are two choices: holding worry, sadness, and anxiety or living now. I'd like to choose, focus, and appreciate "living now" this moment. I really agree with her.

Anyway, I'd like to do something... and got this idea: Postcard Project, Japan Relief 2011.
Now, I've been focusing "now" rather than just being sad, or holding negative thoughts. So much better... Thank many people who have been really supportive.....

OK, here is the details about the fundraiser event: Japan Relief 2011

A fundraiser using Art and Music to support Earthquake and Tsunami victims in Japan

(Here is the event page on FB http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=172994592749352 )

• Selling postcards and art works created by artists in Japan and Michigan to raise money for Japan!
(We will send the money via Japan Red Cross since they have a special account for the victims.)

• Live music by local musicians! The lineup will be announced very soon!! It will be a nice acoustic heartwarming jam!
Among those present will be:
members of October Babies (Erik Santos, Ben Lorenz, Dale King, Mike Ouellette, Toko Shiiki),
Frank Allison,
members of Dragon Wagon (Don Sicheneder, Troy Radikin), members of 16 More Miles (Jason Magee, Brian Poore),
members of Rootstand (Brant Losinki),
members of Origami Cat Plan (Paul Schubach)
members of Hullabaloo (Terry Carpenter),
members of 7 Come 11 (Leilani & Dennis O'Brien, Sean Paradis), and

I've been inspired to realize that there are so many supportive people in Michigan (and actually all over the world) Thank you so much...

Although I am Japanese, I now live very far away from Japan. I've been thinking of friends and family struggling through such hard conditions. I strongly want to do something for them, and after I had the idea for this benefit, I discovered so many people who wanted to contribute to this postcard project and event.  I really appreciate all of your help...

I hope you can make it!
Please invite your friends too!
The more the better.

Thank you very much!!

OK, move forward...