Last weekend I joined Rob Mangold and his IDRO crew on a relief trip to Kameoka, which was hit hard by the last typhoon to sweep through Kansai. After linking up with some regular volunteers at Kameoka’s Volunteer Center, we drove out into golden fields where a landslide caused by heavy rain had filled up the drainage ditches. Our job was to dig them out. Here are some pictures from the day: a mix of standard shots and 360 spherical images from the Ricoh Theta. If you click on the spheres you can view the images in a perfectly immersive 360 degrees. [Read more…]
Though we didn’t quite get the crowds we had hoped for last weekend, we still managed to make a fair bit of money to help IDRO Japan continue its good work in northern Japan. Our combined takings for two days was 156,561 yen but we had a lot of stuff left over, some of which we took to a used clothing store and some to Bookoff. After Bookoff’s contribution our current total stands at 163,121 yen. However, we are still waiting to hear how much the used clothing store will give us, so the final grand total could be a wee bit higher yet.
Important news: WE ARE NOT TAKING ANY MORE DONATED GOODS
We received a lot of goods yesterday and it has become obvious we are not going to be able to sell it all by the end of today. This is our final sale, so unfortunately any goods brought to us today will be respectfully (and apologetically) declined.
Today we are open from 10 ~ 3.
Today all clothes, shoes, bags, knick-knacks & cookies are going for 100 yen.
Books are 100 yen for two!
Ceramics, electrical goods and household items will be sold for a donation of your choice.
Yesterday we took over 113,000 yen. Thank you to all the volunteers and musicians who helped to make it such a memorable day. [Read more…]
Some people are still under the impression that our sale this weekend is in the same location as last year. Let me make this clear…
IT’S NOT THE SAME PLACE!!
Here again are the directions in case you didn’t catch them in earlier postings: [Read more…]
As regular readers will remember, in early March I spent ten days up in Miyagi prefecture volunteering with IDRO JAPAN. As the charity sale for IDRO approaches, I think it’s time I finally sat down and wrote about the work I took part in up there, and put down some thoughts about my experiences. So here goes…
The Importance of Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
First off, I’m a very unlikely volunteer. Having failed to go up last year with the excuse of a bad back (actually true), I had pretty much settled into that excuse as a way of avoiding getting out of my comfort zone. If you are familiar with the first chapter of The Hobbit – pre-adventure Bilbo Baggins is pretty much me (minus the hairy feet); I’m lazy, I like my routine, I like my own space and I don’t even like traveling all that much. Too much hassle. I told myself I could probably be more effective raising awareness through my online activities than actually heading north and doing some hard work. However, as the months went by, an incipient feeling of guilt crept up on me, and finally pounced when I was interviewing IDRO founder Rob Mangold for a prospective Kyoto Journal interview. Fellow KJ member Jen Teeter, also present, said to me, “You should go up there” and Rob followed up with “You wouldn’t even have to do any volunteer work! Just go up there and meet those people and talk to them! Somebody needs to record all this!”
He had a point. How could I possibly write about the work that IDRO was doing if I didn’t go up and see it for myself? And also Rob had said that the time for unskilled volunteers was coming to a close. This could be my last chance… I resolved to go, follow Rob around a bit, and try not to get in the way to much, and so a couple of weeks later found myself staying at the INJM houses, with over 20 other volunteers, my private space gone, my normal routine fully broken, forced to socialize with all kinds of people at all times, and doing all kinds of work (in all kinds of weather) that I would never have imagined doing before. It was good. I’m glad I did it. It woke this sleepy hobbit up.
Thank you to all the good Kyoto people who have helped us promote our charity sale for Tohoku! Hover your cursor over each picture to see who they are…
IDRO Japan’s Golden Week Charity Sale for Tohoku will be held on the 5th & 6th of May near Demachiyanagi Station – check the links below for more information:
So, we have a flyer!
Isn’t it gorgeous? Just click on it for a better view. Many thanks to Yutaka for designing this. If anyone should like to help distribute it :), in either colour or black & white just send me your email address and I can send you the pdfs. There’s just over a week to go now of course so we need to get the word out quick!
I can also confirm the entertainment schedule for Saturday, May 5th:
Felicity Greenland (vocals and guitar): 3.30 – 4.30
Jen L. Teeter (vocals) &Â Hiroyuki Tokuda (guitar):Â 4.45 – 5.45
Max Dodds (vocal and guitar): 6:00 – 7:00
Entry is of course free, but the idea is that the musicians play as a “human jukebox”, so you toss them a few coins and they play you a song! All monies donated of course going to Tohoku via IDRO Japan.
We have also been promised all kinds of delicious baked goods, not to mention Tadg McLoughlin’s traditional Irish oak smoked bacon which is currently under production and will be vacuum packed and sliced!
Here’s a quick recap of this events key points:
Event: Massive Bargain Sale / Gathering / Sing-a-long / Cookie Fest
Purpose: To raise lots of cash/awareness for IDRO Japan’s great work in the disaster-struck Tohoku region!
Dates & Times: Saturday May 5th â€“ 11:00 â€“ 21:00 /Sunday May 6th â€“ 10:00 â€“ 15:00
Location: Very close to Demachiyanagi Station at the å·¦äº¬è¥¿éƒ¨ã„ãã„ãå¸‚æ°‘æ´»å‹•ã‚»ãƒ³ã‚¿ãƒ¼ (Sakyou Nishibu Iki-iki Shimin Katsudou Center). Please note – it’s not the same location as last year!
Now the map on the flyer makes the location look easy to find but actually it’s a little more complicated than that, so here are some clear directions. From Demachiyanagi Station head east. You will pass Heming Sports Club on your right and on your left, there is a broad area of azalea hedge. Turn left at the hedge! Go straight up until you see a small tobacco shop directly in front of you. Take the road to the left of the shop and go up again. You will pass a temple on your right and then another temple on your left. Just a few steps further on your right is the Iki-iki Shimin Katsudou Center. There is a kindergarten on the ground floor. Go up to the second floor and we are at the far end of the building in Room 3. We are looking forward to seeing you!
You can also check the google map here which has the route marked from Demachiyanagi Exit 5.
Click here for the English.
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Put this one into your diaries, folks! Together with the lovely ladies, Sheila Campbell & Carolyn Wright, I will be hosting another charity sale for IDRO JAPAN* during the Golden Week weekend!
Saturday May 5th – 11:00 – 21:00
Sunday May 6th – 10:00 – 15:00
Location: Five minutes from Demachiyanagi Station in Room 3 of the å·¦äº¬è¥¿éƒ¨ã„ãã„ãå¸‚æ°‘æ´»å‹•ã‚»ãƒ³ã‚¿ãƒ¼ (Sakyou Nishibu Iki-iki Shimin Katsudou Center). Here is a map with the route marked from Demachiyanagi Exit 5.
Last year our combined sales raised 237, 630 yen for Tohoku Disaster Relief. This year we want to raise more! Please tell everyone you know about this event!
We will have – second-handâ€¦ books, clothes, records, cds, toys, various household items and electrical goods.
Delicious Baked Goods!
Free Iced Teas!
The return of the â€œHuman Jukeboxâ€ !
Lucky Dip! – Fabulous prizes guaranteed!
Clothes â€“ preferably spring/summer clothes! (cleaned, ironed and in good repair â€“ no underwear please!); DVDs, CDs and vinyl records; Small household items; Electrical goods in good condition; Crockery (sets only).
Fresh baked cookies & cakes etc (if possible please label them with the ingredients for the benefit of those with food allergies or preferences).
If you wish to sell larger household items please bring just a photo and your phone number.
Books! We have so many already and they’ll be sold at a snip! Please no more books!
Knick-knacks! No more knick-knacks please! We’ve had our fill of knick-knacks!
Unfortunately we are unable to receive goods before the event so please bring them on the day of sale, – the earlier the better! Donations can be received from 10:00 am on the Saturday.
To reiterate, everything donated needs to be in good, saleable condition â€“ and as I wrote above, clothes need to be clean! If you have any queries, please contact Michael Lambe at:Â m.0.luain.23[at]gmail.com
(The 0 is a zero and the [at] is an @)
Oh, and by the way – it’s going to be FUN! Don’t forget to invite your friends!
From Demachiyanagi Station head east. You will pass Heming Sports Club on your right and on your left, there is a broad area of azalea hedge. Turn left at the hedge! Go straight up until you see a small tobacco shop directly in front of you. Take the road to the left of the shop and go up again. You will pass a temple on your right and then another temple on your left. Just a few steps further on your right is the Iki-iki Shimin Katsudou Center. There is a kindergarten on the ground floor. Go up to the second floor and we are at the far end of the building in Room 3. We are looking forward to seeing you!
*All proceeds go to IDRO JAPAN
International Disaster Relief Organization Japan
IDRO Japan is a Kyoto-based NPO that provides aid and assistance for immediate post-disaster relief and long-term support through relief trips and housing. IDRO Japanâ€™s efforts are currently concentrated on areas affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. http://www.idrojapan.org/
I arrived in Ishinomaki about 1pm yesterday. A lot has changed in the last two months. The city seems to be very busy, the area around the train station still has a lot of shuttered shops, but energy is high. Only a couple of quick stops before heading out to the peninsula.
On the 21st of this month a temporary store opened on the Ogatsu peninsula. The first time people have been able to do any local shopping since March. The bridge that was destroyed at Okawa has been rebuilt and I saw cars moving across it yesterday. I met with Nakazato san in Funakoshi. They are fishing again, and took in 250 fish the morning I arrived. The women at Funakoshi are making jewelry, and that has turned into quite a cottage industry for them…
(Rob Mangold writing from his 7th trip to Tohoku on November 24th)
Wow, the people up there are amazing. No-one is sitting around waiting for help, they are out there doing it themselves.
(From Rob’s report of his fourth trip to Tohoku last May)
As winter sets in, it is time once again to consider the plight of people in north-east Japan, for Tohoku winters are cold and long. One Kyoto-based organization, that continues to work tirelessly to assist them, is IDRO JAPAN. As regular readers know, IDRO’s volunteers have done some incredible work over the last nine months helping the victims of 3/11 rebuild their lives. Here from the IDRO website is a review of all they have achieved:
Sponosored 7 relief trips from Kyoto
- distributed immediate relief supplies
- distributed carpentry tools
- distributed electrical appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and microwave ovens
- replaced glass windows in Funakoshi Elementary School
- participated in local volunteer relief activities
Sponsored a 7-week summer work camp for volunteers
- organized over 50 volunteers
- provided relief supplies
- participated in local clean-up and assistance activities
- assisted in home repair and maintenance
- assisted in cleaning of the Miyagi Sanriku coastline
I think you will agree that that is a pretty impressive tally of results, and all of it was largely organized by one man: IDRO’s founder, Rob Mangold. A few weeks Â ago I sat down in Tadgâ€™s pub with Rob, and over a few fine craft beers we talked about IDROâ€™s achievements thus far, and about their ongoing long-term goals. I also wanted to get to know Rob himself a bit better.
This month’s Kyoto Visitor’s Guide contains a brief synopsis of my interview with Rob Mangold, the founder, organizer, and chief motivator behind local disaster relief organization IDRO JAPAN. Two months ago Rob and I sat down over beers and had a very long chat about life, Tohoku and everything. His story of how IDRO got started, how much they have achieved so far, and where they plan to go from here is truly inspiring. Naturally, though it was too long for the confines of a KVG piece so consider this just a teaser for the full interview, which I shall be posting on this blog in the next couple of days.
You can follow Rob’s current adventures & activities in Tohoku on the IDRO JAPAN blog.
We held our last September sale for IDRO Japan last Saturday. Many thanks to Mewby and Carolyn Wright, to Dylan Luers for handing out fliers, and to all who came and bought and made donations. Thanks also to Kurochiku for giving us temporary use of the space and letting us store our goods there for the time being. On the down side, the weather was against us again and turn out was poor, on the plus side however, many people supplemented the cost price of their purchases with donations so in the end we raised just under 30,000 yen. That brings the total for three weeks to 67,630 yen. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. We are still looking for a permanent home for our charity shop, but even if we fail to find one we shall be back in one form or another, perhaps with a sale/event in December…? Watch this space!
Truth to tell, the turn out for our sale last weekend wasn’t very good, but I wasn’t terribly surprised as we hadn’t had much time to advertise it properly and typhoon Talas was keeping sane folk indoors. We did get a little bit of passing trade though and made exactly 9,300 yen for Tohoku disaster relief. Hopefully – with your help – we can do a LOT better this weekend. We still have some great bargains, paperbacks and hardback books (sorted by genre) selling for between 100 – 300 yen. Super cheap clothes (300 -600 yen),Â + electrical goods, crockery, a massive CD selection and heaps of vinyl records – all of it going for silly prices! Pretty much everyone who did come last Saturday found something they wanted and I guarantee if you come you will find something too. Mewby bought herself a top.
And even I bought myself a Neville Brothers CD. I’ve been listening to it this evening and what a find! All that priceless music for only 200 yen! Many thanks to Robert Yellin for recommending that one to me.
Anyway, the fact is that though we are still looking for a new place, we have only two more sales this month and after the last one on the 17th I’m not sure when or if we’ll be able to do this again. So grab this opportunity to show your support for Tohoku and get yourself some giveaway bargains to boot!
Saturday 10th September from 1 till 5pm.
Saturday 17th September from 9 till 6pm.
The Kurochiku building is on the north-west corner of Shinmachi and Rokkaku streets, three streets west of Karasuma and one street south of Sanjo. Here is a map. All money goes to the local NPO IDRO Japan to support the people in Tohoku. Again this Saturday, itâ€™s just me and Mewby manning the shop. We hope to see you there.
Many thanks to Kyoto company Kurochiku for letting us use this space.
Oh and remember, that bear still needs a home.