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 … [Read more...]
Flood Relief in Arashiyama
Yesterday, I had planned to spend the day running round Kyoto's most iconic sites, taking immersive 360 degree images with my new Ricoh Theta camera... However, inspired by Tito's flood relief poetry, and Rob Mangold's posts on Facebook I decided to join them and Joel Stewart for a spot of volunteering in Arashiyama. I was encouraged by the community spirit there that inspired … [Read more...]
Ten Year Plan to Reafforest Kyoto’s Mount Ogura Goes Ahead
Good news today! The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) has thrown its weight behind a plan to restore the natural beauty of Kyoto's Ogurayama. The ten-year reafforestation project aims to undo the damage wrought by human neglect and the recent of blight of diseases that are killing off much of the native oaks and pines. Mount Ogura has been famed since Heian times as the … [Read more...]
AN URGENT APPEAL TO SUPPORT GREEN ACTION JAPAN!
Please donate to Green Action here: http://www.greenaction-japan.org/modules/entop2/ From Beyond Nuclear: During the critical first days and months of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan, many of us turned immediately to Aileen Mioko Smith (pictured far left with Sachiko Sato and Kaori Izumi) and her organization, Green Action-Japan. Through her depth of … [Read more...]
University Students Help Fukushima Evacuees in Kyoto
This article is by Jason Bartashius and Jessica Caparini. Wearing Santa hats and full of holiday cheer, university students sang Christmas carols and handed out presents to Fukushima evacuee children at a Christmas party in Fushimi. The children’s faces lit up when a Japanese Santa and a Canadian Mrs. Claus began handing out presents. Joining hands with community … [Read more...]
Kizuna From Kyoto: Supporting the Victims of the Tohoku Disaster
Jason Bartashius writes, Tonghwi Soh is no stranger to earthquakes. The Great Hanshin Earthquake destroyed the jewelry store his father worked at. It left him jobless and with no choice but to take another position for a lower salary. Although Soh was only four years old, he vividly remembers the day and the struggles that followed. Six years later Soh and his parents … [Read more...]
TA Project Camp – The Wrap-Up
Here's guest contributor, Sara Ai Coe, with an update on the TA Project's summer camp for Fukushima children. Last time I wrote about the TA Project for Deep Kyoto, I was the outsider looking in. I was so inspired by the passion of the guys involved, that I wanted to write and share this wonderful project. Shortly after, I was invited to join them and it’s been an invitation … [Read more...]
Tohoku to Kyoto: Yuko Nishiyama and the Plight of the Fukushima Evacuees
Jason Bartashius writes, On March 18, 2011 Yuko Nishiyama and her three-year old daughter, Mariko, left Fukushima City, 60 km from the Daiichi plant, to live in Tokyo. In June 2011, Yuko her parents and Mariko relocated to Kyoto. In total around 800 Tohoku evacuees have come to Kyoto and about 600 of them are from Fukushima Prefecture. Fukushima evacuees are choosing to come … [Read more...]
Support the TA Project! – Fundraising for the Children of Fukushima!
At the end of last month, Sara Ai Coe contributed a guest article to this site introducing the TA Project. This is a group of young professionals in Osaka attempting to help the children of Fukushima by giving them a chance to play freely in a safe environment. Now they have started their own, very modest fundraising campaign. For a mere $1,500 they plan to invite children from … [Read more...]
The TA Project ~ Helping the Children of Fukushima Play Their Way to a Brighter Future
Guest contributor, Sara Ai Coe, writes, These days having a lot of things on my hands, visual reminders have been a life saver (thank you daily organizer iphone apps). I think even with the best intentions, it’s easy to forget about things when there’s no constant reminder integrated into our daily lives. When the earthquake shook Tohoku, watching the news stories everyday, … [Read more...]
IDRO JAPAN SALE – FINAL REPORT & THANKS!
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 … [Read more...]
TODAY’S SALE FOR IDRO JAPAN – FINAL FINAL UPDATE!
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, … [Read more...]
Ten Days in Tohoku
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, … [Read more...]
An Interview with Rob Mangold, the Founder of IDRO JAPAN
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 … [Read more...]