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Sometimes you just don’t realize how much this simple gift means to them.

These are the children who picked up the remains and carried them to the school auditorium on 3.11.

These are the children who helped elderlies and little ones in the shelters.

These are the children who are taking care of the families while Mom is suffering with PTSD and dad is struggling with financial problems.

These are the brave children who deserve the gift you gave.

Because these are the children who will become ambassadors to rebuild their communities.

Sincerely yours,

Chiaki Takahashi


Thanks for making this possible.

The months following the natural disaster that befell Japan on March 11th 2011, support poured in from all over the world and most immediate basic needs were met. But with over one million buildings damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami, and the sheer size of the devastated area, the real work had yet to begin. Once reality sunk in, many found themselves alone, with surviving relatives and friends scattered around the country, living in temporary accommodation amidst the constant reminder of the day they lost so much.

The idea of producing a calendar emerged as a means to raise funds in aid of those rebuilding the community. With the € 5872.62 raised we were able to participate in three projects in Tohoku. Friend, composer and multi-instrumentalist Hoshi-san, originally from Shichigahama, organises activities and entertains many of the elderly locals in temporary housing. In April, one year on, Atsuko gave a demonstration at one of the shelters bearing Belgian chocolates and coffee. More photos of that memorable day here.

Benefits (and chocolate) were donated to Iwate Relief Effort who focus on children, helping them reclaim lives after what they have seen and experienced, keeping morale up and thoughts occupied. School trips and campus activities were planned at Kiri Kiri Junior High School and Yoshizato Middle School in Otsuchi, and ceremonial flags were purchased for graduation.

Based in Ishinomaki, It’s Not Just Mud is a dedicated team of Japanese and international volunteers that formed in response to the Earthquake and Tsunami. Originally set up to help with mud and debris removal (hence the name), it has since grown and it’s purpose evolved. Now that much of the debris has been removed, with unfailing impetus they now focus on rebuilding the community. Your contribution helped fund their ongoing projects. They have a comprehensive website that shows the diversity of their work.

Then and Now a poignant film about Ishinomaki by Paul Johannessen.