Friday, March 16, 2012

Memorial of HOPE for Tohoku, Japan

THANK YOU to all who made this gathering so special in loving tribute to the people in Tohoku, Japan on March 10, 2012. 

Close to 100 people joined us on a stormy Saturday at Golden Gardens Park Beach despite the weather! A gathering around a bonfire was followed by a water blessing then Seattle Kokon Taiko lead a procession along the shoreline. A conch shell call marked the silent prayer at sunset. 

It was touching to see people along the shoreline, facing Japan and offer silent prayers to the ocean and across to Japan.  

The power of HOPE, LOVE and UNITY can make a difference. 

-Artists for Japan

Please enjoy these photos of the event by Marcus Donner

Thursday, February 9, 2012

As the sun sets in Seattle on March 10, 2012 and the sun rises in Japan on 
the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami, March 11, 2012, we gather 
in support for the people of Tohoku, Japan.

5 - 5:30PM      
Gather around Bonfire at Golden Gardens Park Beach

5:30 – 6PM      
Water Blessing and Prelude to Silent Prayers
Seattle Kokon Taiko will lead the procession with Japanese Taiko drums & flute music as we gather along the shoreline for the Silent Prayers at Sunset.

SUNSET VIGIL - Silent Prayers for the people of Tohoku, Japan

Sunset Vigil Concludes

The ocean connects us; therefore, we bless the water and pay tribute to both the people lost and the survivors, with sacred music, silent prayers, and the formation of a "human chain" facing Japan. We send love and hope to the people of Japan.

This is not only a memorial, but also an opportunity to work together to rebuild Japan and move forward.

We will not be accepting donations on site at the sunset vigil. We will provide information on Japanese nonprofit organizations that are making a difference in rebuilding lives and communities in Tohoku and Japan, for people to contribute online to the organization of their choice.

Organized by:
Supported by:
Wonderful poster design by:
Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Pl NW, Seattle, WA 98117

Plan a trip to Golden Gardens Park

I-5 Northbound or Southbound:
Take exit to 85th St and head west.
Follow 85th West to 32nd Ave. NW
Take a left onto 32nd Ave. NW
Travel south until NW 54th St
Take a right onto NW 54th St
Follow NW 54th St which turns into Seaview Ave NW to the entrance of the park

Large parking lot along beach & park with overflow parking lot east of park. Plenty of handicapped spots are available.

NOTE: Please wear warm clothing, comfortable shoes, bring a flashlight,
and rain gear as needed.


Monday, February 6, 2012

AFJ meets iLEAP!

Artists for Japan Welcomes iLEAP &  2012 Japanese Delegates, Social Innovators 
and Leaders of Non-Profit Organizations in Japan- text Linda Ando/photos Sean Frego

On Monday, January 16th, Artists for Japan hosted iLEAP and 9 Japanese delegates at Kobo at Higo as part of their community engagement program. They were interested to learn more about AFJ, a community based volunteer organization and our efforts to raise funds and coordinate projects to help with Japan Relief Efforts. 

We coordinated a neighborhood tour which the delegates were deeply moved by the passion and love for the Japanese culture, history and people.  

ID Neighborhood Tour
• Historic tour at the Panama Hotel and Sento by the one and only Ms. Jan Johnson
• Green tour of Danny Woo Gardens & Maynard Green Street Project by InterIM      
   Development Agency staff, Leslie Morishita & Rie
• KOBO at Higo, AFJ's home base - thank you Binko, John & Paul Murakami. 

We shared AFJ's activities since March 2011 and continuing with the support of the community in Seattle & Washington. AFJ and friends cooked up a feast to warmly welcome our new Japanese friends to our community. Our goal was to learn more about their NPO's and share AFJ's activities to support rebuilding efforts in Japan and find ways to collaborate. The delegates were deeply moved by the Japanese American history and how we remain so connected to Japan.

We were so touched by the amazing work and spirit of these young social innovators and leaders in Japan. They inspired us with their HOPE and determination to make a difference 
in rebuilding Japan. New friendships and partnerships were born from this gathering.

Check out the profiles of the Japanese delegates from the first & second cohorts, Sayonara video by delegates and i4Japan link which invites you to support their great work. 

We look forward to seeing you at the 3.10.12 "Sunset Vigil" Memorial of HOPE for Tohoku, Japan at Golden Gardens Park Beach, 5pm-6:30pm. More info coming soon.

Recommended links to view and share

Friday, November 18, 2011

Himawari Project Update

Harvesting & Drying in Progress

The Himawari Project team join the harvest celebration at Magnuson Community Garden on October 1st, 2011 and received the sunflower heads. It was a festive event at the beautiful community garden with the live music, the open-sky educational tables, and more activities. The team were able to harvest the sunflower heads and seeds with the children and parents while we talked about the Himawari Project and what we are doing.

Special thanks to Emily Bishton, Co-Chair of Magnuson Children's Garden Committee, and everybody who helped growing and harvesting the sunflowers!

We are in the process of drying the seeds, and soon will be packing and storing them to ship them to Japan. More update to come!


Monday, September 5, 2011

"Sen-nin-bari" One Thousand stitches for Japan

September 17th - October 9th
Opening reception: Saturday, September 17, 5 - 7pm
Community support from "Artists For Japan" and "Allied Arts Foundation"

10% of proceeds will be donated to the Ashinaga Foundation 

Rumi Koshino is a Seattle based artist who grew up in Japan. She is the curator for an exhibition created  in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
Rumi has gathered  a group of Japanese artists and American artists of Japanese descent, with the theme "Sen-nin-bari (千人針), One Thousand Stitches" .

During World War II, both Japanese women in Japan and Japanese Americans in the U.S. made amulets called Senninbari for the soldiers who left their homes and families to fight in the war.  Women and community members gathered together and for each soldier stitched one thousand stitches using  red thread on a special  cloth.  These stitched amulets were given to the soldiers for their protection and for their safe return home. 

While the devastation in Japan caused by the recent earthquake and Tsunami continues to affect people living in Japan today, we are overwhelmed with the outpouring of compassion and concern from people around the  world.

The “Senninbari” is a symbol of  those thoughts and prayers and becomes a focal point for this exhibition.  As Japan begins their long journey in rebuilding their country, they continue to be in the hearts and prayers of so many.

Koshino grew up in Japan. Her parents are still there (they live in the west and were unhurt), but she lives in Seattle now; in 2010, she earned her master of fine arts degree from the University of Washington.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Himawari Project Update!

Artists for Japan and Himawari Project launching event on July 16th was a success! Thank you so much for your support.

Here is our report!

The Himawari Team dressed up in "yukata" (summer kimono) and distributed approximately 400 sunflower seeds to 80 individuals or families at KOBO at Higo and in the neighborhood of International District.

A total of $1031.16 raised through the Himawari Project donation and Artists for Japan art sale.

$100 of the total raised has been contributed to the Himawari Project budget and the remaining $931.16 will be donated to "Nukumori-Fureai Project" through Allied Arts Foundation. Nukumori-Fureai Project is a NPO that provides solar power, solar heat hot water, and biomass energy to the evacuation centers in the affected area.
In addition, the City of Seattle's P-Patch Program has introduced the Himawari Project to it's participants and it was widely by their community. Two community organizations/gardens will be harvesting the sunflower seeds and donating them for Japan to heal the contaminated land. Magnuson Children's Garden will have a harvest celebration on October 1st, 11AM - 2PM at their garden.

Special thanks to:
Marra Farm Giving Garden and the Lettuce Link

Magnuson Children's Garden at the Magnuson Park

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 16th, 2011

Please come pick up some sunflower seeds for you to sow, grow, flower, and harvest the future seeds to heal the nuclear contaminated lands. Himawari (sunflowers) have the ability to absorb radioactive cesium from contaminated soil, thereby neutralizing its effects. 

This project is supported by Artists for Japan, Allied Arts Foundation, and Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.

Artists for Japan will also host a fundraising benefit a non-profit organization installing solar power systems in Tohoku. They provide solar generated electricity and hot water, as well as wood boiler vehicles for hot bath. Our focus this month is environmental issues in Japan and the planet. There will also be musical entertainment in the evening as part of JamFest/Artwalk, sponsored by the Wing Luke Museum.

The Himari Project 
launches at KOBO at Higo on Saturday July 16th,  12 - 8:30PM! 

This just in from Linda Ando!!!
Hi Everyone! 
Here are some great photos of the children at Yuriage Primary School who received our Tanabata STAR of HOPE with Star Messages & Candy. It was beautifully displayed with the many folded cranes and the kids look so happy!

Thank you to everyone and especially the Tanabata STAR Artists Team for making this possible and bringing joy to these children.