Following the recovery .

Under construction please be patient .
Collecting together links and information about the recovery process following the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Combined with thoughts , comment and hopefully positive news.
While I'm working on posts please check out the links in the side bar where there is plenty to read
Thank you.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

100 Santas Came!

We have made a donation from the funds raised by selling the Sakura CD to the 100 Santas Christmas project . They will send 100 Santas to the North East coast of Japan and hand out Christmas candy to children and old people living on their own who survived the tsunami.
People outside of Japan can contribute by purchasing extra sweets for the project from an Amazon gift list .
Check the links for more details and the story that inspired the project .

100 Santas English language page

100 Santas Amazon wish list page

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Some thought provoking photographs .

please check out the link below for some amazing "before and after " photos showing the extent of the cleanup in Kesennuma after six months . A lot has been achieved but it also illustrates how much work remains to rebuild the communities .

News article and photos here.

this article was shared on Facebook by the excellent site

thank you

Thursday, 15 September 2011

News from Genkidama ... The school trip memorial photos.

I have an update from the Genkidama project which we are donating the money we raise from sales of the Longstone "Sakura" CD.  Mayumi Suzuki, who started the project in her home town of Onagawa has kindly sent me these photographs so I can explain how some of the money is used. Mayumi is a photographer ( you can read her story at the Monchicamera links in the side bar ) who lost her parents in the Tsunami , she decided to carry on the work of her father who was a portrait photographer in Onagawa. One of his jobs was taking the children's photographs at the local elementary school for such occasions as graduation etc. Onagawa was very badly damaged in the Tsunami and many families lost everything and simply could not afford to pay for school photos. One of the things Mayumi is able to do with the money donated to her project is provide the children with photos and yearbooks free of charge . This may seem like a small thing but it makes all the children equal again and provides those who may have lost everything  some new happy memories for the future. If anyone doesn't have the CD and would like to help a very limited number can now be bought online here
£15 from each sale will be donated to Genkidama.

 Recently Mayumi accompanied some of the children of Onagawa on a school trip and took memorial photos for them. 
Here are some of those photos with a simple message from Mayumi.

Please tell your friends " Onagawa kids are fine , they enjoyed their school trip "

 These are the memorial photos as presented for the children.

Group photo from Rindou lake and farm 

Visit to Nikko Tosho-go Shrine .

                        They visited an elementary school at Shioya-town ,Ibaraki, which gave relief supplies to Onagawa. 

Remember what may seem like an ordinary or small thing to us is very important for these children . Many of them will have witnessed the terrible effects of the tsunami . They may have lost family members and friends , many will have lost their homes and will be living in temporary housing or evacuation centres . There is also a good chance their parents have no way to earn money at the moment , it will take a long time for life to return to normal . It's wonderful to hear that the children are having some fun and to see some of their smiling faces.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Onagawa supporters web site.

Mayumi ( Monchicamera ), who organised the Genkidama project that we are donating to, discovered an English web site who are collecting money for Onagawa in association with the towns football team.
Below is a link to their site and an excellent news/photo story they have posted about the town

Excellent story about recovery in Onagawa 

Friday, 9 September 2011

Book recalls Japan tsunami through children's eyes. "The tsunami was greedy"

A couple of news stories about a book published in Japan where children who survived the tsunami write about what they witnessed . The few quotes in the news item are heartbreaking .....
" The tsunami was greedy "

Book recalls Japan tsunami through children's eyes.

Most touching tsunami stories come from surviving children.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Rumours and fear ... Fukushima farmers get some positive coverage at last

It's understandable that the Fukushima nuclear problems have caused worry and fear among people living near to the power plant. Japan more than any other country has good reason to be concerned about the damage that can be caused by radiation. However it seems to me that this fear is fuelled and exaggerated by the media who seem to continually want to mention the atomic bombings along side the Fukushima issues.
I don't speak or read Japanese so I can only comment on the English language coverage. From this it seems people are afraid to use any produce originating from the wider Fukushima area and in one case a father was convinced no one would want to marry his daughter because she was from Fukushima prefecture .
Last week NHK World broadcast one documentary aimed at allaying some of these fears . It was only a small thing but it was pleasing to see .
It was called Overcoming rumours and marketing Fukushima and featured a market stall set up in Tokyo by farmers in Fukushima to sell their produce accompanied by certificates proving the produce was tested and not contaminated. In addition another stall holder had started a blog featuring recipes using this produce to help the farmers cause .
At the time of writing it's still possible to view the program at the NHK web site .
I'm guessing this link will only work for a week or so , the heading to look for is Restoring a Reputation.
Interestingly neither the program ( English language version ) or the NHK World web site provided either the address of the stall or the web address of the recipe blog .
I emailed NHK who happily provided the information  which I'll reproduce below by copying part of their reply.

Please see below the information about the shop and the recipes introduced
in the program.
FYI, the information in Japanese was also added.

*Kobushi no Sato: Outlet Shop of Tamakawa Villege, Fukushima Prefecture,
located in Tsukiji Outer Market of Tokyo

Midori no Eki 1-ban sen,
Tsukiji Outer Market,
4-16-2 Tsukiji Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045
TEL & FAX:  03-3547-6061
(Japanese only)

Tsukiji Outer Market Official Website

*Cooking Blog
Tsukiji Outer Market "Midori no Eki" Diary
Website: (Japanese Only)

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A few more news stories about the recovery process

News of the recovery efforts are still hard to find in English but here are a few links to recent reports , some of them contain links to earlier stories and photos . We are approaching six months since the earthquake and Tsunami of March 11th and normally I would hope that the media would remind the world what happened and of the plight of the survivours. However six months to the day from March 11th will also be the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Centre which will understandably occupy the headlines .
I hope that some of the media in the west see fit to remember the scale of the disaster in Japan and it's effect on many thousands of ordinary people and don't just focus on the Fukushima crisis .

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Not so much a positive news story but it highlights the difficulties faced in Onagawa and other coastal towns.

This article in the Economist outlines the magnitude of the task faced to rebuild towns like Onagawa and reminds us that many people still live in rescue shelters and are waiting patiently for temporary housing.

Read the article here .

Monday, 22 August 2011

A photo story about the cleanup process five months after the Tsunami .

Unfortunately this is from one of my least favourite U.K. tabloids,  however , I need to give them some credit for running a story about the recovery after the Tsunami that doesn't focus on the Fukushima crisis.

Some thought provoking before and after photos .

I found the link from this Facebook page

Kesennuma building for the future Facebook page.

they run positive stories about the recovery in Kesennuma , here is another example!/notes/kesennuma-building-for-the-future/news-from-kesennuma/237277909650158

another U.K. newspaper story about recovery of survivors belongings here ...

Friday, 19 August 2011

Sakura CD reviewed in the September issue of WIRE magazine .

Again the reviewer kindly mentioned that money raised goes to help tsunami survivors in Japan .
We placed an advert for the album in the same issue .

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

August 9th 2011 . Memories and fear ... the 66th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

On 27th October 2009 I was lucky enough to visit the wonderful city of Nagasaki .
It has a rich history and there are plenty of fantastic things to see and learn about . 
In addition I wanted to visit the atomic bomb museum and peace park . It was beyond moving to stand at the exact spot over which the bomb exploded . I urge anyone to visit Nagasaki if you are in the South of Japan, learn it's rich history, eat lunch in China Town and be humbled by it's messages of peace.
Today on the 66th anniversary of that atomic bombing I was able to watch a recording of the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony which was broadcast live on NHK TV earlier in the day . The broadcast included an interview with a father and daughter from Fukushima who attended the ceremony , they feared that no one would consider marrying the girl simply because she had lived in Fukushima echoing the prejudices that occurred for people from Nagasaki all those years ago. In the U.K. the plight of the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami seems overshadowed by the Fukushima incident but the speeches and interviews at todays ceremony highlighted the fear felt by those people living near the nuclear plant.
The survivors of the bomb in Nagasaki speaking about their experiences must be the most qualified people living on this earth to express their opinions on nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
The ceremony was incredibly moving and I'm glad I was able to see the entire event with an English commentary .

photos from my visit to Nagasaki ,

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Nearly 5 Months on some interesting and positive news stories .

A few recent news links from The Mainichi Daily News .......

a great achievement and a morale booster , the Japanese Ladies football team beat America in World Cup Final and are honoured by the government

Japanese ladies to be honoured for winning the World Cup.

There is still a long way to go but if you search hard enough in English language news there are stories of progress with reconstruction. This short story about the Ground Defence Forces completing relief operations in Onagawa hints at progress and also illustrates the scale of the problem when almost everything is washed away.

The GSDF personnel complete operations in Onagawa .

In addition this story about the Japanese Government announcing some reconstruction policies illustrates the immense scale of the work still to be done .

Reconstruction policy announcement

Japanese astronaut has a live chat from space with elementary school children who lost 70 % of their classmates in the Tsunami ..

ISS crewman talks with students of Tsunami devastated school via transmission

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sakura CD reviewed in the Sunday Times .

Sunday Times 31/07/2011 Culture Magazine . Review written by Stewart Lee who kindly mentions that all money taken will be donated to help survivors of the Tsunami .

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Please take a look around.

thanks for visiting this blog ,
I want to make this a hub for news and links relating to our small effort to donate a little money towards the recovery process in Japan following the major Earthquake and Tsunami earlier this year .
I hope that it will explain how and why myself , my band Longstone and some of our talented friends teamed up to produce a CD to raise some money to help the survivors. We chose to donate this to a small project in the town of Onagawa . ( Onagawa town information from Wikipedia )
My previous post links to some harrowing videos showing the terrible destruction in Onagawa.
The other pages on this blog and other sites I have linked to in the side bar on the right help to explain more about the damage , the project we are donating to and the CD .
Please check out these links and explore the sites.
I would especially like to draw your attention to the Monchicamera links , one in Japanese the other is an English translation. If you have time please try to read the English blog in date order from the earliest entry .
thanks very much

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Disturbing footage

This video shows the very disturbing destructive power of the March 11th tsunami as it causes unbelievable damage to the town of Onagawa 

This video shows how the town is dragged back out to sea as the wave recedes while the survivors can only stand and watch.