It’s easy to give up hope when you see all the images of the earthquake and tsunami aftermath and hear of a potential nuclear meltdown. To make things worse, there are hateful comments about how the Japanese don’t need ourselves and insensitive Tweets by celebrities. We can’t give up hope though, and we can’t stop trying. Even if no one around us is helping out, we have to do what we can.
I came across a facebook note full of translated Tweets: these are some inspiring messages. Many manga artists and Japanese musicians are creating works to inspire their people. Here is one such example by Yoko Kanno:
Other celebrities and large corporations have either donated money or set up a fund:
- AKS and associates (i.e. all the members of AKB48 and related groups as well as the staff) – 500 million yen (~$6.2 million)
- Bae Yong Joon – 72 million yen (~$900k)
- Beat Takeshi and George Tokoro – 10 million yen (~$2.4 million)
- EXILE – undisclosed amount + 50k bottles of water
- Glay – 1 million yen (~$240k)
- General Motors – $750k
- Honda, Nissan, and Toyota – $3.75 million each
- Ichiro Suzuki – $1.7 million
- Johnny’s Entertainment – power-supply vehicles + truck carrying bottled water
- KARA – donating profits from their single “Jet Coaster Love”
- Kazuki Kato – 500k yen (~$6k)
- New York Yankees – $100k
- Nintendo – 300 million yen (~$3.6 million)
- Nissin Foods, makers of Cup Noodle – 1 million food items
- Panasonic Corp.- 300 million yen (~$3 million) + 500k batteries + 10k flashlights
- Sandra Bullock – $1 million
- Square Enix – 1 million yen ($240k)
I’ve already mentioned Gackt’s charity in my previous post, which is getting more and more celebrities. AKB48 has set up a donations account for their Japanese fans, and T.M. Revolution is organizing a charity event. Yoshiki has announced that he will be auctioning off his crystal piano for charity.
American and European celebs haven’t ignored the crisis either.
More celebrities are contributing to the cause. I’ve already mentioned fundraising efforts by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Lady Gaga. Petra Nemacova has stated that she is looking for the best way to use donations from her charity organization, Happy Hearts Fund. Katy Perry has said that if you buy a light-up wand from her tour, proceeds will go to disaster relief. Boyz II Men talked about their connection with Sendai and set up a fund. Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, who has said he has donated his own money, is auctioning off rare band items for charity. Even Charlie Sheen has pledge to donate $1 of every ticket to his upcoming tour sold.
Lastly I leave you with one more source of inspiration. Yo Hitoto wrote the song “Hanamizuki” in response to the 9-11 attacks. Her message was that while grief can be felt across far distances, love can heal us and bring us towards world peace. An English version of her song was covered by New Zealand singer Hayley Westenra. I thought this would be an appropriate message to all our friends in Japan: