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Aid For Japan’s Ten Year Anniversary Online Cultural Fair

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Commemorating Ten Years…

With the 11th March 2021 marking the 10th Anniversary since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Aid For Japan decided to host an online cultural fair to commemorate the event. The cultural fair was free and happened throughout the day here on Aid For Japan’s website, as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages.

With many of us having to stay indoors, we wanted to use this opportunity to showcase aspects of Japanese culture, tradition and history with the aim of bringing people together in a free and friendly online environment.


Aid For Japan 10th Anniversary : Baton For Life

11th March 2021 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. This video explores Aid For Japan’s activities as a charity in those years since the tragedy. We were given special permission to use this song by the singer asari, who grew up in the Tohoku region.

Origami Crane Workshop

In Japanese culture one thousand origami cranes strung together symbolises hope, peace and healing. We thought it would be a good way to bring people virtually together, to commemorate ten years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster of 2011. This video, presented by Yuka Harada-Parr, shows how to make an origami crane.

People took part in the One Thousand Cranes project, where we asked everyone to fold an origami crane and post it online using the hashtag #1000Cranes. Then Aid For Japan collected all the photos together and unveiled a collective collage artwork at the cultural fair.

Sendai Visit 2012

In Spring 2012, Akemi Tanaka travelled to Japan and visited an orphanage in Sendai. This video tells the story of that visit…

Aid For Japan 10th Anniversary

“As a mother myself… my heart went out to them and I felt a strong responsibility to help. So, to that end, I set up a new charity specifically to support these children and their education until they become adults and can fend for themselves..” Read the full story here.

Aid For Japan was founded by Akemi Tanaka in 2011 to support the orphans of this tragedy. With the advent of the 10th anniversary of the earthquake, it provides an opportunity to look back at the charity’s activities and the lives of those that it has touched in this special article.

Little Dom’s Big Adventure

2014 also saw an ambitious fundraising effort for the charity orchestrated by Dominic Farwell-Cooke.

‘Little Dom’s Big Adventure’ involved the enterprising volunteer riding a motorbike all the way from the UK to Japan.

Talking a little about why he had embarked on this journey, Dom commented that it was inspired in part by a photo taken of Earth on one of the Apollo moon missions, reminding him that everyone who has lived, is currently living and will live in the future was on that blue orb in the sky. “It’s important to me to help other people” Dom added.

The challenging trip was not always a smooth ride however, with Dom having to contend with fuel leaks, engine failure, illness, rough roads and getting lost. But by the time that Dom reached Japan he had raised nearly £4,000 for the charity.

Radio Imagination

Radio Imagination is a short film based on the Japanese novel by Seiko Ito. DJ Ark’s town on the coast of Japan has recently been hit by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. The year is 2011 and he finds himself trapped between the top branches of a tree transmitting his original broadcast live to anyone who can tune into his programme. Messages arrive from other souls, they must ask: what is Radio Imagination?

Based on the novel by Seiko Ito
Translated by Yuka Harada-Parr
Music by Rio Harada-Parr
Directed by Kelsey Yuhara

Haiku Writing Competition

Aid For Japan also ran a haiku writing contest, with one special winner grabbing a copy of Akemi Tanaka’s The Power of Chowa as a prize.

Using Matt Perkins’ useful video guide, people were encouraged to conjure up their own haikum which is a poem of seventeen syllables:

– A line of five syllables
– A line of seven syllables
– Another line of five syllables

The topic usually calls to mind a particular season, but a haiku may also include observations about nature, animals, love and everyday life.

The shortlist of entries is below – and congratulations to James Ellis who won with his evocative entry.

Q&A With Akemi Tanaka – Founder of Aid For Japan

People had the opportunity to ask questions and hear about the experiences of Akemi Tanaka, the founder of the charity, Aid For Japan. Watch the Facebook live event here.

The Power Of Chowa

‘Chowa’ is a Japanese concept that is both a philosophy and a set of practices that can help us get to the heart of what is most important to us, and, change our way of thinking about ourselves and others.

Akemi Tanaka’s book The Power of Chowa enables us to look at our lives from a genuinely fresh perspective. From the simple everyday challenges of keeping the toilet clean, to our relationships, to work-life balance, to dealing with death and disaster – and even for running a charity, Akemi shines a light on coping and problem-solving techniques by focussing less on a desired harmonious result, and more on how to complement and balance the opposing forces life so often throws at us.

Introduction to Japanese Girls Day Hina Dolls

We learned about the tradition of Hina dolls (雛人形, Hina-ningyō) used to celebrate Girls Day (雛祭り, Hina-matsuri) in Japan.

Aid For Japan’s founder Akemi Tanaka , who is also a lecturer of Japanese culture, looked at and explained her daughter’s collection.

A Guide To Making Sushi 🍣🥢

Sophie Arias presented a tasty guide to making Californian sushi rolls. Enjoy!

How to make Dashi (miso soup stock)

This is Yuka Harada-Parr’s very simple recipe on how to make dashi (miso soup stock) using only vegan ingredients. All you need is konbu (dried kelp) and water!

Aid for Japan: 10th Anniversary Testimonials

“This year, on the tenth anniversary of the charity’s being established, the money we raise will continue to support orphanages in the region in their valuable work, and to fund trips to the UK for those children who have not yet come of age, who we hope to welcome back to the UK in the near future.”

Read some personal stories from some of the people involved with Aid For Japan over the ten years of its existence on our testimonials page here.


The collective artwork from the #1000Cranes project to mark the ten year anniversary of the charity and to commemorate the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Thank you to all those who participated!

Follow Aid For Japan on social media to keep up to date!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Aidforjapan
Twitter: @Aid_For_Japan
YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/AidforjapanUk2011
Instagram: @AidForJapan

Aid For Japan would like to thank the following for their help and assistance in creating this cultural fair: Matt Perkins, Sumika Hayakawa, Yuka Harada-Parr, Tony Parr, Sophie Arias, Rimi Solloway, Bree Van Zyl, Paul Browne, Richard Pennington, Cordelia Lawler, Mr Oyama and Saito-Sensei, the staff and pupils at the Griffin Federation and Akiharu Kitagawa.

Aid For Japan would also like to extend its grateful thanks to all those that have either donated or helped Aid For Japan in other ways across ten years of operation.