Nikkei Matsuri Presents An Evening of ‘Music From The Heart’

April 27, 2012, Friday
Nikkei Matsuri Presents An Evening of ‘Music From The Heart’
Featuring Ayako Hosokawa
7:00-9:00pm (Doors open at 6:30pm)
San Jose Buddhist Betsuin Gymnasium

As a well known vocalist in the Bay Area Japanese American community, Ayako shares her love of music and song with a variety of popular and contemporary American music that she has grown to love during her international music career. This evening, she will be accompanied by: Shota Okabe, Bob Kenmotsu, Ken Okada and Rich Alegria.

A portion of the concert proceeds will be donated to JCCCNC’s Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Tickets are $15 ($20 at the door) and are available from Nikkei Traditions-San Jose Japantown, Wesley Methodist Church, Yu Ai Kai and Nikkei Matsuri Board Members.

Help still needed after record-breaking year for disasters

By Natalie Angley, CNN
December 10, 2011

From tornadoes to flooding to paralyzing ice storms, the United States was severely affected by 12 natural disasters in 2011 that cost more than $1 billion each and claimed hundreds of lives, according to the <a href='' target='_blank'>National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration</a>.From tornadoes to flooding to paralyzing ice storms, the United States was severely affected by 12 natural disasters in 2011 that cost more than $1 billion each and claimed hundreds of lives, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • 12 billion-dollar weather related disasters have been recorded in the U.S.
  • The total cost of these events exceeds $50 billion
  • Relief organizations are providing long-term aid for victims
  • If you want to help, donationscan be as simple as sending a text

(CNN) — From the tsunami in Japan to famine in East Africa to the deadly tornado outbreaks in the United States, 2011 has been a historic year for natural disasters.

A dozen weather-related disasters in the United States alone have caused more than $1 billion in damages each, breaking the record of nine billion-dollar disasters set in 2008, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Altogether, the damage from these events exceeds $50 billion.

“In many ways, 2011 rewrote the record books. From crippling snowstorms to the second deadliest tornado year on record to epic floods, drought and heat, and the third busiest hurricane season on record, we’ve witnessed the extreme of nearly every weather category,” said NOAA spokesman Christopher Vaccaro.

Dynamic 2011 events to shape world for years to come

Relief organizations have been working year-round to provide emergency aid when disaster strikes and long-term assistance in the months and years that follow. Oftentimes, help is needed long after the media attention subsides.

“Recovery is a very long process. People are so grateful for that temporary place to stay, that hot meal,” said Jeff Jellets, territorial disaster coordinator for The Salvation Army. “But we really look at how we can restore families back to their predisaster condition.

“Until those communities are rebuilt, the job just isn’t done.”

This year, there have been more than 1,000 weather-related fatalities in the United States, according to NOAA. Many of those occurred when deadly tornadoes ripped through the Southeast and Midwest this spring and summer.

Vote for the top stories of 2011

In late April, an estimated 343 tornadoes ripped through central and Southern states, killing 321 people, 240 of which were in Alabama. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was particularly devastated. Then, less than a month later, 160 people were killed when a tornado with 200 mph winds struck Joplin, Missouri, making it the deadliest single tornado to strike the United States since modern tornado record-keeping began.

Months later, many of these communities are still in need.

“People are starting the process of rebuilding, so we’re helping them with things like appliances and rebuilding materials so they can get back in their homes,” Jellets said. “But then there are a number of people in places like Hackleburg, Alabama, which was really significantly damaged by a tornado, where people are still in the emergency assistance phase.”

In August, Hurricane Irene made landfall over coastal North Carolina and headed north, killing 45 people and causing torrential rainfall and flooding across the Northeast.

“The real damage was inland flooding, particularly in places like upstate New York and Vermont. The Salvation Army still has distribution centers where we’re handing out cleaning supplies and food boxes,” Jellets said. “But some of those communities were away from the media spotlight. What we can do is going to be very difficult over the long haul unless more donations come in for those events.”

The American Red Cross has responded to 131 disaster relief operations in 44 separate states so far this year.

“We opened more than 1,000 shelters across the nation for disasters such as Hurricane Irene and the tornadoes,” said Laura Howe, American Red Cross spokesperson. “That’s in comparison to 37 shelters that we opened across the nation in 2010.”

Outside the United States, there have been several major disasters, including the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the ensuing nuclear catastrophe, famine in East Africa and flooding in Thailand.

The American Red Cross and other U.S.-based aid organizations joined international efforts to help Japan after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami killed 15,840 people, according to the most recent death toll, and set off a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

“A lot of the donations the American Red Cross has provided are supporting the rebuilding of hospitals and medical centers and providing social welfare programs for elderly and children,” Howe said. “Any time you have a large disaster, the recovery process is going to take a number of years.”

The Salvation Army is helping Japanese fishermen get back to work.

“Just recently we provided funding to help many of the fishermen there get their boats and their wares back together so they can get back to the business that they know, which is commercial fishing,” said Salvation Army spokesman Maj. George Hood.

In the Horn of Africa, some regions are slowly recovering five months after the United Nations declared a famine in much of Somalia. The disaster has killed tens of thousands of people and 250,000 are still at risk of starvation.

The World Food Programme is aiming to feed 11 million people in East Africa. The organization is currently reaching almost 8 million.

“It’s crucially important that especially the children and nursing mothers get highly fortified supplementary foods. For $10 you can feed a woman or a child for three weeks,” said WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher. “Hunger is the biggest solvable global problem we have. For very little, you really can help change a life.”

Ways to help

As relief organizations continue to provide aid to victims around the world, here are a few ways you can help.

To donate to the American Red Cross, go online or text “REDCROSS” to 90999 in the midst of a disaster or to make a donation to the general disaster relief fund.

During the holiday season, browse the Holiday Giving Catalog to buy a gift in someone’s honor like five blankets for disaster victims at home or emergency water containers for people in other countries.

You can also visit the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ website to donate to a national society in a specific country.

To donate to The Salvation Army, go online, text “GIVE” to 80888, or drop some spare change in one of the red kettles you see around town during the holidays.

When you donate online or through the mail, you can designate your gift to a specific disaster.

To help feed people in the Horn of Africa, donations can be made to the World Food Programme from various countries online or via text.

To donate $10 from the United States, text “AID” to 27722; to donate $5 from Canada, text “RELIEF” to 45678; to donate £3 from the United Kingdom text “AID” to 70303.

Or you can test your knowledge by taking the Horn of Africa quiz. For every person who participates, a child will receive a warm meal thanks to an anonymous donor.

HELPING NORTHERN JAPAN RECOVER: A community effort raises $3.5 million for disaster-hit regions

July 21, 2011 By TOMO HIRAI Nichi Bei Weekly

The great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami ravaged the eastern shoreline of Japan while many in the United States were asleep on March 11. Japan had been prepared for earthquakes and tsunami, a fact of life living on an island nation on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, but nothing of this caliber.

The earthquake struck off the coast of Sendai, a major port city in Miyagi Prefecture on the northeastern portion of the nation. The violent shaking was recorded at a magnitude of 9.0 and caused damage even in the nation’s capital of Tokyo — more than 200 miles away.

The earthquake, now considered among one of the world’s four most severe earthquakes to be recorded since 1900 and the worst in Japan’s modern history, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, had done limited damage to the country. However, the onslaught of a massive tsunami brought true destruction.

The tsunami rose as high as 40 meters high (131.2 feet) in height and traveled as far as 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) inland according to Kyodo News, sweeping away cars, boats, homes and lives.

As of July 16, more than 15,000 people have been confirmed dead and 5,000 more remain missing, according to the National Police Agency of Japan. While many who have family outside of the affected areas have moved out, others remain stranded in evacuation shelters.

Takeno (Chiyo) Suzuki, who serves as a coordinator for international relations (CIR) for the Miyagi Prefectural Government in Sendai, said the issues survivors must face have changed since March 11.

(read the full story)

Mari Gruner at the Keizai Fundraiser for Ashinaga

Mari Gruner of Cobalt Power shares her thoughts and best wishes for the Japan Relief effort at the recent “Turning Crisis into Opportunities – What Silicon Valley can do to help Rebuild Japan” fundraiser, Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at Xerox PARC in Menlo Park, CA. The fundraiser raised monies for the Ashinaga program, helping the orphans in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.

Music for Relief

Linkin Park Japan Relief Not Alone T-Shirt

Music for Relief is artists, music industry professionals, and fans working together to create positive change. Our mission is to support disaster relief and reduce global warming.

Art at Night Chinese Culture Center

Thursday, May 19, 2011.

A benefit for the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund
750 Kearny St. San Francisco

Featuring art by Zheng Chongbin
& jazz by the Francis Wong Unit

Asian Improv aRts, Francis Wong

On Thursday May 19, the Chinese Culture Center will present its first installment of Art at Night, a series dedicated to providing the community with space to enjoy great art and great food, and contribute to a great cause. This inaugural event will pair the opening of the Center’s 2011 XianRui (Fresharp) artist’s series, Zheng Chongbin’s White Ink, with an exclusive concert, Sumie Sounds, by renowned jazz ensemble, the Francis Wong Unit. Tickets to Sumie Sounds are $25 and include light hors d’ oeuvres, a glass of wine and entry for an 8pm raffle generously sponsored by the Hilton San Francisco Financial District hotel. The winner and a guest will receive complimentary airfare for two and a 2 night stay in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront (must be present to win).

All proceeds will benefit the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund created by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC). Inspired by the fluidity, innovation, and pulse of ink painting, this event pays homage to shared Japanese and Chinese artistic traditions and to Asian American community solidarity.