Saturday, April 23, 2011


Someone you can rely on
Passport to Hope
Power of people
One love
Railroad for your "life" train
= S.U.P.P.O.R.T.

“311” has become the most terrifying number for the people in Japan, and probably for so many people around the world. There have been a countless national disasters in the history of our mother earth. And there have been a countless man-made disasters in our human history. No matter how it happens, every tragedy is devastating for anyone involved. But as far as I can remember, I don’t think there have been too many devastating tragedies affecting one whole nation by both national disaster and man-made disaster at the same time. You can’t never measure which is greater or less. But this is for sure… “311” will be remembered as the day of one major tragedy in history around the world. As of April 5th, it is reported, more than 27,000 people have passed away or/and are still missing from tsunami, and more than 163,000 are staying at nearly 2300 evacuation sites and of course a countless more people are living in their houses even they are partially destroyed. (ex: a 70 yrs old lady living in a small laundry room located on the 3rd floor/roof of her house in Sendai)

“Everything will be alright.” We all say it. We hang on to those words. We have faith, though it seems to disappear we hang on to faith. We try to calm ourselves and try to keep our heads up. We try to crawl, we try to get on our knees, we try to stand on our feet, and we try to take one step forward… But when the ground – the fundamentals of nature and human – metaphorically and literally gets shaken up, it is HARD to even crawl. I have to say, this is where we are at…. 40 days after the Higashi-Nihon Dai-Shinsai (Eastern Japan Disaster) as known as “311.”

Japan has received so many aids and donations from around the world. On behalf of people in Japan, I truly appreciate all of your contributions. The Red Cross is one of the official organizations to collect donations around the world. I have nothing against them, they are also dealing with the law and politics (they are required to pay 40% of tax out of donations they collected)… however, as of April, they have collected more than one billion US dollars (accurate number unknown since it’s increasing by minute) at Red Cross alone. And this is how they are going to share the donations at this time:

350,000 JPN YEN = approx. US$4,110- ($1=\85)
- -> per family whose house was completely destroyed or/and one or more family member was deceased
- -> per family who are in the area of “mandatory evacuation” or order to stay in the house(are not allow to evacuate =cannot even step outside of the house) within a radius of 20km-30km from the Fukushima nuclear power plant

180,000 JPAN YEN = approx. US$2,120- ($1=\85)
- -> per family whose house was partially destroyed

We have a lot to say to the government and crooked laws… We have a lot to say to the system. We have a lot to say to Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company). It is easy to destroy the existing government by criticizing them, protesting and re-electing. However, I personally think that if we did that at this very moment, everything would stop, even the aid to the disaster areas on top of having them to deal with LACK of aid even a month later. The 1/3 of the country has been destroyed. This is not the time to create a riot. It is time to do whatever we can to help each other when the government can’t do it to save lives, innocent lives.

As some of you know, I have family in Sendai, Miyagi – one of the cities tragically destroyed by the earthquake and the tsunami. There are so many cities destroyed worse than Sendai-city. People in Sendai has been trying to clean up the city and rebuild their lives on their own without enough official help from the government, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces as well as other major organizations from outside of the city/country even 40 days after. They all went to Ishinomaki-shi, the next city. Of course the numbers of missing and deceased persons and the size of area destroyed by tsunami are greater and Ishinomaki definitely needed immediate rescue. But People in Sendai-city fell in the crack of receiving aid in any kind of ways since that day… and it still continues after 40 days later.

This is just one example. I only know this because I have family there. I am pretty sure there are more cities or even towns that have fallen in the crack. Minami-Souma-city in Fukushima is another one, but mostly by the man-made disaster led by the 311 - the explosion of the nuclear power plants. Minami-Souma-city is located JUST outside of a radius of 30km from the reactors (a small part of the city IS within a radius of 30km). This city is also left isolated. The mayor of the city, Mr. Katsunobu Sakurai was just named as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine for his courage to speak to the world via youtube right after the quake (new video with English subtitle). Since the explosion and the radiation leak, NO ONE wanted to get close to the city even though the city was outside of the mandatory evacuation area. Everyone in Minami-Souma-city are victim of “Fuhyo-higai” (means financial damage caused by harmless rumor), for them their lives were in danger even they survived from both the quake and the tsunami because NO TRUCK wanted to deliver aid to them…

In the midst of “Fuhyo-higai”, the head of a non-profit organization called the Okinawa Water Patrol System (OWPS) in Okinawa, Taishi Otono formed a private rescue team, called Hachidori , means Hamming bird, just 3 days after the quake. Have you heard of an old tale from South America called “A Tale of Kurikindi”? It goes:

The forest was on fire.
All of the animals, insects, and birds in the forest rushed to escape.
But there was one little hummingbird named Kurikindi, or Golden Bird, who stayed behind.
This little bird went back and forth between water and fire, dropping a single drop of water from its beak onto the fire below.
When the animals saw this, they began to laugh at Kurikindi.
"Why are you doing that?" they asked.
And Kurikindi replied, "I am only doing what I can do."

The team of Hachidori (sorry website only in Japanese) gathered everything they could get their hands on, bottles of water, canned food, blankets, batteries, so many more necessities and donations they collected with the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts in Okinawa and drove all the way to Minami-Souma-City where nobody wanted to step their foot in… And they still and will continue to do so.

The Japanese government cannot even deal with what’s in front of them… Civilians are moving forward and saving so many people’s lives. We just cannot wait for the government or/and any major organizations to decide what to do and to make a move. THIS is what we are dealing with right now in Japan. The real support we can give is what those in need really want and need. We cannot ignore their voice in order to support. We cannot support them so that we will be satisfied that we did something good. We have to be responsible in the process of support. This is going to be a very long “battle” for all of them… no, for US.

What is said here is my own personal opinion and I take full responsible for my words. As I personally have fallen in a crack of the social system as a single parent doing my own business, I would like to help those are in the crack of the system. And if you, my friends, agree, I would appreciate if if you’d help the city of Sendai and this brave organization - Hachidori, as well as the city of Minami-Souma with me.

If you are going to continue to make donations, I would appreciate it if you’d consider the following accounts as your priority. It will need to be wire-transferred which may require you to spend $40-50 handling fee (vary) at your bank. Yes, it’s gonna be very inconvenient for you to send money because you can’t just click and send online. However, I believe these are a very few ways to have your donations go directly to those in need faster and accurately.

a) Monetary donations for disaster victims in Sendai City
Bank: The 77Bank, Ltd.
Swift Code: BOSSJPJT
Branch Name: Sendai Shiyakusho Branch
Branch Address: 3-7-1 Kokubuncho, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Beneficiary’s Name: Sendai-shi Saigai Taisaku Honbu
Beneficiary’s Saving Account Number: 207-9072179
Beneficiary’s Address: 3-7-1 Kokubuncho, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

b) monetary donations for reconstructing Sendai City
Bank: The 77Bank, Ltd.
Swift Code: BOSSJPJT
Branch Name: Sendai Shiyakusho Branch
Branch Address: 3-7-1 Kokubuncho, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Beneficiary’s Name: Sendai-shi Saigai Taisaku Honbu
Beneficiary’s Saving Account Number: 207-5334233
Beneficiary’s Address: 3-7-1 Kokubuncho, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Sendai city has set up two different accounts for donations. You can choose where you want your contributions go to.

c) Minami-Souma city account for donation
Bank : shichijyushichi bank (= 77 bank) “bank code 0125”
Bank branch : Haramachi
Branch code : 915
Saving account : 5343097
Name : Minamisoma-shi saigai taisaku honbu honbutyou Sakurai Katunobu

d) Hachidori (under the name of OWPS’s foundation, Umibenoinochi )
Bank: Yucho bank (Japan Post Bank)
Bank code: 9900
Branch: Ichinanakyu
Branch code: 179
Saving account: 0070759
Name: Umibenoinochi

If you have any questions about the donations to those accounts, please let me know.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my, very long, plea. I’m not (yet) financially successful enough to donate as much as I want to. But I HAVE YOU. YOU are my blessings in life. YOU are my asset in my life. I am successful in life because I have you all. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. I’ve thought about what I can do as long as I have since the quake. This is what I can do for now. And I’m going to continue as much as I can as long as they need. I just pray some of you will walk this journey with me, side by side.

Thank you.

April 22nd, 2011

P.S. My friends in the Bay area are having a benefit event on May 5th, 2011 at Club 6 in San Francisco! If you are in the area, please go support!! Thank you.