2:46pm, 11 March 2011: children were at school in the hills high up above the coast; fishermen were at the beach; mothers were in their homes by the sea.

On this seemingly ordinary day, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, followed by a tsunami, hit north-east Japan, subsequently destroying several nuclear power plants and causing untold damage. The death toll reached 15,844: 3,450 people are still missing and more than 260,000 are currently living in temporary emergency housing that is unsuitable for the harsh winter of north-east Japan.

Most children survived the disaster, as they were at school in the hills when the earthquake struck. However, nearly 2,000 of the children are reported to have lost their parent(s) or guardians, who were either at home, fishing out at sea or working at offices along the coast. But not only have these children lost their homes and families, but also their parents’ unconditional love and support for their emotions, education and everyday life. The official number of orphans is expected to rise still, whilst the international media has switched its attention to other events and has ostensibly moved on from this continually unfolding human tragedy.

Who is looking after the lost children now, and what will their futures be in two years, five years and ten years’ time, long after the news has been forgotten?

OPENING HOURS
Saturday 3–Friday 9 March 2012, 10AM–6PM daily

VENUE
39 Dover Street, London W1S 4NN

WEBSITE
http://www.nowandfuturejapan.org.uk

RECEPTION & LIVE AUCTION
Monday 5 March 2012, 6:30–9PM
Curated and directed by EIKO HONDA

NOW&FUTURE: JAPAN is a contemporary art project set up by a group of London-based art professionals. Consisting of three simultaneous programmes together with an evening reception, educational events for children and academic talks for adults, our aim is to raise urgent social awareness and financial support for the children who lost their parent(s) or guardians in the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. In order to achieve this goal, the programmes provide multiple approaches to engage with the issue through contemporary art. Please visit our website, www.nowandfuturejapan.org.uk, for further information on each event. Any financial contributions raised through this project will be donated to the Tokyo-based charity ASHINAGA, which is committed to providing emotional, financial and social support to children in need.

Read the full catalogue here.


FOREWORD by David Elliot

NOW&FUTURE, the name of this event, expresses the human need for expiation, exorcism, remembrance and hope. It has been organised in response to the terrible earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan on 11 March 2011 as well as to the many chain reactions that have resulted from it: the desolate loss of loved ones, the destruction of homes and communities and the continuing threat of nuclear pollution that will remain for many years.

The earthquake, Level 9 on the Richter Scale, has made us acutely aware of our common vulnerability. On the rare occasions we directly experience such force, we tremble before the sublime power of nature, yet our hubris is such that we believe ourselves to be its masters. We believe we can profit from this still barely tapped power. There are lessons to be learnt. Profit is not the same as benefit. Such power cannot be fully contained or predicted. The present and what will come after it are informed by the past – both our prison and teacher. Nowhere is this more evident than in the intuitive yet analytical power of contemporary art in which the materials and memories of the past are critically used to envisage and build something new. There has to be hope, a belief in the future. In even the most barren wasteland, green shoots will grow. For any artist, creativity, clarity of vision, the ability to dream are terrifyingly open responsibilities that demand an understanding of both the best and the worst that life can offer as well as a devotion to truth in expression. As you can see from the work so generously donated here, as well as in the enactment of Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece, art, if it is any good, reconciles the irreconcilable in a resolution of terror and humanity in a new, complete and beautiful state.

In this way, art supports and nurtures the future. Echoing this, the proceeds from these donations will help to ensure that the children so grievously affected by this tragedy can again begin to see a future in spite of their irreconcilable loss.


YOKO ONO: Mend Piece by Eiko Honda

Mend an object.
When you go through the process of mending, you
mend something inside your soul as well.
Think of a “crack” in your own life or the World.
Ask for it to be healed as you mend the object.
— Yoko Ono

Breaking and mending is a process we human beings – and perhaps the entire universe – have always been engaged in. The world began with a big bang (at least according to the currently most acknowledged scientific theory), leaving the universe with broken clusters and gases and letting them gradually mend themselves into forms of harmonious galaxies. Throughout human history, we have constantly fought one another, destroying people’s homes, family ties and hopes for life. The human race has also always fallen in love and built affection for one another, nature, culture and objects. Although one may repeatedly experience heartbreak, desiring to see and experience what’s once been lost, disappeared or destroyed, people still believe in the nature of love and empathy that bears a possibility of mending.

YOKO ONO: Mend Piece (Unfinished Paintings and Objects, Indica Gallery, London, 1966) Photo by Iain Macmillan © Yoko Ono

Ono’s Mend Piece was initially exhibited when the artist was invited to have her solo show in London at Indica Gallery in 1966. Since then, the artwork has been re-visited in response to a number of social traumas as a metaphor for ‘mending’ personal and collective memories, including Mend Piece for John (1968), Mend Piece to the World (2001) and, on this occasion, for NOW&FUTURE: JAPAN to commemorate one year since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster of 11 March 2011 – and, more importantly, to support one of the most vulnerable groups affected by the catastrophe: children who lost their parent/s.

The artwork is indeed not for sale. Therefore, unlike NOW&FUTURE: JAPAN’s coinciding programmes 2000 CHILDREN and BE/LONGINGS, Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece does not necessarily generate any direct financial aid to support the children. However, the power of contemporary art in such circumstances does not reside only in its ability to generate finances. Art may have a different meaning from one person to another, but within this very context, I believe that contemporary art has the possibility to set up an arena for people from any background to relate to the same social issue. This may be accessed through engagement with one’s own personal predicament – which consequently may lead to the mending of one’s ‘own life or the World’. It may require a personal, and sometimes public, openness to engage with the subject in order to construct a dialogue, develop a relationship and potentially negotiate a common ground for which one can come to terms.

The audience-participatory artwork Mend Piece consists of broken ceramics, and invites its viewers to put the pieces back together using glue and other materials. The fragmented pieces are symbolic of individuals’ heartbreak and trauma; reassembling the pieces is a metaphor for healing themselves and the world.

Through this act instructed by Ono and performed by the audience, the work acquires its own meaning and completes itself as art.

one’s own ‘broken’ experiences on to the ceramics within this exhibition’s context diverts the collective trauma from being merely a topic in the media or about the ‘orphans’ to a much more personal issue – hence releasing the predicament of indifference caused by the socially, culturally and perhaps geographically constructed anonymous categorization.

Now are all these processes of breaking really inevitable? It might be difficult to imagine the world could ever become a place without a war or natural disaster. Nor can we erase the past. However, we can reduce the damage and work on mending our present condition. Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece installed in this context is not an encouragement for self-pity, but instead it inspires social empowerment. The repaired crockery with its visible cracks may not appear the same as it originally looked – in the same way that the restoration of love and peace may not necessarily lead one to the same state that was previously experienced. Mend Piece alludes to the notion of imagined peace – now and in the future, of the personal and the collective, with a greater uniqueness and calm strength held within.

The broken crockery that comprises Mend Piece exhibited here is anonymous – just like the parentless children reported on the news, reduced to statistics and labelled as ‘orphans’. The destroyed, seemingly worthless plain ceramic pieces, without existing homes or destinations, are simply nameless objects that have lost their original functions and values. The same may apply to the ‘orphaned’ children. The word ‘orphan’ has the ability to invoke pity and sympathy in us, which can be applied to a positive effect. Yet, whilst it brings out the characteristics of the children’s particular family circumstances, it also suppresses your imagination to relate yourself to them on a person-to-person level. One may lose sight of the fact that the children – in the same way that we all are – are also unique individuals with their own personal concerns, memories and relationships with the world. This act of anonymous categorization puts them into an indifferent, mutually alien position of ‘us’ and ‘them’. On one level, the children do need to be easily identified in order to call for crucial support – not only immediate, but also long term. However, on another level, this creates a frustrating dilemma where they can seek and receive external help only on the condition that they accept the socially and culturally generated connotations of themselves as ‘abandoned’, ‘victims’ and ‘unloved’, which sets them back from becoming themselves as individuals, free from misery.

YOKO ONO: Mend Piece - Installation View, “Between the Sky and My Head”, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK, 2008–2009. Photo by Dan Brady © Yoko Ono

Ono’s Mend Piece proclaims an end to this dilemma of anonymous categorization, and animates the ceramic pieces with individualities whilst inviting exhibition visitors to participate in the mending process. The audience may not directly relate themselves to the 3.11 disaster or the affected children, but however large or small in scale, each visitor may have his or her own memories that may need mending – just like the children who are undeniably forced to carry a personal and collective ‘crack’ in their hearts at a very early stage in their lives.

Projecting one’s own ‘broken’ experiences on to the ceramics within this exhibition’s context diverts the collective trauma from being merely a topic in the media or about the ‘orphans’ to a much more personal issue – hence releasing the predicament of indifference caused by the socially, culturally and perhaps geographically constructed anonymous categorization.

Now are all these processes of breaking really inevitable? It might be difficult to imagine the world could ever become a place without a war or natural disaster. Nor can we erase the past. However, we can reduce the damage and work on mending our present condition. Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece installed in this context is not an encouragement for self-pity, but instead it inspires social empowerment. The repaired crockery with its visible cracks may not appear the same as it originally looked – in the same way that the restoration of love and peace may not necessarily lead one to the same state that was previously experienced. Mend Piece alludes to the notion of imagined peace – now and in the future, of the personal and the collective, with a greater uniqueness and calm strength held within.

1. WISH PIECE II, posted on Yoko Ono’s online project 100 Acorns: 100 days of conceptual instructions by Yoko Ono, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 


2000 CHILDREN by Francis Outred

In March 2011, Japan was devastatingly impacted by one of the largest earthquakes and tsunamis in history, levelling much of the north-east of the country. One year on, NOW&FUTURE: JAPAN is focusing its attention on the terrible aftermath and toll on human life that these natural events have left as their legacies. Nearly 2,000 children are thought to have lost their parents or guardians in the disaster, and it is for these most vulnerable members of society that international support is especially needed.

NOW&FUTURE: JAPAN is a remarkable concept, marrying three contemporary art events in order to raise crucial funds and awareness for Japan. I am delighted to be able to support such a project on behalf of Christie’s, assisting with the live auction of carefully selected contemporary works by Marina Abramović, Andy Goldsworthy, Chiharu Shiota, Kiki Smith, Cornelia Parker, Isaac Julien, Aziz + Cucher, Fred Wilson, Fred Tomaselli, Antony Gormley, Tal Regev, Alfredo Jaar, Whitney McVeigh and Richard Wilson.

Together, these artists have offered works that demonstrate their solidarity with the country during this time of recovery. Antony Gormley’s BODY XX (2011) is a deeply human and sensitive work characteristic of his oeuvre. The body’s aura appears to radiate outwards, the casein and carbon bleeding into the paper.

In Chiharu Shiota’s Zustand des Seins (Schlüssel)/State of Being (Keys) (2011), the clutch of keys is obscured within a web of black, taking on a unique poignancy within the context of Japan and the difficult road to recovery. Marina Abramović’s iconic Portrait with Falcon (2010) has a similar resonance; its silent nobility draws parallels with the stoicism and courage of the Japanese people.

All of the proceeds are destined for ASHINAGA, a remarkable Tokyo-based charity providing long-term financial, educational and pastoral support to those orphans left destitute following the disaster. The live auction, to be held on Monday, 5 March 2012, will be an exceptional occasion, harnessing the visual and emotive power of contemporary art in order to celebrate and support the essential work of this very worthy charity. I greatly look forward to the event and hope you will join me in supporting this valuable cause.

Francis Outred
International Director and Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie’s, Europe


 BE/LONGINGS by Keiko Koshihara

Remnants
On the morning of 11 March 2011, I was ready to catch my flight home to Japan, counting the hours until I’d see my family, when I heard the news of the earthquake and tsunami. Every 10 minutes we were told of the rising number of victims. The differences between the Japanese and English media brought confusion about what I was supposed to tell my family – what was right to mention without causing anxiety – or simply what to believe. My feelings were dominated by an ambiguous sense of guilt: people are suffering, but I am not; people are worried, but I am safe; people are trying to help each other, but I cannot reach anyone, nor do I have the skills to do so.

Amongst the debris of the Tohoku earthquake lay fragments of photographs, children’s toys, old shoes and prosaic domestic objects, punctuating the rubble. These abandoned belongings, accumulated markers of people’s lives now separated from absent owners, gave a poignant sense of scale to the destruction. Yet this word ‘belongings’ also infers another meaning – a sense of longing; a connection to a home, a family, a community; memories; formative experiences. When victims of the quake had their places of belonging destroyed, a global community expressed solidarity through charitable action and relief support, invoking a multiplicity of the senses of belonging from around the world.

Art is often associated with the idea of personal perspective or individual vision, but perhaps this disaster has brought a sense of unity: people helping each other, asking after each other and trying to remain strong for each other. Hence the exhibition BE/LONGINGS is neither a survey nor a national show, but considers the works of artists gathered together through a common concern and a desire to help the survivors rebuild their places of belonging.

The Coming Community
Ruin has always been of interest for Kounosuke Kawakami. The word ‘ruin’ usually refers to an abandoned space, yet it is also a result of urban activity and the spaces it leaves in between. In this case, Kawakami’s work can be described as a separation between what we once held as a vision of the future and the reality that we cannot overcome the power of nature. Similarly, Masakatsu Kondo’s landscape paintings are assembled from found images, fragments of space somehow familiar yet unknown that may never have existed. Kondo plays upon our notions of authenticity, calling into question advancements in technology.

There is no zero in Tatsuo Miyajima’s work, only the digits one through nine. His work represents life through measurable units of time: the given seconds, minutes and hours may be the same, but our personal perception differs. Kentaro Kobuke’s works are drawings made from memory: false memory, amnesia and hypermnesia are intertwined as if the layers of flashback are collaged into one space. The intuition of the collective unconscious is present in Tomoko Takahashi’s new work Untitled. The piece, created shortly after the earthquake, represents the accelerated emotions of fear and worry. Conversely, Peter McDonald’s portrayal of everyday scenes occupies a space between direct representation and vibrant, playful abstraction. His work reminds us of our dependency on sharing, caring, meeting, dwelling and loving through interaction. MAYU has chosen a tree as a motif of life, with its maturation, wisdom and symbolism of hope – but, most importantly, the will to face the future.

By contrast, Tomoko Yoneda’s photographs visit places where historical events have taken place, but unlike reportage photography, her practice reminds us of the transience of individual memories. Goro Murayama’s work highlights iterative changes in the ‘natural drift’ of the evolutionary process, expressed through a purposefully primal approach. Tadashi Kawamata transforms our environment through public interventions that explore the relations between people, space and materiality. Whilst fine art may have abandoned the means of materiality in some contemporary practices, Ryota Aoki’s ceramic works are material interpretations of everyday items. Though his art operates from a long craft tradition, his work does not purely repeat the past, but evolves from it.

The State of Exception
The idea of donating to a children’s charity came about primarily through our concern for the children affected by the disaster, but we also felt a certain resonance with art. Art cannot be judged at the point that an artist finishes creating it – works grow through exhibitions, events, critical appraisal and support. In some ways, it is akin to how children need to be brought up with care, positive experiences and challenges. Art may not be able to directly save lives like a rescue worker on the ground can, but it opens up possibilities for community, creativity and hope.

After nearly a year has passed, it has become increasingly difficult to follow the situation in north-east Japan – a story rarely reported on by the foreign media. In the harsh winter, people spent their Christmas and New Year in temporary housing. There remains the problem of moving a massive quantity of debris, which has caused delays in reconstruction or has simply been left untouched. These traces of damage show how, for many of the victims in the affected areas, time has stopped since 11 March 2011. This exhibition is dedicated to the people who have suffered, to those who have cared for them and to those working to aid the recovery effort; most importantly, we dedicate this exhibition to the children who require support from ASHINAGA.


ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES: BE/LONGINGS

RYOTA AOKI | b.1978 Aoki is a contemporary alchemist, experimenting with an array of clays and glazes. While his practice takes the form of traditional ceramics, some of his works move beyond the field of applied art. By transforming familiar objects through placing them in ceremonial settings, he questions the functions of everyday items. Sometimes exaggerating their appearance, his work enhances the objects’ meanings. In its simplest form, this work has no sgraffito – no scratches or additional ornaments, just a flood of iridescence. The light pours into the bowl like a glimmering reflection on water, ever changing. Aoki is renowned for developing a network of young studio potters, rebuilding a practice dormant for some 400 years.

KOUNOSUKE KAWAKAMI | b.1979 Kawakami’s works draw on our materiality, incorporating detritus from the real world as a point of reference. Constructed through the careful juxtaposition of flat planes of colour with the deep perspective of computergenerated architectural models, these disjointed fantasy worlds speak of a future landscape, irrevocably changed by our actions. Kawakami has curated several group shows, including Tech-Mach- Maya-Com in Tokyo (2007) and Twenty in London (2009). His first solo exhibitions included Mindustrial Evolution at BEARSPACE in London (2006) and the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. Kawakami was awarded a scholarship by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs and won a VOCA Prize.

TADASHI KAWAMATA | b.1953 Kawamata’s work encompasses architecture, city planning, history and sociology. Making intimate transformations to our environment, he questions our milieu by deconstructing and adapting existing structures and even whole towns in order to refresh our views of the world. His large commissions of ephemeral architecture involve extensive research and utilise reclaimed materials, mainly wood. Kawamata has exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery, London, and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. In Germany, he has been part of Skulptur Projekte Münster and Documenta VIII and IX. Kawamata has also participated in many biennials – beginning with the 40th Venice Biennale in 1982 – and was the Artistic Director of the Yokohama Triennale, 2005.

KENTARO KOBUKE | b.1975 Kobuke’s anthropomorphic imagery reminds us of traditional Japanese paintings, expressing an animism embedded in Japanese cultural memory. The proliferation of the eye motif draws on studies from child psychology, recognising that eyes are one of the first expressions in our drawings. Eyes can connote not only an act of looking or even voyeurism, but also a sense of observance and remembrance. Kobuke has collaborated with COMME des GARÇONS and GYRE and Isetan/Loope Wheeler in Tokyo. Solo shows include Parfait at SCAI THE BATHHOUSE in Tokyo (2004), Names at AAA Gallery in Paris (2008) and the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. Kobuke’s works were also exhibited in 2010 at Saatchi Gallery, London, as part of highlights from the Franks-Suss Collection.

MASAKATSU KONDO | b.1962 Kondo’s paintings draw on the landscape depictions and symbolic imagery of the mass media; vulnerable creatures are posed against impossibly sublime scenery, the eerily enhanced scenes suggestive of a peculiarly modern sense of isolation. Though SNOW LAND avoids overt messages of isolation, the work shares the artist’s concern with the act of observing the grandeur of nature. The Romantic motif of man pitted against nature is not only a reminder of the transience of being, but also a call to stand up to face it. In 1990, Kondo won the Wilson Steel Memorial Medal at University College London and, in 1993, second place in the Granada Foundation Prize, Manchester; he was awarded second place in the UK’s John Moores Painting Prize in 1997.

MAYU | b.1976 MAYU’s work explores a world between reality and fantasy through layering different elements like a dream. Hinting at reality though photographic stages or selections of found images, she uses collage to convey the complexity of the materials, reflecting the intricacy of a heterotopia by framing a story for the audience to discover. The work I tree shows an inbetween sense of self and topia: observing the news from Japan, but not being there – and at the same time sympathising with the victims. Her persona is depicted covered by surrounding material and acting as the locus of a tree, representing the source of life.

PETER MCDONALD | b.1972 McDonald explores human relationships through a colourful world inhabited by flat figures whose heads have ballooned into oversized chromatic bulbs. These bulbous characters are variously separated or recombined – highlighting the importance of human interaction. By creating iconographic representations of the every day, McDonald forms images like lucid memories viewed through a surreal lens. McDonald won the UK’s John Moores Painting Prize in 2008. Recent work has included a commission by Art on the Underground: a 37-metre street-level mural at Southwark station in London. His first solo exhibition in Japan opened at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, in April 2011.

TATSUO MIYAJIMA | b.1957 Continual change, relationships and the idea of the everlasting: the concepts driving Miyajima’s iconic LED artwork are expressed in many sculpture and performance-based works. The Japanese word Ichigoichie, or ‘once in a lifetime’, reminds us that every passing moment is a chance to encounter, speak and discover. In the drawing Count Down, the neatly inscribed numbers are joined together as if Miyajima was restricted in movement. These carefully placed numerals show the intimacy of interrelations between people and their environments. The pace of given time is the same, yet it reminds us how individuals react differently.

GORO MURAYAMA | b.1983 Murayama is interested in the notion of the biotope – an environment where individuals form part of an ecosystem and respond to its metabolism, rather than dominate it. The artist creates a territorial ‘habitat’ within each work: conditioned through weathering and feedback, forms evolve organically, adapting to each other’s changes. After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts, Murayama was part of an exchange programme at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and achieved an MA in Fine Art. His work is in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and was exhibited at Art Egg 2010.

TOMOKO TAKAHASHI | b.1966 Takahashi’s work describes organised chaos. Responding to particular situations through her obsessive collection of objects, her works are carefully arranged – re-appropriating the functions of materials and images and creating a life collage into which the viewer can step inside. The work Untitled was made in response to the earthquake. The chaos of nature and the fear expressed in the artist’s comic-book graphics are paradoxically represented through an almost ritual representation as a folding screen. Takahashi was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2000. Her works can be found at Tate Modern, London, and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. Her solo shows include those at Mead Gallery, Coventry (2006); Serpentine Gallery, London (2005); UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2002) and the Kunsthalle Bern (2002).

TOMOKO YONEDA | b.1965 History is often woven from the dominant viewpoint of the powerful and influential. In the photography of Tomoko Yoneda, it is instead approached via anonymous memories and hidden traces of the every day and the ordinary. Her work evokes the transience of individual recollection, while foregrounding the idea of different viewpoints. Always informed by intensive locational research, Yoneda’s photographs are complex compositions of recent history that question and transcend the idea of factual reportage. The iconic work Lovers, Dunaújváros (formerly Stalin City), Hungary comes from her series After the Thaw. Yoneda’s work in Hungary takes water as its theme. Water flows freely, in contrast to the austere Soviet architecture that surrounds and contains it. Yoneda’s major exhibitions include Bye Bye Kitty!!!, New York City, and those at Roppongi Crossing, Tokyo (2010); Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh (2008); the Venice Biennale (2007); the Istanbul Biennial (2007) and the Yokohama Triennale (2005).


NOW&FUTURE

NOW&FUTURE is a non-profit voluntary collective established in London, 2011, in order to raise funds for an independent charity (ASHINAGA.org) registered in Japan. Unless otherwise agreed, the sale of the lots will result in contracts made between NOW&FUTURE and the Buyer.

All sales generated by NOW&FUTURE, in both the Silent and Live Auctions, will result with immediate effect in donations to the Japanese charity ASHINAGA.org. This organisation provides financial, educational and emotional support to children who lost their parents/guardians in the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, or who have a parent/guardian with a severe disability resulting from the disaster.

NOW&FUTURE would like to thank all of the artists who have generously donated their artwork; the artists’ supportive galleries and studio staff; our consultants, who have kindly given us their precious time and advice; the sponsors, who have, without hesitation, provided us with their invaluable services; and our friends and family – without their support and understanding, this project would not have been possible. Last but not least, we’d like to thank ASHINAGA; this organisation continues to provide vital emotional and social support to the nearly 2,000 children who lost their parents in the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

NOW&FUTURE TEAM:
EMAIL: [email protected]
TEL: 020 8133 0866 | FAX: 020 7691 7232
www.nowandfuturejapan.org.uk


ASHINAGA

ASHINAGA: educational and emotional support for orphans worldwide.

All of the proceeds raised at NOW&FUTURE: JAPAN events will be donated to ASHINAGA.org, a Japanese charity that provides financial, educational and emotional support to children who lost their parents or guardians in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.

For the past 40 years, the non-profit organisation ASHINAGA has helped orphaned children by providing interestfree loans and emotional support. The charity initially provided scholarships to children who had lost their parents/ guardians in traffic accidents, and the donations were obtained via streetcorner fund-raising activities. Today, ASHINAGA has expanded its support to orphaned children in 20 nations. Its activities include scholarships in the form of interest-free loans, residential facilities and ongoing emotional support projects.

ASHINAGA believes that it is crucial for children who have lost their parents to be able to talk and share their feelings. The charity regularly holds summer camps for orphans in Japan and internationally, in order for them to meet and communicate with other orphaned children, and also runs ‘Rainbow Houses’ in Tokyo and Kobe in Japan and Uganda in Africa – where the children can meet with trained facilitators for emotional guidance. ASHINAGA’s action plan for the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Following the Hanshin earthquake of 1995, ASHINAGA made a remarkable impact in helping those children affected by the disaster by building Kobe Rainbow House and providing long-term emotional support. Today, the organisation has announced three main strategies in response to the events of March 2011:

1) Establishment of Tohoku Rainbow House ASHINAGA plans to build Tohoku Rainbow House in Sendai (the largest city in the Tohoku region), providing a platform for orphaned children to carry on their higher education in the city, as well as three satellite houses throughout north-east Japan. The homes will contain student accommodations and various spaces to offer emotional and educational support to the children (e.g., a ‘talking room’, art room, music room and library) and will host events such as lectures and forums. ASHINAGA aims to complete construction by 2013.

2) Special relief donations for affected children and students ASHINAGA has been giving donations to individual children who have lost their parents/guardians, in order for them and their temporary guardians to purchase the daily food, personal items and accommodation necessary for the children’s mental and physical wellbeing during this emergency situation.

The payments are in relation to the children’s ages and education levels: ¥500,000 (£4,200) for children up to junior high school students; ¥800,000 (£6,700) for high school students; and ¥1,000,000 (£8,400) for students in higher education.

3) Exceptional deals for student loans ASHINAGA also aims to ease the burden of student loans, offering affected children easier access to higher education.

All of the proceeds from NOW&FUTURE: JAPAN will be donated to ASHINAGA, specifically to support the establishment and future costs of Tohoku Rainbow House and to provide student loans to children affected by the disaster.

ASHINAGA
www.ashinaga.org/en/
ASHINAGA headquarters’ address:
Kaizaka Building, 1-6-8 Hirakawa-cho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8639, Japan


Message from ASHINAGA

The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March 2011 caused thousands of children to lose their parents. Just one month later, ASHINAGA established an office in Sendai (the largest city in the Tohoku region) to provide immediate aid on the ground, stationing three staff members there to support the affected children and families. Our main activities include: 1) undertaking home and shelter visits to introduce our ‘emergency relief scheme’ (we have financially contributed to 1,925 children so far); 2) organising programmes that offer networking opportunities and emotional support to the affected families; 3) continually visiting the affected families in order to build trusting relationships with them through communication and play and 4) training 92 volunteers to work with the orphaned children. In addition to these actions, we have announced the development of Tohoku Rainbow House, our care centre in Sendai, with three further bases in surrounding areas to be completed by 2013. Having multiple bases will enable us to invite children from the vast affected areas to participate in our after-school and weekend programmes. In order to achieve these goals, we need your support.

We would like to deeply thank the participating artists, supporting organisations, companies and individuals who have made this charity auction a reality.


Facebook Comments

comments