Aid for Japan

I'm sure everyone is following the situation in Japan... When I first heard it, I was glancing through headlines, and even though it was a strong quake I thought back on my experience at the Disaster Prevention center and figured if any country could be prepared for a quake that strong, it was Japan. When I woke up in the morning I was stunned. As the days passed I emailed friends and heard back from most of them; my host family is still quiet, but they live in Nagoya, so I'm fairly certain they are OK - I'm just hoping that they do not have any relatives or loved ones who are missing or hurt. It's a terrible, devastating disaster, but I'm so happy to see the support that Japan is receiving from people all over the world. It's amazing that I can be thousands of miles away and still make an immediate impact on the effort with a donation! You can help too, by making donations through places like:

American Red Cross
NY Japan Society - your state may have a donation drive open as well, so check if you'd like to get involved through a local institution!
Second Harvest -  if you are currently in Japan, consider donating very much needed supplies/food.

As I said, you can get in touch with your state's Japanese embassy for information to see if they are doing any local drives, fundraisers, etc. NY's Japanese embassy has posted information about the Japanese Red Cross Society, which will put your donation directly toward "the affected population of the earthquake and tsunami". Please see the site for all the details.

A lot of people worry that their money may not go to where it should. These worries are valid - there are 最低なpeople in even these times - so if you are one of those people who want to make sure you aren't hoodwinked out of donating to the victims of the disaster in Japan, check out this site. The American Red Cross (link above) is definitely one that can be trusted.

Keep informed with NHK's live broadcast.



Osu-Kannon is the large shrine where we did Setsubun; it gave rise to many little shops and restaurants which catered to its visitors, and eventually a little 大須商店街 (shoutenmachi, shopping district) arose around it. It is pretty awesome. You want some kind-of-Mexican food (no chips and salsa, but they do have curly fries with cinnamon and sugar)? Go to Osu Kannon. You want to buy a new watch? Go to Osu Kannon. You want some of those delicious little pancake fish filled with sweet bean paste (鯛焼き)? Get down to Osu Kannon. You want some cute clothes? Some weird clothes? Some incense? Some pancakes? Go to Osu Kannon.

Do you need a watch? Do you need a uterus? Osu Kannon - problem solved.

The designer of these pants actually lives in Nagoya and works in the (owns the?) store.

Off you go, you crazy kids. Take your own pictures.