Great East Japan Earthquake Commemorative events

THROUGH MONDAY, MARCH 31 (with March 11 event)
The Northern Japan Earthquake Recovery Fund, a project of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, is hosting “Let’s Keep the Flowers Blooming,” which provides people with the opportunity to share messages of “hope and friendship” to those in northern Japan. The project is accessible at the JCCCNC, 1840 Sutter St. in S.F.’s Japantown, weekdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekdays from noon to 4 p.m. In 2012, NHK produced “Hana wa Saku (Flowers wil Bloom),” a song to build public support for the Great East Japan Earthquake recovery efforts. Yoko Kanno composed the song, which Shunji Iwai wrote. Both artists are from the Tohoku region. The song shares a message from the perspective of those who have passed away, encouraging society that lives and flowers will once again bloom. The video NHK produced features the Gerbera daisy, which symbolizes innocence, purity and cheerfulness, in part as a promotional tool to raise awareness of the cause. Sheets shaped in the form of the daisies will be available at the JCCCNC. The JCCCNC will send the notes to the non-governmental organizations NJERF has been working with in the disaster-affected areas. The JCCCNC will host a remembrance event Tuesday, March 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Both the “Let’s Keep the Flowers Blooming” project and the remembrance event are free and open to the public. Info: (415) 567-5505, info@jcccnc.org, www.jcccnc.org.

SUNDAY, MARCH 9
The Friends of Fukushima will present the “Noodles for Nippon” fundraiser for the Horikawa Aiseien Children’s Home in Fukushima at 11 a.m. at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St. in S.F.’s Japantown. The orphanage for abused and neglected children was damaged, forcing them to undergo a complete reconstruction and to undertake a debt equal to $1.2 million. Presale tickets; $10, $12 at-the-door or $3 ala carte tempura. Kids 5 and under eat free with a paid adult. Info: friendsfukushimasf.blogspot.com. Presale tickets: friendsfukushimaSF@gmail.com. Event is supported by the JCCCNC and North American Food Distributing Co. Inc.

The “Together for 3.11” event, which will be held in commemoration of the third anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan, will feature Japanese Ambassador Sumio Kusaka, the Consul General of Japan in New York Motoatsu Sakurai, President of Japan Society and Gary S. Moriwaki, Honorary President of Japanese American Association of New York at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, 10 West 68th Street at Central Park West, New York. Doors open at 4 p.m., with the memorial ceremony taking place from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. Doors close at 7 p.m.

MONDAY, MARCH 10
The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St. in S.F.’s Japantown, will host the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association of Northern California’s fund drive to benefit victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region. Attendees will have the opportunity to donate to the Taylor Anderson Memorial Foundation, benefiting kids and families in Tohoku through various education and family support programs. The Foundation was established in honor of Taylor Anderson, a Japan Exchange Teaching Programme teacher who lost her life in the tsunami. GlobalGiving will match donations from 7 a.m. PST on March 10 through 7 a.m. PST on March 11. Donations will be accepted online: http://www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers/jets-rally-for-tohoku. Info: communications@jetaanc.org. Register: https://tohokukidsfunddrive.eventbrite.com.

TUESDAY, MARCH 11
University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies will host a screening of “Campaign 2,” followed by a Q-and-A-format interview session with filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Sutardja Dai Hall, 310 Banatao Auditorium, 2594 Hearst Ave., Berkeley, Calif. The film “candidly captures the mechanical lives of the Japanese people, firmly adhered to even in the midst of a disaster where radioactive material is falling from the sky. Soda’s camera, which had maintained an outsider’s position in ‘Campaign,’ gradually gets ensnared in the situation. Conflict between the filmmaker and the subjects eventually escalates and finally comes to a head.” Event is open to the public and free. Info: (510) 642-3156 or cjs-events@berkeley.edu

SATURDAY, MARCH 15
San Francisco Bay Area musicians and artists will perform music related to the Tohoku region of Japan, which was struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake, during the ”Wasurenai: 3.11 in Remembrance” event from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Public Library’s Koret Auditorium, which is located at 100 Larkin St. (at Grove), S.F. The following artists will perform: Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu, founders of First Voice, a nonprofit organization that aims to share stories of “people living between worlds, with a deep resect for the stories of all people;” “Fujin” and “Raijin” are traditional Japanese musicians who obtained the Master of Koto/Shamisen License from the Seiha School of Japanese Music; Senninbari Project, which Sendai kimono maker Tsuyo Onodera and her daughter Maki Aizawa started after the tsunami hit; performing artist Gretchen Jude, who sings, plays and creates traditional, classical, experimental, electronic and improvised music; Edward Schocker, a composer and performer who creates music with made/found materials and alternate tuning systems; Danielle Stech-Homsy, a California/New Mexico folk music artist; and koto player Shoko Hikage. Event is free. Info: (415) 557-4277 or http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=101577070.

SATURDAY, MARCH 22
The Grateful Crane Ensemble will hold its sixth annual fundraising dinner and silent auction, entitled “Let the Good Times Roll,” from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Nishi Hongwanji Los Angeles Betsuin Kaikan, 814 East First St. L.A. The evening will include a bento dinner, a silent auction and an entertaining show featuring nostalgic and fun songs from the 1950s and early 1960s. Grateful Crane’s humorous “sponsor jingles” will be back as well, with a special 1950’s twist. Also featured this year will be a special presentation about Grateful Crane’s upcoming goodwill tour to Japan — and how to can help the children and families of the Tohoku region. “No boring speeches. No chicken dinner. Just good food, good friends and good fun!” Individual reservations are $60 per person. (Includes bento dinner, silent auction and show.) Tables of 10 are $600 per table. Info: gratefulcrane@gmail.com or call (310) 995-5841.

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