Illustration by Lea Wade
As everyone knows, on Friday the 11th March, Japan faced the biggest earthquake in its history followed almost instantly by a devastating tsunami and near environmental tragedy as nuclear reactors failed and started to leak radiation.
Firstly for all the people affected by this awful tragedy and to those who have lost their lives, their families and their dearest friends we offer our solemn condolences, and hope that they may find peace and dignity.
As I'm originally from Tokyo, I want to take the time to express my heartfelt thanks to all of those who have contacted me with messages of support on Facebook, Twitter or by Email, and everyone who has given their best wishes to Japan at this difficult time. I know how much all these messages of support from all over the world has cheered the people of Japan and continues to be a source of strength and courage.
The total cost of this disaster is estimated to be in the region of £9.3billion, we still have very little idea of the human cost of the damage especially in the Tohoku area where the earthquake destroyed much of the Sendai and Miyagi prefectures causing vast fires and washing away whole towns. Fukushima and Niigata prefectures were also heavily damaged causing critical damage to the Fukushima nuclear reactor.
Even in Tokyo, there is a massive shortage of supplies and daily widespread rolling power cuts are being enforced to preserve the national grid, which could go on for a month at least, the last time something this drastic happened was the end of the war.
But in the face of all this tragedy there are stories of hope and selflessness. So far no looting has been reported, millions of people in Tokyo walked home for hours when the transport systems went down, still stopping at lights to let others past. Shops gave out free food, vending machines free drinks, even Disneyland gave away all its sweets to everyone who was evacuated there. There are stories of great hope, the homeless people who gave up their cardboard to stranded commuters sleeping at stations. The brave two year old boy who was marching out to arrest the earthquake and the millions in the earthquake shattered cities without power who were consoling themselves by saying how they could look up and see how beautiful the stars were in the night sky.
So what are we going to do?
With this in mind, we at the Rally, with a little help from our friends are launching our own appeal.
As you may have noticed we already have the link to the major charity appeals, so everyone who sees this blog also can see the appeal, and everyone who posts about us will bring more people to them too. But we are not content with this alone we are laying down the gauntlet to you our wonderful community to help us bring hope to the people of Japan with our open submission Rally：
Don't Give Up Japan!
Never ones to give up ourselves, we are still going to keep you up to date with the latest news and our Rallies will continue as normal!
So please follow our submission guidelines stated below and please send us some hope!!
- The theme is Don't Give Up Japan, so please give us your best images of hope unity and love.
- We need some really positive works that showcase the real strength of our community so that we can give hope to the people of Japan.
- A low res 72dpi image suitable for web use.
- All the links to your twitter, blogs and websites.
- Please send your work to illustrationrally[at]hotmail.co.uk with the title "Ganbare Nippon Submission"
- We will be accepting the work from now through the whole of 2011
- We will be using #ganbarenippon on twitter hashtag, please help us spread the love :)
All the links to the charities
We will include the links to the charities in every post we make for this rally. Use the links below to spread the word!
- British Red Cross
- American Red Cross
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- Yahoo Japan! Charity
and Lady Gaga designed charity band for Japan, you can buy it here for $5, deal, right?
From Japan Tsunami Appeal team, "Ganbare Nippon"