July 7, 2011

Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) worked with Studio Ghibli, Japan’s leading animated movie creators, and the film distributor Toei, to hold a special advanced screening of the studio’s latest film, Kokurizaka Kara, which will be released on July 16. This was part of PWJ’s effort to support the children affected by the earthquake and lift their spirits. On July 2, two screenings were held in Kesennuma (Miyagi Prefecture) to accomodate the roughly 450 elementary and middle school students and their parents who wanted to see the film. On July 3, another 430 shildren and their parents attended a screening in Rikuzentakata (Iwate Prefecture). PWJ and its collaborators brought in large screens, sound systems, and cooling systems so that the participants could fully enjoy the movie experience. The movie has an extremely positive message that gave the audience members hope, and after the movie, two surprise guests—the author (the legendary Hayao Miyazaki) and producer (Toshio Suzuki) of the movie—greeted the audience and signed autographs.

NICCO also held a special event in cooperation with the nonprofit group Chikyu no Steeji (World Stage) for local children in the city of Natori (Miyagi Prefecture) on July 2. The event brought Tsuyoshi Kitazawa, a popular former player with Japan’s National Soccer Team, as well as characters from a popular animated soccer show, Inazuma Eleven, and psychological counsellors, to get the kids moving and having fun.

Professional soccer player Tsuyoshi Kitazawa coaches kids in Natori at a NICCO-sponsored event.