September 21, 2012

TohokunoOshougatsuThis January, the people of Tohoku will hold their first New Year’s celebration since the disaster. In Japan, the first New Year’s holiday after a tragedy is never celebrated out of respect for those who have passed, so there were no celebrations at the start of 2012. The Sanaburi Foundation, a JCIE fund grantee and Tohoku’s first community foundation, has launched the “Tohoku no Oshogatsu” campaign, which will allow disaster victims in temporary housing whose lives have been in limbo to come together with the rest of their communities to finally celebrate. The New Year’s holiday is perhaps the most important holiday of the year in Japan as a time for families, friends, and neighbors to come together and to look forward to the new possibilities that the coming year brings. The campaign is collecting donations through the end of October to help community groups organize New Year’s celebrations, hoping to bring smiles and exchanges of “Happy New Year!” to disaster victims who have been working hard all year to persevere and rebuild their lives under trying circumstances. People can donate from overseas through the Sanaburi Foundation website (details available in Japanese only).