Our second Join Hands for Japan was held in Whitianga this year. Two years on from the devastating The Great North Eastern Earthquake and Tsunami that hit coastal Japan and killed over 15,000 people. It is an upward battle and many people are still suffering from the effects of this disaster.
We held Join Hands for Japan in New Plymouth along our Coastal Walkway to commemorate the first anniversary and joined hands to form a human chain and to send a message to Japan that we have not forgotten and that we care. We managed to get 600 participants for this event.
This year we held it in Whitianga on the 10th March 2013 along Buffalo Beach. 130 people out of a small town of 4000 came to participate in this cause. It was very humbling to see. Many people who were involved in last year’s event wanted to take part this year also. We had some people who travelled all the way from Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth and Auckland just for this event.
Wai Taiko Drummers from Hamilton opened the event followed by the human chain along the beach. We also the local Japanese community come out to volunteer in showcasing several Japanese culutral activities such as Aikido Demo, Origami and Calligraphy and dressing in kimonos.
We also had a large sheet spread out for people to note down messages to Japan with also the hand prints of those involved. This will be also sent off to Japan along with the $300 raised. All donations will be going to Save the Children Japan charity. They have been involved in helping out children all over the world and are now well into working into a five year plan to help with the children affected by the tsunami.
They are involved in providing safe play areas, educational tools and as well as giving them an opportunity to voice their ideas to rebuilding their towns.
A big THANK YOU again to all those who took part in this year’s event. Thank you to my parents and the local Japanese community for helping spreading the word. Thanks to Sushi Ninja staff who helped out on the day. We couldn’t of done it without you all. Arigato.
(Owner Sushi Ninja & Join Hands Initiator)