15 March 2011

Japan – How to Help

This post is a little off-topic, but sometimes stuff happens that makes you stop and put things in perspective. The tragic events in Japan are one of those such things, and the recent news and pictures following the aftermath of the devastating earthquake have been heartbreaking to say the least. It makes scribbling on a food blog such as this seem somewhat frivolous.

The photo at the top is of a piece called "Upside Down Hinomaru" by Japanese artist Teruya Yuken. He describes the work as such:
I used to have the Japanese flag in my studio and one day I decided to move the flag. And as I began to move the flag upside down, I was feeling a gravitational pull moving along with me. I hung on to this power until I had completed a 180° turn. It was at this time that the power left me and I was looking back at the flag. To all it would appear as right side up but it was only to me that it looked upside down. It was then I felt a true personal relationship with the Japanese flag for the first time. I want to share my experience with the flag and also would like everyone to see what happens when something standardized gets turned upside down.
Japan is a truly remarkable and wonderful place and it will always hold a very special place in my heart. The country has (literally in some cases) been turned upside down. My thoughts go out to everyone affected and I hope it’s not too long until Japan is able to 'right itself' and be back on its feet again.

I wanted to leave you with a few photos from happier times that I took last year from the wonderful city of Tokyo, and include some possible ways of donating to the relief effort.

Save the Children – Japan Emergency Appeal

Norwegian Red Cross

American Red Cross

Wooden Ema (wishes) hanging at Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine

Temizuya for ceremonial purification at Meiji Jingu

View of Tokyo Tower from the top of Roppongi Hills
Shibuya crossing at dusk


  1. You are right to talk about what is going on in Japan. It puts everything in perspective.

  2. Beautiful photos and such a sad situation for Japan