Thursday, April 28, 2011

Skill and Will to Imagine 想像するためのスキルと意識

A Japanese newspaper wrote about our fundraiser (for Japan) on Maui.
Since the earthquake, I’ve been feeling and thinking about various things.

49 days have passed.

For people who have been working hard to ease the situation from outside might have felt 49 days passed very quickly. For people who have been directly affected and being in the situation might have felt each day as a torture; hence, 49 days might have been felt months for them.

In Hawaii, since it is geographically close to Japan, and there are many Japanese people as well as many Japanese descents are living here, even today people seem to continue to have a solid attention on Japan’s situation. Since the earthquake, there has been at least one if not more fundraising event every weekend.

Right after the earthquake, I was visiting the U.S. mainland. What I noticed was as I physically distanced from Japan, people’s attention on Japan seemed to lessen. Probably it cannot be helped. No matter how technology advanced, and information can circulate the world rapidly, we humans can only emphasize with pain of others when our “imagination” is activated. At places where Japan is still very much “foreign,” the materials for imagination are probably lacking. I was in the U.S. mainland for about 6 days, so by the time I was heading back to Hawaii, over a week has passed since the earthquake. Every day I was watching and reading news from diverse sources to keep up with Japan’s situation, and the more I learned, the more I knew how serious the situation was and was going to be. As I sat back in my airplane seat and wondered, “Now, what can I do?” I heard a family happily conversing, “When we get to Hawaii, we should go to beach first. Oh, we cannot forget to check out shopping malls, too!” Their delightedness did not bother me, and of course I had no slight will to censure their excitement. Probably it was their long awaited family trip. It might be their first visit to Hawaii. They must have worked hard to save money. They might not even know that there was a huge earthquake in Japan. If they did hear something, maybe for them, it was just another earthquake somewhere in Asia.

However, I could not help to questioned myself, “What is this difference?” and the question sat with me. At that very moment, there were thousands of people who lost their loved ones, homes, and everything, and on the other hand, there was a family getting excited for their vacation. Both worlds existing simultaneously with such gap in between intrigued me, and there was a quiet part of me that accepted it as it was. At the same time, I noticed the fact that I was caring about Japan even more because it is the country where I was born and came from. I wondered if I cared that much if it was not Japan. Did I care the same way when Haiti had the earthquake last January 2010? I don’t think so. The only thing I knew was Haiti was a country that is located somewhere between North America and South America. After the earthquake, I looked at the map and learned where exactly it was. And I even did not know what people in Haiti looked like. Like I wrote earlier, I did not have enough "materials" to use my imagination to respond to their suffering. Rather than learning their location on the world map, I did not put any more effort to collect “imagination-activation materials.” Whether it was conscious or unconscious, I decided to cut off my effort there. I think I was not thinking too much about it. Did I do anything to help people in Haiti? No. I only attended one event that was organized by my American friend, and I donated a very small amount of money which was like a drop on a hot baked stone. However, when it comes to my country, I am eagerly helping any event I can go and am even trying to put together one myself. If I extend my thoughts a bit further, it is obvious that Japan is not the only country that is suffering now. Wars, terrorisms, famine, illness, natural disasters… There are so many issues in the world. Because I did not pay much attention to those in the past, I felt ashamed of myself for all of sudden frantically asking for help when the problem was directly affecting my country. The family in the plane was mirroring myself…

However, being ashamed does not help anyone or anything, so I stopped being so, and I decided to do my best to help rebuilding Japan. It is like getting sick makes us understand what sick people are going through. Through feeling my own country’s pain, I find myself becoming extra sensitive to other countries’ pain. Due to the earthquake, I think my imagination skill was enhanced. Of course, it is impossible to own every problem in this world, and if I am paying too much attention on “pain,” I would end up giving hand to increase the negative energy in this world, and it won’t be much help to the world, so I need to remember to balance. While I believe that this world is filled with beauty no matter what, and I fill myself up with light, I would like to educate myself, so that my deed may be some help to ease some pain and fill this world with light.

----------------------------- Japanese ------------------------








Sunday, April 17, 2011

Aloha in Action Benefit Concert for Japan アロハ・イン・アクション ベネフィットコンサート

Last night, at Temple of Peace in Haiku, a non-profit organization called Aloha in Action hosted a benefit concert for Japan, and a group called Pray for Japan from Maui, Hawaii joined them with yummy baked goods, fresh flowers, California rolls, cone sushi, and Japanese tea to sell and raise money for Team of Izanai Asahi, Tsunami Relief Fund. (For information about this fund, please read this page.) I joined the evening as a volunteer selling the above goods.

Beautiful Hawaiian singers Lei`ohu Ryder and Maydeen Iao played heart-touching and up-lifting songs.

There were 3 big events on Maui all dedicated to Japan (one of them was at MACC), so people of Maui were all over and did their best at each place.  It is so wonderful to see so many people who want to help. Lei`ohu said last night that it is not important how many people actually come, but what important is to put our heart out and take actions.

There have been so many fundraiser events since the earthquake, and I can see people (not just the ones that are hosting events but also the people who come) getting a bit tired, and their wallet getting thinner, so it is important to pace ourselves and to take a good care of ourselves and our immediate family members and friends who are in our everyday lives. Because of them and because of jobs that we have, we can continue what we are doing and continue to help Japan in a long run. We cannot burned out now. Japan will need us in a long run.

The balance between micro and macro is important. I want to attend my everyday detail while I keep my awareness open to the universe.

(More photos below)

-------------------------------- Japanese -------------------------


昨晩、ハイクにあるテンプル・オブ・ピースという場所で、アロハ・イン・アクションというノンプロフィットオーガナイゼーション(民間非営利団体)の主催で、日本のためのベネフィット(チャリティー)コンサートが開かれ、そこでマウイのプレイ・フォー・ジャパンというグループも参加させて頂き、クッキーなどのお菓子、イナリ寿司、巻き寿司、日本茶、お花などを売らせて頂きました。売り上げはTeam of Izanai Asahi, Tsunami Relief Fundに送られます。(詳しくはこちらをどうぞ。)私はそれらの商品を売るボランティアとして参加させてもらいました。





Last night's super team (Japanese volunteers)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Women Helping Women Fundraiser

MACC's brand new $13 million pavilion complex
Today, I had an opportunity to dance with my dance teacher, Sarala Dandeker and Sunny Gorg, and other dance sisters at MACC for Women Helping Women's fundraiser event. As most of you know, it is an organization that helps women who are affected by domestic violence. I danced as I prayed that may each family filled with kindness, and that those women who went through DV would remember to enjoy their own beauty and strength as women.

It was so much fun dancing with my dance sisters whom I enjoy spending time with in and out of a dance studio.  Being able to share an intimate stage space with people I totally trust is such a pleasure!

-------------- Japanese ---------------

今日、MACCで行われたWomen Helping Womenのファンドレイザーで踊る機会がありました。私の先生であるSarala Dandeker(サララ・ダンデカー)と and Sunny Gorg(サニー・ゴーグ)と、他のダンスシスター達と踊ってきました。Women Helping Womenはドメスティック・バイオレンス(DV 家庭内暴力)の被害にあっている女性被害者を援助する機関です。DVがなくなるように、そしてDVの被害に合われている方達が一日も早く、元気に心休まる日々を過ごせるよう、そして女性であることを、エンジョイできるよう祈りながら踊らせてもらいました。


Our stage
ステージ (上と周りを使いました)

About to get into a costume
With my little sister
Sarala, Cute Dancer, Me, Vanessa

Lauren and I were being goofy
We found a big elephant there...
My first earing after I pierced my ears!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Photos from Farmers Market Fundraiser for Japan 日本のためのファンドレイザーの写真

Thank you, the weather for holding it up (it was on the edge of raining).
Thank you, people for coming and supporting.
Thank you, friends for donating your skills, talents (many artist friends donated their art work).
Thank you, Japanese moms and sisters who are so strong, funny, inspiring, beautiful, and hard-working. Of course thank you to dads and children who were there to help.
Thank you, everyone.

Thank you.

--------------- Japanese ---------------






Friday, April 8, 2011

Farmers Market Fundraiser for Japan 朝市での日本のためのファンドレイザー

Sorry I don't have another version with bigger resolution.
It's important to pray, yet it is also very important to take actions based on our prayer, so my Maui friends and I started to plan some ideas for Japan.  One thing is that my friends are having a booth at the farmers market in Kula tomorrow morning from 7 to 10 am. I will be helping as well.  All the proceed will be sent to Team of Izanai Asahi, Tsunami Relief Fund.  If you live on Maui, please come and support Japan and Maui's local farmers!

The below is a letter from Team of Izanai Asahi, Tsunami Relief Fund:

"On March 11th, 2011, at 2:46 pm (Japan time) a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the Tohoku area of northeastern Honshu, Japan. Almost immediately, a powerful 30ft tsunami crashed into the eastern shoreline engulfing everything in its widespread path of devastation. Official estimates report more than 240,000 people have since been evacuated from the hardest hit areas.
Although not mentioned by the international media, the low lying city of Asahi in the Chiba prefecture also felt the brunt force of the tidal wave where as many as 2000 homes were either swept away or partially destroyed. At least 400 former Asahi residents are currently living in emergency relief shelters. Furthermore, there are increasing fears of air, water and food safety due to the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant less than 200km away.
The current situation is dire. City employees and volunteer workers are tending to all evacuees; young and old, handicapped and seniors, in one school gym where the basic necessities provided are one blanket, snack foods and bottled water.
We, the Izanai Dance Group, just recently moved to Asahi city and yet we are devoting our full energy to the recovery effort. In cooperation with the city’s plan, we have organized to cook and serve meals for those who lost everything with the hope that a hot meal, prepared with love, will have a healing effect and restore the will to rebuild their lives.
Please ... your kind support will help us ... to help them.
Team of Izanai Asahi, Tsunami Relief Fund"

The photos below are the team members providing food for the people in Asahi.

------------------------------ Japanese --------------------------

祈ることも大切だけど、祈りをもとに実際の行動も起こしていかないとねということで、マウイの友人たちと色々とプランし始めました。まずは、これは私のお友達が企画してくれたもので、毎週土曜日の朝、Kulaで開かれているファーマーズマーケットで(今のところは明日のみですが)お店を出させてもらい、そこでの売り上げを全て、Team of Izanai Asahi, Tsunami Relief Fundに送ります。明日の朝7時から10時までいます。私もお手伝いしています。マウイにお住まいの方は、地元の新鮮な有機野菜も買えますし、是非おこしくださいな。

以下がTeam of Izanai Asahi, Tsunami Relief Fundから送られてきた文書です。



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Prayer 祈り

Like how the sky and the ocean are all connected
I think our hearts are connected, too
The atoms that fill the space between us would transmit the vibration of our hearts like waves

So I pray what emits out of me is
as gentle as it can be
as warm as it can be

for people who are going through an arduous time due to the earthquake
and for all of my "relations" who exist in this universe

I am praying sincerely with all my heart

------------------------- Japanese -----------------------




心から心を込めて 祈っています