On 3/11/2011, a massive earthquake and tsunamis hit Japan.
The extensive and tragic damage that the natural disasters caused, along with other human-rooted disasters (Fukushima nuclear disaster), call for an enormous amount of funding to reconstruct the disaster-stricken area.
Already, many people throughout the world have been active in raising money, but the amount raised will never be enough. Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tomoyasu Hirano have founded “kizunaworld.org”, a project to support and rebuild the afflicted area as quickly as possible.
We want to do whatever we can as individuals to help the afflicted people, without any affiliation with an agency, record label or any type of organization.
At “kizunaworld.org” we hope to have like-minded artists donate their work, which we hope will in turn encourage even more contributions. The money raised will be given to the five aid organizations that we have determined are necessary to the reconstruction.
This project will start up initially with sales of “kizuna”, a collaborative artwork created for charity by Ryuichi Sakamoto; the project founder, and Valerio Berruti.
We are also thinking of adding artwork by other artists endorsing this endeavor as time goes on, to keep the project fresh with newly donated works. By doing so, this will become more than a temporary, one-shot project but rather something that can continue long-term. We want to continue and extend our assistance to the stricken area through this project for as long as the need is there.
Although the help one person can provide may be limited, every little bit helps, and it will make a big difference if those who agree with this thinking can act together.
We humbly await your assistance.
Ryuichi Sakamoto (Composer/Musician)
Tomoyasu Hirano (Media Creator)
“KIZUNA” (roughly meaning ‘human bond’ in Japanese) is the title of an animation piece by the Italian contemporary artist Valerio Berruti that was released in Japan in January 2011. Ryuichi Sakamoto created the music for it at the end of 2010. With Mr. Berruti’s consent, this piece has been available on YouTube since March 17th in hopes of aiding the relief effort in some way. The project name “kizunaworld.org” also came about courtesy of Mr. Berruti.The total amount of contributions collected, less PayPal’s transaction fees, will be donated in equal amounts to the five organizations we have selected.
*Note: PayPal will deduct the necessary transaction fees from the amount of the donations, and the remainder will be managed as deposits. the total amount of which will be donated. The deposits will strictly be used entirely for donations.The rights to view the artworks are being given as gifts by the artists as an expression of their gratitude for your contributions. You are not purchasing the viewing rights.The artists retain the copyrights to the works given as gifts. The works are strictly for your private use and enjoyment, and we ask for your cooperation and understanding.
How fragile is our existence compared to the immense power of nature! I am still unable to recover from this realization. However, it is necessary for us to tremble in fear in the face of nature's indifference, for we often forget that we live in nature, and furthermore, we are a part of nature. We treat the world as if it is a distinct entity we stand outside of, only seeing nature as an economic resource; something to invest our money in. Our distant ancestors once told each other myths and sang songs while shivering in the cold caves of the Ice Age, huddled together to keep each other warm. I would like for us to regain the sensitivity, skills, and the human bond of helping each other through which we can survive, with robustness, regardless of our vulnerability.
Ryuichi Sakamoto made his debut in 1978 with The Thousand Knives. He also joined YMO (Yellow Magic Orchestra) in the same year.
After YMO broke up (the band officially call it spread-out), he composed the music for many films, and while he gained worldwide stature by winning the Academy Award as a composer, he has always pursued an innovative music and sound. Following his 1999 opera “LIFE”, Sakamoto became outspoken on the issues of the environment, peace, and social issues. In reaction to the simultaneous terrorist attacks of 9/11, he edited an anthology Hisen (Non-war). That same year he founded “artists’ power”, an artists’ organization that advocates the encouragement and use of renewable energy. Sakamoto has steadfastly been active in demanding “denuclearization”. In 2006 he demonstrated against the operation of a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility at the village of Rokkasho (Aomori prefecture) and started “stop-rokkasho.org”. In July 2007 he established “more trees”, an incorporated association, and took part in educational activities about the prevention of global warming, and also the planting of trees. On July 16 of that year, after the Chuetsu-oki earthquake in Niigata Prefecture severely damaged the Kashiwazaki-Kariya nuclear power plant he, as “artists’ power”, started a petition website to have the plant decommissioned, giving it the name “Unplug Kashiwazaki-Kariwa/Goodnight”. In 2006 he established “commmons”, aimed at the creation of a new music community. He is always casting about for new forms for delivering music. He resides in New York City.
From 3/11 to today the chain of suffering hasn't ended, and I feel there are big demands being made for change in and preparation for how we live. In the face of the realities of the suffering that the people in the disaster areas are experiencing, I am merely speechless, and even at this moment I honestly don’t know what I should be doing to help. But I do know how to create “places” where everyone can get together. So I spoke with Ryuichi Sakamoto, and this project has taken its first steps with the one work “KIZUNA”. Starting first with one work, we hope to eventually bring in many other works, connecting the power of those who respond to the call to lend support to the people in the devastated areas. Furthermore, I strongly feel that this support should not be vague, but as specific as possible with clear objectives. With this in mind, we have decided on the recipients of support for what we consider the 5 areas necessary to the mid to long-term support of the people in the devastated areas. There is no way of even imagining, at this stage, how long the road to recovery will be. That is exactly why we want to extend our assistance, meager as it may be, even if it is for just one more day at a time. It is something that can be done, through the individual artists and you as individuals connecting. I am asking you to expand the circle of this project by even just one more person.
Tomoyasu Hirano established Digital Stage Co., Ltd. in 1998, and is the company’s Representative Director.
He designs and produces software and projects that create the future of social media. The company’s representative Web production software, “BiND for WebLiFE*”, and the VJ software “motion dive” series have won the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization’s Good Design award and the Special Prize of the Japan Media Arts Festival. It is creating, in addition to products, a new culture scene .
Hirano has been focusing since 2010 on Ustream, Twitter, and other social media. He launched the “skmtSocial” project with Ryuichi Sakamoto in January 2011 in order to concretize the fun of “shared experiences”, providing free streaming of Sakamoto’s Piano Solo Tour. More than 200,000 people in 75 countries viewed it, suggesting a new way to enjoy music.
One’s home, a place to work, treasured photographs, family, and loved ones…
There are people from the area devastated by this great earthquake, the tsunamis, and the nuclear crisis that have been injured and have had everything stripped from them. Relief supplies are of course already streaming into Japan from around the world, but there is still a chronic shortage of medicines, people are still having to live in shelters without privacy, and the living conditions for the victims are far from what those of their ordinary lives had been.
“kizunaworld.org” will take the donations raised through its activities (the whole amount less PayPal transaction fees) and turn them over in equal amounts to five organizations that represent medical care, children, food, housing, and energy, targeting the present and future needs of the people who are suffering. In this way, we will help hasten their recovery, even if only for one day at a time.
Overcoming the borders of nationality, race and religion, Doctors of the World Japan sends professional doctors with a concentration on medicine and health inspection to those who need it most. For the recent catastrophe in Japan, this organization has been sending professional aid centered around psychological health to Otsuchi city in the Iwate prefecture, calling this the nicocoro PROJECT. Through proper breathing and massage, in addition to educating people of stress relieving exercises, Doctors of the World Japan strives to heal the victims' minds.
[How Donations Will Be Used]
The money will be used for medicinal supplies, the medical team's expenses, the creation of pamphlets and other materials for mental care and other uses for their activities.
-Please note that if the donations surpasses the required funding necessary for the activities of Doctors of the World Japan, the remaining money may be used to fund other relief organizations.
-Please note that with the termination of the activities of Doctors without Borders in Japan, we have made changes to donations given to medicine-related organizations to Doctors of the World Japan nicocoro PROJECT.
With the motto, "Smiles for children with the power of music and instruments," the project, School Music Revival: Support for music for the children, aims to do just that. The Japan Musical Instruments Association and Ryuichi Sakamoto will take the musical instruments at local schools, and examine and repair them in support of children, from kindergarteners to high schoolers, in the afflicted areas by the earthquake and tsunamis.There are also plans to hold concerts for the kids to bring joy back to the childrens' lives in various ways through music.
[uses for the donations]
-Areas: Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima
-The examination and restoration of musical instruments at local schools
-Purchasing irreparable instruments
-Support for local concerts and other musical events.
“OPEN JAPAN (the former KIZUNA group)” is a volunteer organization engaging in supportive activities mainly in Ishinomaki city (Miyagi prefecture) just after the earthquake and the tsunami.
One of our projects, “SUNRICE GENKIMURA”, is a supportive activity to deliver 3kgs of rice monthly to elderly people who had to start their new life in temporary housing.
The purpose of this activity is not only providing food support but also creating opportunities for conversation by directly handing them the supply.
Through this activity, we would like to relieve their anxiety as much as possible and not to feel lonely.
In doing so, we also pursue the goal of avoiding solitary deaths.
It has been a serious issue since the Great Hanshin Earthquake hit Japan in 1995.
[How Donations Will Be Used]
Donations to the project will be used for buying rice and delivering the supply to elderly people living in temporary housing.
At the time of the Great Hanshin Earthquake (Kobe) the Japanese and international architect Shigeru Ban built a church and temporary housing in Kobe, using cardboard tubes and paper. Mr. Ban has participated in building temporary housing in many other countries, such as Turkey, India, Sri Lanka and Haiti that have also suffered earthquakes and tsunami. To deal with the present disaster, he has set up the “Disaster Relief Project for the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunamis”. He considers it to be a top priority to relieve the psychological burden placed on survivors who have to live in shelters for months without privacy. To that end he is installing simple and flexible partition systems for use in shelters. The ones built for previous disasters have been improved. He is also providing support to improve the living environment in temporary housing.
[How Donations Will Be Used]
Donations will be used for installing paper partition systems and to improve the living environment in temporary housing.
The Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), is an organization established by environmental activists and experts to work on countering global warming and energy issues. Its objective is to realize and implement sustainable energy policies. ISEP, which promotes natural (renewable) energy and energy conservation, has launched the “Tsunagari Mekumori (Warm Connections ) Project” in response to the recent earthquake. They are working to provide reusable energy, electricity, hot water, and baths for the disaster victims in relief shelters; where the lifelines of electricity, gas, and water are unlikely to be restored any time soon.
[How Donations Will Be Used]
They will be used to install solar power generating systems, solar hot water heaters in relief shelters, medical clinics, temporary housing, and to provide a public bath service that uses a travelling wood-fueled boiler vehicle.