Tokyo 2001
Photo of Tokyo snapped in © 2001

My heart goes out to the people of Japan. Seeing the devastation that has taken place there recently and continues to make news is absolutely horrifying. I’ve had a long love affair with the country that began in 1976 after my cousin, a member of the Peace Corps who was living there and teaching English, invited my mother and myself to visit him in Japan. We had an amazing time and the trip changed my life in more ways than I could grasp at such a young age. Since then I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the Japanese people as well as the country’s cinema, literature, music, art and history. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to Japan two more times. The second trip was for business when I was working with a manga and anime convention and the third trip was purely for pleasure. Each time I’ve fallen in love with the country more and I can honestly say that it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth and the Japanese people are some of the most friendly, kind and generous souls I’ve ever encountered.

In conjunction with many other blogs and websites that have tried to support Japanese cinema as often as possible over the years, I’m encouraging my readers to consider making any donations to help with disaster relief in Japan to the Japan Society in New York. The Japan Society is one of the oldest and most respected centers of its kind in North America and they have done an incredible job of promoting Japanese cinema. The organization has pledged that 100% of all donations that they receive will be given directly to the relief efforts in Japan. From the Japan Society website:

Japan Society has created a disaster relief fund to aid victims of the Tohoku earthquake in Japan. Over the years, Japan Society has partnered with several Japanese and American non-profits working on the frontlines of disaster relief and recovery. Your generous tax-deductible contributions will go to organizations that directly help victims recover from the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunamis that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

Thank you for reading and if you are a fellow blogger, please consider sharing this link with your own readers.

Further Reading: The Cinebeats archive on Japanese Cinema