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Getting to know more about the Japan Foundation

Chapter 3
The Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster Recovery Initiatives

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster, we have been implementing projects showcasing the dynamic and rich culture of the Tohoku Region, its recovery and revitalization effort, disaster prevention education and more. Through our efforts, we hope to express gratitude for the warm support received from around the world following the disaster, and deepen cultural exchange to pass down the lessons learned from the experience.

DOOR to ASIA

In December 2015, we invited 7 young designers from 5 ASEAN countries to a disaster-affected area of Tohoku to create an original work utilizing local resources. The designers pursued regional regeneration and recovery through design, and Tohoku businesspeople gained hints for entering into Southeast Asian markets.

Photo of [Hakoneyama Terrace in Rikuzentakata City, where the program was implemented]
Hakoneyama Terrace in Rikuzentakata City,
where the program was implemented
Photo: Lyie Nitta

Photo of [Program participants considering communication design approaches 1]

Photo of [Program participants considering communication design approaches 2]
Program participants considering communication design approaches that would be appropriate for use in their home countries for the products of businesspeople in the disaster-affected area
Photo: Lyie Nitta

HANDs! Project

In 2014, we launched the HANDs! Project to encourage creative ideas and approaches toward disaster education and to support affected areas in Asian countries. For fiscal 2015, HANDs! fellows traveled to Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Japan to study the role of the media and disaster prevention. In Japan, we organized a site-visit to Tohoku and public programs for the locals on disaster prevention education.

Group photo taken at [The 2015 HANDs! fellows]
The 2015 HANDs! fellows

Photo of [Kataribe sharing his experiences of 3.11, Higashi-Matsushima City]
Kataribe sharing his experiences of 3.11, Higashi-Matsushima City

Photo of [HANDs! fellows presenting on disaster prevention]
HANDs! fellows presenting on disaster prevention

JET Memorial Invitation Program for U.S. High School Students

The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai implements a 5-year plan to invite Japanese-language learners at U.S. high school to Japan to participate in training sessions held in memory of U.S. citizens Taylor Anderson and Montgomery Dickson, who lost their lives in the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster while participating in the JET program. From 2011 to 2015, a total of 160 students have visited Japan as part of the plan.

Photo of [Interacting with Kesen Junior High School in Rikuzentakata City]
Interacting with Kesen Junior High School in Rikuzentakata City

Photo of [Participants listening to a talk given by Taylor’s friend]
Participants listening to a talk given by Taylor’s friend

Sanriku International Arts Festival "Sanriku-Asian Network Project"

We invited 3 performing arts groups, Komunitas Al-Hayah (Indonesia), Amrita Performing Arts (Cambodia), and the Deobureong Nongakdan (South Korea), to the Sanriku International Arts Festival 2015. Symposiums on the themes of disasters and local performing arts were held. We also sent the Usuzawa Shishiodori (Deer Dance) Conservation Association in Iwate Prefecture for a cultural exchange project in Indonesia.

Photo of [Sanriku-Asian Network Project 1]

Photo of [Sanriku-Asian Network Project 2]
Photo: Yuta Hagiwara