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Getting to know more about the Japan Foundation

Chapter 3
Earthquake Disaster Recovery Initiatives

The many natural disasters that occur throughout the world today create grave problems for the communities affected. The Japan Foundation, seeking to share Japan's know-how in earthquake recovery and express gratitude for the warm support that Japan received from around the world, implements recovery/regeneration-themed programs, disaster prevention education, and other programs that promote exchange while leveraging the lessons Japan has learned for the future.


In September 2016, eight young designers from Asia were invited to participate in a short residency program in an area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. They proposed new design works with regional character, with the aim of contributing to disaster recovery and empowering the local business community.

Photo of people observing the Miracle Pine Tree in Rikuzentakata City
Observation of the "Miracle Pine Tree" in Rikuzentakata City

Photo of people observing Otokoyama Honten, Sake Brewery
Observation of Otokoyama Honten Sake Brewery

Photo of the reporting session
International Design Liaison Center (Roppongi Design Hub) report session
(Photo: Kazuhiko Monden)

HANDs! Project

In FY2016, HANDs! Project held its disaster preparedness research tour in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Kobe, Japan, 22 years after the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Together with children, the fellows implemented disaster prevention education programs with creative and innovative approaches.

Photo of the Disaster prevention education event in Kobe
Disaster prevention education event in Kobe (Photo: Kenichi Tanaka)

Photo of the participants creating a disaster prevention education program
Participants creating a disaster prevention education program

Japanese Studies Fellowship

Benjamin Epstein(United Kingdom / University College of London)

Mr. Epstein has been undertaking socio-medical anthropological research on the mental health care in disaster-struck areas. Through extensive fieldwork in the regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, his research evaluates the net value of local disaster mental health and psycho-social support interventions, and considers their institutional, structural and cultural ramifications.

Photo of Mr. Benjamin Epstein
Mr. Benjamin Epstein

The Sanriku International Art Festival "Sanriku-Asian Network Project"

For FY2016, we invited two groups from Papua, Indonesia, and students of performing arts high school in the Philippines to Japan in collaboration with the Festival, connecting Tohoku and other Asian local performing arts. We also held a collaborative performance between Usuzawa Shishi Odori and Barong performers from Bali at the Roppongi Art Night festival. And, we sent leading young traditional performers from Ofunato City (Iwate Prefecture) to Indonesia to carry out exchanges of traditional art.

Photo of Sanriku International Art Festival 2016
Sanriku International Art Festival 2016

Photo of the Road with King of the Forest
"Road with King of the Forest" performed at Roppongi Art Night