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Japan Society Remembers The Great East Japan Earthquake

Japan Society will report back on how JERF grants have contributed to Tohoku's recovery.

Japan Society Remembers The Great East Japan Earthquake

Through a series of events and videos leading up to the 10-year anniversary of 3.11, Japan Society invites the community to remember those who were lost, and to look toward Tohoku's continued recovery.

Since 2011, JERF has funded more than 65 grant projects and 45 organizations supporting Tohoku's immediate relief and reconstruction efforts as well as the mid- to long-term recovery of these communities.

In 2021, Japan Society has earmarked the remaining funds to support additional projects facilitating community-building and economic recovery in disaster-hit areas where challenges have become further exacerbated by the onset of the global pandemic and additional disasters that most recently struck the region on February 13. More information on these organizations and projects is available here.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the triple disaster, Japan Society will report back on how JERF grants have contributed to Tohoku's recovery, and highlight stories of what was witnessed in the aftermath of 3.11, including Tohoku's resiliency, the bravery and initiative of all who responded to unprecedented challenges, the strength of U.S.-Japan relations, and the spirit of human generosity and goodwill. As we remember and draw lessons from the events of 3.11, we hope to nurture hope for the future of Tohoku and the world.

"2021 is a year to reflect on resilience and recovery as we navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and remember not just the tragedy of 3.11, but the strength of the Japanese people and the generosity of the world in its aftermath," said Japan Society President and CEO Joshua W. Walker, Ph.D. "As we mark the 10-year anniversary of these events, we honor those who were lost, and extend our gratitude to the individuals and organizations who offered their support, including the donors to our relief fund."

Events include a contemporary theater performance "Ludic Proxy: Fukushima," held live on March 6, 7 & 11 and available on demand from March 12 - 16. This video adaptation of Brooklyn-based theater-maker Aya Ogawa's play Ludic Proxy follows a woman visiting her older sister, who lives on the outskirts of the Fukushima nuclear evacuation zone. The interactive play, which features a unique element of audience participation, explores the theme of human survival in the face of disaster.

Taking advantage of our expertise in bringing together American and Japanese experts, a live U.S.-Japan symposium on March 9, 7-9pm EST, "Resilience & Recovery: A U.S.-Japan Dialogue Ten Years after 3.11", will feature leading voices from Tohoku, Japan and the U.S. to discuss lessons learned from 3.11 on resilience and recovery from catastrophes. The symposium will be co-hosted with JERF recipient, ETIC., a Japanese nonprofit dedicated to nurturing social entrepreneurs and recovery efforts in Tohoku.

As its first exhibition upon reopening to the public, Japan Society will also present When Practice Becomes Form: Carpentry Tools from Japan opening on March 11th. The exhibition celebrates the resilient spirit of Japanese architecture and craftsmanship through woodworking tools, architectural patterns, and models. The site-specific exhibition design, conceived by the esteemed architect Sou Fujimoto in collaboration with Brooklyn-based Popular Architecture, introduces major themes from the exhibition and is in dialogue with the gallery's spaces, highlighting an enduring connection between traditional Japanese wooden construction and modern architecture. Viewing is available every Thursday through Sunday with advance timed-entry ticket reservations online.

Further digital features include:

· Testimonials on the impact of JERF's support from recipients and participants in fund-supported programs;

· A special season of Japan Society's Tea Time series featuring six short interviews with key leaders from the U.S. and Japan including former U.S. Ambassador John V. Roos and retired General Ryoichi Oriki on their responses and lessons learned from the disaster;

· Dialogues between social entrepreneurs from Tohoku and their counterparts in New Orleans, LA and Wilmington, OH to discuss their work in using data, nurturing social entrepreneurship, and rebuilding communities recovering from natural disasters and economic crisis. These conversations feature alumni from "U.S.-Japan Leaders Exchange: Three-Year Training & Networking Program for Leaders in Tohoku's Recovery and Reconstruction," a multi-year program organized by Japan Society and ETIC from 2013-16.

For a full list of programs and more information about JERF and the fund recipients, visit the Japan Society webpage.

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