Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami: What you can do to help!

What does Japan’s natural disaster have to do with ceramics? Japanese ceramics has enriched the world for centuries and its artisans are among the world’s greatest gifts. Imperiled artists at risk in Japan are in great need of help, along with all Japanese people. No segment in Japanese society is untouched there or abroad. People within Japan are suffering directly, while their friends and relatives elsewhere are experiencing great anxiety about their loved ones. My teacher, Mr. Takehara, introduced me to Japanese and Korean ceramics and, in part, because of him and his influence, I keenly feel for the Japanese today.

Japan’s earthquake has been upgraded to 9-points on the Richter scale and there have been more than 300 aftershocks. Given the earthquake, the tsunami, and the dire food situation, the death toll is expected to exceed 10,000 in just one region and untold thousands are missing. Millions are without electricity and temperatures are cool. In addition, more than 200,000 have been evacuated from the area near the damaged nuclear reactors. The International Atomic Energy Commission( IAEC) is posting updates about the nuclear reactor situation on its site.

Information from news sources is often conflicting, at present. At first, I felt alarm and read sensational stories, but I’m not doing it now. Instead, I think we must, with compassion and empathy for those affected, people and animals, open your pocketbooks and donate to disaster relief organizations. Many organizations are working to help. For instance Global Giving is working with the International Medical Corps and Save the Children is working with traumatized youth, offering psycho-social support. Dog Bless You is taking search and rescue dogs to look for missing people. Find out whether a charity is legitimate through a Guide Star search.

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About Jan

I have a background in ceramics, graphic design and journalism.
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