AK's support to Tohoku
More than 1100 people got together at First Church of Christ, Scientist in Upper West Side on March 10, 2012, a year after devastating earthquakes that hit Tohoku area, northern part of Japan, to attend “together for 3.11”, which commemorated the victims of the earthquakes and tsunami. As we previously reported in our blog (http://j-collabo.org/2012/03/13/together-for-3-11-from-ny/), the success of this event tied people in New York who love Japan, and gave courage to people who were still struggling to recover from the aftermath of the disaster by sending a message from New York that we were all together wherever we were.
The church was full of people, who wanted to spend the one year anniversary together.
The organizer of the event was AK, a Japanese diva whose US debut single hit the top of the charts from around the world. She could not stand just looking at the disaster shown on TV screen, and established a group “JP Girls NYC” with women in New York to support Japan. She then came up with an idea to form a group named “Fellowship for Japan”, which is a coalition of Japan Relief organizations in New York to establish a collaboration system for each organization.
AK with supporters who led this event to great success.
AK visited Miyagi and Fukushima, which are the most affected areas for a couple of times, and realized how hard it was for the people who lost everything by the earthquakes to get their lives back. From this experience, AK is thinking of helping people in Northern Japan by giving opportunities for them to utilize their skills in New York because she thinks the recovery of industries comes first to get the area back to normal.
AK lost words for the scenery that she did not imagine when she first visited Fukushima and Miyagi six months after the earthquakes.
In addition to it, AK’s love to her home country let her hold concerts at preschools in the areas struck by the earthquakes and tsunami, and the kids gave her pictures they drew as a token of their appreciation.
gave courage to
kids in Northern Japan, and AK was also encouraged by these children.
Kids still cannot play outside due to the radiation effects from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Although she did not know anyone there when she had her first visit to the areas five months after the disaster, after her several visits she got many friends and kids who are waiting for her next concert. AK is grateful for the opportunity that gave her a chance to meet great people in Northern Japan and also in New York as a person, Akemi Kakihara, apart from a singer, AK, through her activities. This achievement could not be done by anyone except AK because of her passion and personality. Now
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AK has a clear vision that she wants to devote herself to support children from New York where she lives, and established a company I FOR DREAM in 2012 to make her dream come true.
AK made wrapping paper using pictures drawn by kids at preschool in Fukushima and sold them at her charity sales. Her heart is always together with people who suffered the earthquakes.