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HOPE for JAPAN 2011 Project

June 22, 2012

Sekai kara fukkou eno Ai no messages
(Messages of Love From the world for the reconstruction of Tohoku)

Peace Boat’s 73rd Global Voyage set sail from the port of Yokohama soon after March 11, 2011. Travelling to 15 countries in 85 days, Peace Boat held photo exhibitions at places visited to provide opportunities for people around the world to see the situation in the Tohoku region. This also provided an opportunity for Peace Boat to express its appreciation to people around the globe for their financial and humanitarian support for those affected by the March 11 disaster in Japan.

Another project was born onboard the ship at this time. A group of young participants took the initiative to start a new project, considering what each individual can do for Tohoku. They decided to just take pen and paper, and collect messages of love for Tohoku from across the world, in a project they called “Hope for Japan 2011.”

The two main participants who launched this project, Kamiya Takuma and Yazawa Yuko, are both in their 20s and first met onboard the ship. Calling for cooperation from their fellow participants onboard, over 200 people – from young to elderly and from all across from Japan – made contributions at ports and volunteered to help collect messages.

They prepared a hand-made banner saying, “Please write a message. HOPE for JAPAN”. The participants worked hard to communicate in English, however sometimes of course this was not adequate. However, whenever any language miscommunication occured, kind locals helped them numerous times. After the voyage ended, they decided to publish a book to tell Japanese people that the world cares about Japan, and also to express their appreciation for the people they met, conversations they had and messages they collected from all across the world..

Takuma and Yuko didn’t have a manuscript at that stage, any experiences in publishing, nor were they famous. Negotiating a deal with a publishing company was not successul, yet they decided to publish the book with their own funds and without support from a publisher. Further work was also needed to select photographs, proofread the manuscript, conduct additional interviews and so on. The most difficult work was to visit various Embassies in Japan, to find out the kinds of support that each country they visited has given for Tohoku.

The group overcame many difficulties, and finally the book “Sekai kara Fukkou e no Ai no message (Messages of love from the world, for the reconstruction of Tohoku)” was published! After publishing costs are covered, all profits will be donated to relief projects in Tohoku.

※ You can purchase this book at the Tokyo Peace Boat Centre, or online (Amazon.co.jp , Rakuten Books) * Japanese language only