Celebration of Japanese culture is earthquake fundraiser

Western Today staff

A group of Western Washington University Art History students are hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday, May 1, at various locations on Western’s campus to benefit the victims of the March 2011 tsunami that ravished Japan as a result of the powerful 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the northeast coast.

With about 15, 800 people killed, more than 3,150 still missing and about $235 billion in damages, according to Word Bank estimates, the tsunami was the most costly natural disaster ever recorded.

Students in Art History 411, a seminar focused on contemporary Japanese visual culture, have organized “Do Art! Honor Japan: A Celebration of Japanese Visual Culture and Fundraiser for Victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake,” to help with relief efforts.

They will host interactive events and workshops, or “teach-ins,” celebrating Japanese culture on Red Square and in the Fine Arts Building. The students will also be making objects such as ink-painted kanji bookmarks and shibori tie-dye bracelets to be sold on that day; all proceeds will go to Peace Winds America, a nonprofit organization in Seattle known for its effective distribution of donations to Great East Japan Earthquake victims. This event is being co-sponsored by the Japanese Student Association. Attendance is free and open to the public.

They chose the date because although the phrase “May Day” summons images of workers marching and uniting for the cause of improved human rights or of colorfully dressed children dancing around a May Pole, “May Day” is also a distress call, used particularly in response to marine disasters.

“The students are doing this not simply to fulfill a class objective but with a sense of joy at having a platform from which to help victims of the quake,” said Julia Sapin, associate professor of Art History. “There is still much work to do before Japan and the people of the northeastern region can move on with their lives.”

 Full list of the events:

  • 9 a.m.-1 p.m. - Red Square (by fountain) - free - Booth showing historical timeline of advertising in Japan
    Incentive prize by donation: A map that can be stamped for each event. There is an incentive prize if all stamps are collected (simply by attending events).
  • 9 a.m.-noon - Red Square (by Miller Hall) - $5 suggested donation - Booth showing history of manga
    Incentive prize by suggested $5 donation: anime-style caricature portraits
  • 9-11 a.m. - Red Square (by Noguchi sculpture) - Ink-tastic! Interactive Painting and Calligraphy Booth
    Incentive prize by donation of $1: kanji bookmarks
  • 9 a.m.-1 p.m. - Red Square (by Bond Hall) - Shibori Tie-Dyeing workshop
    Incentive prize by donation of $1: Shibori bracelets
  • 9 a.m.-2 p.m. - Fine Arts 234 - Game Art!
    Incentive prize by donation of $2: key chain
  • 9 a.m.-1 p.m. - Fine Arts Omni Room (second floor) - Origami Cranes: Be One with the Fold
    Incentive prize by donation of $1: raffle for crane strands
  • 9 a.m.-1 p.m. - Fine Arts Omni Room - Designing Zen: Collaborative, Interactive Installation
    Incentive prize by donation: participate in making a collaborative piece!

For more information about the fundraiser, contact Julia Sapin at (360) 650-3670 or julia.sapin@wwu.edu.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012