Thursday, 17 March 2011

For Japan With Love

I posted last week about the events in Japan and my concern for the Japanese people, but today I would like to raise people's awareness of a blogger organised event to encourage people to donate to ShelterBox to aid the relief effort in Japan.  It has been organised by the ladies at Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours.  Participating bloggers will also be observing a day of blogger silence (i.e. no posting) this Friday, which for me is a small way in which I can pay respects to all those people who tragically lost their lives in this disaster and extend my sympathies to the survivors who have lost loved ones and are trying to rebuild their lives.

Curiously just before I left Spain last Tuesday I bought a beautiful silk kimono in a sparse floral print.  Whilst unpacking it at home the next day I was thinking about putting together a post about the influence of the Japanese on fashion and in particular the fascination fashion has with the kimono.  A day later the earthquake hit Japan.

So far many of my Japanese friends and their families have not been affected.  However I have no word about the flamenco artist Shoji Kojima who I met recently in Spain, and am hoping that as he was likely to be in Tokyo that he is safe.  But as many of you may be aware, events over the past week have shown the aftermath in the country to be horrific and worsening.

Like everyone I have been following the events in the news constantly.  Last night on the tube, reading more commentary on the disaster in the papers, my heart really sank and I was overcome with sadness.  Could you throw anymore catastrophic events at these poor people?  As if dealing with the death, destruction and the hundreds of thousands of displaced people from the tsunami were not enough there have been severe aftershocks, escalating, frightening problems with the nuclear reactors, further evacuations to avoid radiation exposure to those living close by, power cuts, a struggle to get aid to people who have been without food and water for days and rising fear that people are on the brink of rioting for food.  Then there are the freezing conditions bringing snow and rain that apart from hampering the already difficult search for survivors are also raising concerns about carrying radiation further afield and increasing the chances those housed in refugee centres especially children, becoming ill.

The stories coming out are so heartbreaking, so frightening and I am sure many of us who have tried to put ourselves in the shoes of these people only realise that whatever we imagine them to be experiencing cannot even come close to the horrific reality.  Every time I see the prime minister come on television, in the face of another nerve wrecking update on the state of the nuclear reactors, trying to reassure what must be becoming an increasingly distressed nation, my heart bleeds for him too.  Foreign nationals are understandably fleeing the country in droves but as one resident American man interviewed in the paper I read said, Japan needs help not abandonment.

In the spirit of the event, tomorrow rather than publishing a post, I will be retweeting the link to For Japan With Love.  Mr V and I will be donating to the following charities via a scheme at his employers who will be matching any contributions made by their staff.  The links below are to where donations are being accepted online in the UK.

Below is the flier for the blogger event I have cribbed the instructions to get involved and the relevant links.  Thanks also to Sugar and Spice for posting about the event and alerting me to it.

There are two parts to it.


For Japan With Love has a direct link on the website to our fundraising page for ShelterBox. ShelterBox was one of THE first organizations asked by Japan to help and were on hand on the Saturday after the quake. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.

Please check it out and whatever you can contribute will be so appreciated.

Bloggers Day of Silence:

Anyone that has a blog can help out with this one.

The aim is just raise awareness and respect and acknowledge the devastation going on in Japan.

The guidelines are simple.

1. This coming Friday, March 18th, no posts at all on your blog.

2. Please post a blog post about what you will be doing this Friday whenever possible in hopes to spread the word and whoever else would like to join in. You all can check out what Lydia of Ever-Ours did for her’s here or how we did ours here and do it your way if you’d like. We’ll be posting a reminder post on Thursday evening on my blog too.

3. Tweet and Re-Tweet the shiznit out of the link to please.

4. Encourage your readers to contribute to donate shelter to Japan.

Whatever anyone can contribute will be appreciated.

Every little helps.

Feel free to ask other bloggers you like to join in on this. Whatever impact we can make will be so awesome.

If you’d like to join in, please leave a comment with your blog name and a link too. We would like to acknowledge who will be participating and give them our thanks. Grab the flyer above and either of the badges below and feel free to use it in your post.


  1. Excellent idea - I will not be blogging on Friday - thanks for the heads up.

  2. Such a great idea...I can't silence myself lol. I have too much to say, but will be donating! I think you already know, but I'm having a great Spring giveaway that ends tomorrow! Make sure you enter if you haven't already! Have a fantastic day honey! Kori xoxo

  3. Thank you for the mention. That kimono is beautiful. What a generous work place Mr V works in. Thanks for posting, xx

  4. I will be participating. Your kimono is lovely...

  5. ~thank you for sharing with such moving thoughts!

  6. You are so, so lovely, V. I was out all day - and very immersed in talking about Japan with the people I was with throughout the day - so I only saw this initiative late last night. I've heard back from Lucia @ Utterly Engaged and have done my post, too:

    Your post is so beautifully written. That is incredible about buying your beautiful silk kimono - in Spain of all places, and bringing it back. I had a similar thing where I was up all night just hours before the tsunami: my husband was asleep, the laptop off, but for some reason I was on my PHONE (Samsung, come to think of it) taking images of waves from Palm Beach, reflecting them.. I've always felt that sensitive people - artistic souls - are often connected in many ways - dreams, for example - and somehow we're tapping into that.

    In any case, yes exactly what you wrote: my husband and I especially felt, no, God, not the snow: that is just too much, too cruel. I'm finding myself bursting into tears with compassion for these brave, dignified, beautiful people.

    Sorry to go on so long: but having given my vow of silence on my own blog - and coming here simply to thank you for your comment and for letting me know (because I hadn't, at that point) - well I'd better stop now or I'll start crying again.

    with virtual love, jill

  7. A really valuable post, thank you so much for making me aware.x

  8. This was a very well written post on the topic. I enjoyed reading it despite the tragedy. Thanks for shedding light on this issue.


  9. This blogger day of silence jumped at my slightly unexpectantly... But that doesn't mean I do not care. I think we all need to find our own ways of support. Thank you for the links, V., Medicins sans Frontiers are my heroes.


Thank you kindly for your comments! Please be aware that comment moderation is on to weed out the spammers and I can only check comments once a day, so please don't worry if you don't see your comment come up at first - it is probably there and will be up later xx


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