Messages of Hope

I joined the volunteer group called "Ganbaranba" and went to Ofunato with them. It was an opportunity to deliver my "Messages of Hope," while at the same time, I could help the Ganbaranba team with their important work. Ganbaranba is committed to going to Tohoku on or around the 11th of each month. As you probably know, the earthquake and tsunami was on March 11th. Ganbaranba prepares and serves udon noodles to the people in the disaster area. They have also delivered partitions to be used in the shelters, so the families living there can have some privacy. Check out my video of the Ganbaranba team in action.

The slide show below is of me gathering messages to take to Tohoku. 

 Below are more pictures I took while in Ofunato.

Please check out my video of us gathering messages and hugs from the people of Hiroshima, Kobe, Nagoya, and Osaka.

Free Hugs gathered in Hiroshima, Osaka, Kobe, and Nagoya...

Song by Beverly Graham 

Free Hugs collected by Vincent Marx

Here is a slideshow that contains all of the messages collected from the four cities in the video, as well as from Tokyo. 

A detailed explanation of this project is located on my blog. 日本語での紹介はこちらにあります:

March 19 & 20, 2011 -- ANGELS -- Messages to Tohoku ‎(東北)‎ and Free Hugs from Hiroshima, Osaka, Kobe, and Nagoya


The following is from my blog in Japan.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm home after spending a few days in Ofunato City in Iwate Prefecture. First, I must say that I plan to go back. The people there are very strong, but they will continue to need help and support for a long time. You can watch the news, watch YouTube videos, and read the paper, but there is NOTHING like seeing the devastation with your own eyes and meeting the people who have lost so much.

I met a woman who lost her home and her livelihood. She pointed to what was left of her home and her photo studio.


I didn't know what to say. I couldn't believe something so horrible could happen to so many people.

Delivering the messages and occasional hugs seemed like trying to put tiny bandages on gaping wounds.

But, I went with a group of people who were also doing their best to bandage the wounds.

      They prepared and served udon noodles.

       They donated and delivered partitions (temporary walls) for the shelters so people could have a little privacy.

I tried to help as much as I could, but mostly, I did my stuff.

       I handed out picture books and coloring books to the kids. I showed the messages of hope to as many people as I could. I gave out hugs.

For more information and more pictures of our trip, visit the websites below.

Miyashita-san's and YAS-san's blog are both in Japanese.

Yas-san's blog is here at Cafe de Pou.

Yas-san's first blog entry

Yas-san's second blog entry

Yas-san's third blog entry

Yas-san's fourth blog entry

Takeru Miyashita-san's blog is here.

Miyashita-san's first blog entry

Miyashita-san's second blog entry

Miyashita-san's third blog entry