On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Japan. The earthquake caused a tsunami with waves that reached 133 feet high. These events led to 15,854 deaths, more than 26,992 injured individuals and more than 3,155 people are still missing.
The Japanese Student Association is holding a Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief event at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11 in Arntzen Hall 100.
The event is free, but donations will be accepted. They will also be selling wristbands for $5, and all the proceeds will go to Peace Winds America, an organization devoted to reducing the impact of natural disasters in the Asia Pacific.
Western’s Japanese Student Association is hosting an event to help reflect on these unforgettable events and encouraging students to rethink what they value in life, said Mizue Aoki, vice president of the Japanese Student Association.
The event is in reflection of the earthquake and tsunami, what has happened and the fact that people are still suffering, Aoki said. Since recovery from a natural disaster can take more than ten years years, it is important to send Japan support, Aoki said.
The Japanese Student Association created a movie title “A Journey of Pinwheel.” In the movie, students are asked about what they value most in their lives. Through the video, students can rethink what is really important in their lives and appreciate what they have, Aoki said.
The event will also have performances by Western students and Bellingham community groups. Hip-hop dancing, break dancing and Japanese traditional dances are some of the featured acts.
The purpose of the event is to make students more informed about what has happened in Japan, and what they are going through, Aoki said.
“The news was everywhere – T.V., radio, newspapers – but then a couple weeks later, it’s all gone,” Aoki said. “And a year after that [the earthquake], people don’t remember that it happened. We want to remind people that the tragedy happened and that people are still suffering.”
The Japanese Student association was originally founded in 2008, said Yuki Kumakura, president of JSA. The club was not active during the 2010-2011 school year, and was revived in February 2012, Aoki said.