Japan on My Mind

Moss garden
Moss garden at Gio-ji temple in Arashiyama (Kyoto).

I seldom invite world events to appear on Chocolate & Zucchini, because we live in an age of such hyperinformation that we don’t need — and often don’t want — to see the same topics on the news and on the food blogs we read.

But in light of what has happened in Japan, what is still happening in Japan, and what I fear is going to happen next in Japan, I need a bit of time before we go back to our regular programming.

There is little we can do but despair over the nuclear crisis, but what we can do now is contribute however much or little we can to the emergency relief effort for the hundreds of thousands of victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

My friend Chika has set up a fundraising page to support the International Rescue Committee, and Tamami has created one in favor of Save the Children.

Beyond these initiatives, Elizabeth Andoh, who runs A Taste of Culture in Tokyo and Osaka, suggests making donations to Doctors without Borders, NetHope, or International Medical Corps.

Edited to add:
~ Reader Filicophyta sends a link to NPR’s list of organizations taking Japan tsunami donations,
~ Reader Eri sends a link to detailed list of organizations edited by Devex,
~ Reader Viviane has set up a fundraising page benefiting Red Cross Australia,
~ Reader Moonstruckinmt points to Jason Kelly’s Socks for Japan initiative,
~ Reader Stacey sends a link to a fundraising page in favor of ShelterBox.

  • It’s quite overwhelming what’s going on in Japan.I can imagine how it must feel like for the people there living the tragedy. I hope it stops soon.
    Everyone should help.

  • I think we all have Japan on our mind. So sad.

  • You have put into words what so many of us are thinking. Thank you for those links. I’ll pass them on.

  • Merci Clotilde d’avoir publié ici sur ce drame en cours. Sentir toute cette solidarité aide à supporter un peu notre impuissance…

  • I feel the same way; it’s absolutely heartbreaking. I’ve been so tongue-tied lately where the food world is concerned. Thanks for posting this.

  • Maya

    thank you for this blog entry :)

  • I agree. It’s hard to blog about recipes right now, when others would be happy to have safe air to breathe.

  • I agree with Christine, you have put into words what others are thinking. The words: devastating, heartbreaking, just don’t do justice to the depth of despair, do they?

    Tea and Cookies tweeted a link that I think you might want to add to your aid list. It’s called Socks for Japan. Such a simple item but with the weather being so cold, it’s an item that could be so useful and is easy to distribute. Plus, you can add a personal note along with your gift.

    Thank you, Clotilde, for such a poignant post.

  • What a great post – I completely agree – it’s been hard for me to blog as well given everything that’s going on in Japan. Thanks also for posting the links where we can all help – and for giving us all perspective on the things that really matter in life.

  • What’s going on in Japan is so sad! Truly heartbreaking. Japanese are on our minds also.

  • Filicophyta

    From NPR, a list of about 20 organizations taking Japan tsunami donations. They are mostly USA based, but have a variety of beliefs and areas of focus.

    Tokyo, Japan

  • It’s so devastating and heart breaking…Reaping the fruits of abusing our mother nature. Real sad!..

  • Rita

    I truly appreciate the concern all of you express for those suffering in Japan. Thank you Clotilde for the mention of what we can do for them.
    I’m in Tokyo; there’s some inconveniences but of course it’s nothing compared to the disaster I see on TV every day… it’s terrible and I feel so much pain, yet life goes on and we try to work as usual… such mixed feelings. I can only hope that things will get better soon.

  • My thoughts and prayers are with Japan daily…It’s great that we can be in a place to be able to donate and help out however needed. Thank you

  • Definitely, a heartbreaking news, my prayers for them

  • Pip

    It all seems so insurmountable, but seeing everyone come together brings a small glimmer of hope. Thank you for letting us know about these great organizations.

  • Thank you so much for the links. Every so often I find myself stopping whatever mundane task I am doing at my desk and taking a few minutes to think about Japan. Absolutely heartbreaking.

  • sab

    I also have Japan on mind ..I lived there for a while and just had such a wonderful time and it was such an experience ..I pray for them ..and for the world

  • hi Clotilde,

    It’s great to see so many people doing what they can to assist. I felt helpless over recent days watching the disaster unfold so I, too, have set up a fundraising page for the Red Cross here in Australia, who are doing their best to deal with all the disasters that have hit our Pacific region in the last few months, including Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. It seems like a practical and hopefully useful thing we can do to help from afar.

    I would appreciate it if you would include my page amongst your list. I know you have many readers and followers here in Australia (me among them!) and perhaps this is one fundraising effort they can tap into.

    I wouldn’t normally advocate something of mine on a comment so I apologise for doing so. But I felt this was a worthy exception, if it means people feel that they have another accessible avenue via which to assist at this time.

    The page is here but I also have a short update and links on my blog.

    Great work and thank you

  • Eri

    Thank you for being so sensitive and respectful. I have been feeling disconnected with people who have been chattering about recipes and restaurants on Twitter for the last few days.
    Kindest wishes

  • Japan is on my mind too. Thanks so much for a thoughtful post Clotilde. Sometimes the real world does intrude into our peaceful food blog world- and Japan has given the world so much amazing food. What has happened there in the last week is sad beyond words.

  • Terry

    Thanks for the post and links, a wonderfull thought.

    weeping branches fall
    blossoms splash in surging sea;
    sorrow all around

    May their strength and will, be an example to us all.

  • Parisien1

    Clotilde – Thanks for having the courage, and showing world-class touch to boot, to interrupt our regularly scheduled program.

    We love the lady, her spirit & her blog… you’re the greatest!

  • Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, and for providing links and ideas for how we can help.

  • Clotilde
    Pourquoi ne pas l’avoir publié sur la VF ?

    • J’ai du mal à expliquer pourquoi, ça ne m’est venu qu’en anglais. Mais tu as raison, je vais publier un billet similaire sur la VF.

  • msue

    The tragedy in Japan makes me feel so powerless. Money is probably the best way to help, but I want to donate to a responsible and ethical organization. The links you provided are a terrific start.

    I’m also mindful of the very long recovery ahead. Several friends escaped Katrina but lost everything they owned, including their homes. They still are finding their footing all these years later.

    Thank you, Clotilde, for sharing your space with this heart-breaking story.

  • Thanks, Clotilde – nice to have all these links available in a single spot.

    I don’t know how a country recovers from a tragedy of such huge proportion, I have a hard time watching the news, it simply feels wrong. Unfair. Unbelievably sad.

  • A simple meal and four walls around you is a lot to be grateful for these days!

  • I feel like everyone is trying to figure out a way to help…
    I feel so bad for these people…besides donating money I decided to create art, so I made a print called:
    “Japan we care”…with a little dove in the centre of the flag…

    if you want to see it, please click on my name which will take you to my blog.

    This whole event is just so sad, I can’t stop watching the footage…

  • I agree; with all that has been going on in the world and with friends living in Tokyo it is hard not to get involved and we all should. I was watching the news yesterday and such total devastation is just impossible to ignore! Thanks for all the links

  • NicM

    The events in Japan have been such a powerful reminder that life is precious and everything could be gone in a moment. I’m glad you chose to dedicate this post to show support for the Japanese as they struggle through what seems like one tragic event after another.

  • Neil

    Bless you for your concern. Many of us worry about only where we are.

  • thanks for all of the resources.
    it’s such a sad tragedy and i wish there was more i could do to help.

  • The disaster in Japan is so heartbreaking. I lived up in northern Japan for three years, not far from Sendai, and I still have friends up there. I am incredibly glad that people have been rallying together to help, though.

  • I think it’s really important to at least keep on discussing about these tragic events. I must admit that I deeply respect Japanese people for struggling with nature with such patience and calm. They are really prepared.

  • We are all thinking and praying for Japan. What a tragedy.

  • It’s so sad what has happened in Japan. We’ve created a little bookmark with proceeds to go to relief efforts. Can be found here.

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