Kizuna 5 Brings the Voice of Youth from Tohoku
• “Kizuna 5: Voices of the Youth”, the fifth consecutive
event was held on March 6 at the Chicago Cultural Center to commemorate
the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and about 300 people
• Yoko Noge Dean, Co-Chair of the Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, took an initiative to hold a series on the Kizuna Project in 2012 and continue to lead a team of the project. She said, “Today and always, we stand in solidarity with the people of Tohoku. Memories fade away, but they are something we should never forget. We are the messengers and have tried to tell the stories for five years. We’ve tried to convey the messages from the people in Tohoku and show the most current updates to the people of Chicago and the world.”
• In his remarks, Consul General of Japan Toshiyuki Iwado
said, “We should never forget what happened in Japan. By learning its
lessons, the world can be better prepared to deal with natural disasters.”
• In the commemorative ceremony, five of 250 messages
• Ed Grant, former President of the Japan America Society
of Chicago and a very first supporter of the Kizuna Project said, “Tomodachi
and kizuna, which mean friends and bond of emotions, say so much about
the relationship between Chicago and Japan. The people of Tohoku have
not been forgotten by Chicago, and we are here today to renew our message
to Tohoku, that we stand by them as they do the hard work of rebuilding
their homes, their businesses, their cities and their lives.”
• Lisa Kohnke, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic
Partnerships and Global Affairs, read a message from Chicago Mayor Rahm
Emanuel, who declared March 11, 2016 as “Japanese Earthquake Commemoration
• Rev. Patti Nakai of the Buddhist Temple of Chicago
offered memorial prayers to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
• Wesley Julian introduced “113 Project”, a series of
short documentary films highlighting Tohoku. 113 Project features over
a dozen interviews and stories embodying hope and perseverance. The short
films showcase the warmth and beauty of the region while sharing the voices
of people and how their lives are today.
• Video Message Project
• Akihiko Tohei, a native of Chicago, brought the video
message idea, and the project was realized with the cooperation from Wesley
Julian and Hayami Shiraishi, who visited Tohoku and asked schools in the
areas to videotape students’ messages.
• One of the 250 messages was sent by Satoshi Ogata,
a student of Koyo High School in Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture. He belonged
to the school’s tennis club, and tennis brought him and Chicago’s tennis
charity group “BuChicago” together.
• Kizuna 5 was presented by the Osaka Committee of Chicago
Sister Cities International, the Japan America Society of Chicago, the
Consulate General of Japan in Chicago, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce
and Industry of Chicago, and the Japan External Trade Organization.
“Kizuna 5: Voices of the Youth”, the fifth consecutive event was held on March 6 at the Chicago Cultural Center to commemorate the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and about 300 people got together.
A video message from Tohoku
A video message from Tohoku
The students of Montessori Language Academy sing songs
for the students in Tohoku
Satoshi Ogata, a student of Koyo High School in Kesennuma in
Miyagi Prefecture, poses for a photo with Consul General Toshiyuki Iwado.
Yoko Noge Dean, Co-Chair of the Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities Internationa
Consul General Toshiyuki Iwado
Ed Grant, former President of the Japan
America Society of Chicago