“Updates from Tohoku” Event in Boston Draws Big Crowd

The US-Japan Council’s New England Members commemorated the Great East Japan Earthquake with an inspiring night of “Updates from Tohoku & A Night of Remembrance: A Journey to a New Life,” on March 31. Hosted by the Fish Family Foundation, where Member of the USJC Board of Directors Atsuko Fish serves as a Trustee, the evening’s program offered reflection, insights and inspiration to a packed house at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye opened the program with an explanation of USJC’s work to support Tohoku, and an update on her participation in the recent 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan. Consul General of Boston Tsutomu Himeno offered warm greetings, with a moving reminder of the losses suffered on March 11, 2011.

Shun Kanda sharing his plan for rebuilding Tohoku

The program continued with three Tohoku updates. Council Member Shun Kanda, Director of the MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative, offered his vision for an innovative rebuilding plan that would better serve the community’s needs based on his deep engagement in the Minamisanriku community.

Council Member Anne Nishimura Morse, William and Helen Pounds Senior Curator of Japanese Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, provided fascinating insights into artistic responses to March 11th through work she collected and curated at the museum’s new exhibit, “In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11.”

USJC Friend of the Council, Megumi Ishimoto, next inspired the audience with an update on the work that the NPO she founded, Women’s Eye, has accomplished to support women in Tohoku, especially those in temporary housing. Megumi credited both the TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program supported by J.P. Morgan, as well as the Japan Women’s Leadership Initiative supported by the Fish Family Foundation, for providing the resources to expand her NPO’s work within the community, and to launch an International Grassroots Women’s Academy in Tohoku.

Consul General Himeno & Shun Kanda

Consul General Himeno & Shun Kanda

Upcoming event for the 4th anniversary of 3.11

Today we mark the fourth anniversary of the 3.11 disaster.  To commemorate this milestone, we invite those local to Boston to attend:


Updates from Tohoku & A Night of Remembrance

Tuesday March 31, 2015
6pm – 8pm
The Red Room at Cafe 939

Berklee College of Music
939 Boylston Street, Boston

Free and open to the public
Register at Eventbrite.

“Updates from Tohoku, a journey to new life,” is a commemoration of the fourth anniversary of 3.11, the disaster that occurred on March 11, 2011 in the Tohoku region of Japan and affected nearly 500,000 people.

The event highlights individuals and projects working in northeastern Japan since 3.11, including our own Shun Kanda in a talk titled “Beyond 2020_nx: A Vision for the Next Generation.”  He is joined by Anne Nishimura Morse, curator of Japanese art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Megumi Ishimoto, founder and executive director of the NPO Women’s Eye.  There will also be performances by Berklee student recipients of the TOMODACHI Suntory music scholarship.

Hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston, Berklee College of Music, Fish Family Foundation, Japan Society of Boston, and the U.S.-Japan Council/TOMODACHI Initiative