More News

Hiromi’s reports continue: Letter from Japan | upcoming art/benefit shows

The latest update from designer/artist Hiromi Oikawa:

Dear All,

I saw a little green come out from a tree limb for the first time this year and I'm so happy that spring has come no matter what.
Hope all is well with you and your family. Thank you so much for your great support. It keeps me going.

One of my best friends, Kugako's husband Akira - we all spent time in college together - sent me an email on Sunday. His hometown is Kesennuma, which is one of the hardest-hit towns, as you may know.

The translation and attachment of the photos he took are below. I really want to help to his family and his hometown...I know a lot of you have already made donations, but if anybody wants to help Kesennuma, please let me know. I think the best way is to send me a check and I will make sure to transfer it to him.

I sold 2 drawings in the last show, and a lot of you, thank you for so much for participating. I am also participating in 2 other benefit shows: 

Monday, April 11, 5-9 PM
Gallery 61, New York Institute of Technology
16 West 61st street, 11th fl.

Thurs. April 7th, 6-8PM
Studio 57 Fine Arts
211 W 57th Street

It would be great if I see you. If not, please spread the word! I really appreciate your kindest support.

Respectfully, Hiromi

Letter to Hiromi from Akira, translated into English:

Oi-chan (Hiromi's nickname in college), 

Thanks for your concerns and kind words.

I visited Kesennuma last Monday and returned to Tokyo yesterday. ( Mar 28-Apr 2)

The situation In my hometown are severely dire. People seemed on high alert, perhaps carrying on in a state of shock since the disaster hit them.

My parents are safe. They've always led a simple life and are in good spirits, saying "we are not at all inconvenienced." My uncle, who is the patriarch of my family, is still missing, and the feeling is that the situation with him is utterly hopeless. His iron factory was destroyed by the tsunami, forcing many people out on the street. My cousins also survived but lost their homes. They could only take the clothes on their backs when they sought shelter with their parents. They commute to the refugee center to find clothing for their young daughters. One of them wryly said, "We beg daily to survive now." His words killed me.

How did it all come to this?

The town, the ocean and the beaches where I grew up are no longer what they used to be. It is tormenting to feel such a sense of loss. Kugako is worried about the radiation and hasn't been motivated to cook. But those of us in Tokyo have it easier and are in a position to offer help that is needed. I am keeping my head up and pushing on.

I heard you too are helping out by organizing charity events. If people would consider donating to my hometown, I would take the responsibility of bringing those donations back to Kesennuma and distribute them among those who lost their homes as well as to those children who lost their parents.

I visited some of the refugee centers there and found disturbing disparities. I went around distributing supplies myself and saw some centers had way more supplies than the demand while at others, people waited a whole day just to receive three pieces of hardtack. The distribution needs to be better balanced.

Also, people who lost their homes, as well as the fishing and farming population who suffered damages, are being considered for governmental support. But what about those whose homes were okay but who lost their jobs? They aren't receiving supplies and have no promise of income. Hundreds of people like that rush to the job center every day.

People are keeping it together for now, but in another month I fear if they might not grow desperate enough to ignore the social order.

I took some pictures of the place. The area where a fire had started was straight out of a picture of Hell. All I could do for much of the time was stand there in prayer with my camera hanging from my shoulder.

Posted via email from Mitchell Teplitsky


No Comments

En Español

Host a Screening