Are things getting better? Well, actually… No.

I have been touched by the amount of concern expressed by people around me, here in London. But are things getting better in Japan?
As the media has moved on swiftly, from the initial 24/7 coverage in Japan, the general perception is that Japan, as one of the richest and most technologically advanced countries, should be able to deal with the situation with ease.
However, even 3 weeks after the natural disaster, my relatives in Sendai are still struggling to get the most basic of supplies. Meanwhile the crisis at Fukushima nuclear plant seems to be getting worse by the day. The Japanese Government has issued a warning that they are on “maximum alert level” , with the potential of an extension on the exclusion zone. As my aunt’s house is only 40km from the plant if this measure is taken she will fall under this zone and may have to be evacuated, even though the move itself might cause a real risk for her already fragile condition.
The government has now increased the maximum radiation level in foods in order to prevent a shortage in food. They have stated that their original safety level was “too conservative” and have assured people that the new level will not cause any health risks. Nonetheless, anxiety has spread! I believe with this stress, circulating among the Japanese, it is of paramount importance that we show them that they are not alone in their struggle and have sympathy and support, home and abroad.
This is why I am so encouraged to find out that many countries around the world are making a real effort to support Japan.

Participating artists出品作品&アーチスト

The list of artists, who will be included in the auction in Budapest, is currently being drawn up.
However, we are very happy to share the line up of artists we have chosen so far, which include a mixture of well established artists as well as young, promising artists. Those who will be participating are:

Nana Shiomi, Isao Miura, Ryuta Suzuki, Akiko Fujikawa, Lisa Keiko Kirton, Hikari Yoshizawa, Yoko Iwaya, Soju Tanaka, Kaori Homma, Mayu, and Nobuo Okawa.

My aunt is still not getting food supply after two weeks!

One of the major cities in the Tohoku area, Sendai is a bustling historic city with a major University. Normally the streets are lined with designer shops and restaurants. The first thing you would have seen, arriving in Sendai before the earthquake would have been the food court where you could have sampled  hundreds of different local delicacies at the Bullet train station. My aunt’s house is a bus ride from the city centre, not in a remote and inaccessible place to get to.

How then can it be that the world’s “most sophisticated /well trained /stoical” armies of rescue workers cannot help my aunt?

One of the main issues, as I understand is the lack of petrol, which is hampering transportation and also while essential supplies are slowly getting into the area, the distribution system is not geared up for the individual residents who are not in one of these big rescue centres.
I know that my aunt’s situation is only moderately serious compared to others, because of their location and the fact she has family members around her.
But there are others, outside of the media attention, already perishing due to malnutrition and hypothermia linked to the lack of essential supplies, even though they have survived the Quake and Tsunami.

iTunes' Songs for Japan

Emergency art Relief for Japan - Budapest!

Charity Art Auction for Japanese Disaster Relief


Date 14th April, 2011
Brody House, Brody Sandor Utcha 10,1088, Budapest, Hungary
Organiser: Drawing Room Hungary
Supported by;
Brody House,
IPA Foundation,

The proceeds will go to
Japan Red Cross
Thank you everyone!
Since this blog has gone out we have received a huge amount of support and offers to help from all over the world!
We have been emensely encouraged to see others getting their ACTION on too!
Helping Hand for Japan plan to host a series of events, in Oxford. Graduates from University of Arts London have an event at Creekside, SE London, this friday. (Check out for more info) Yesterday, there was a Soup Kitchen, set up by students at Camberwell School of Art, where many young artists paid for soup noodles to raise funding for Japan.

Also, City and Guilds of London Art School will be hosting their
Art/Unity/Hope: Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund”

Thank you all so much for your generosity.

Why Budapest?

As an artist who lives and works in London, so far away from Japan, I felt helpless when witnessing the disaster unfolding on the internet/TV. With my own family and relatives directly involved in this catastrophe, I just needed to do something. And yet, faced with the enormity of the tragedy, a question sprang to mind. What could a mere individual artist do? I cannot give a large amount of money nor do I have useful skills to rescue people.

I am due to have a holiday break in Budapest in April. But at the moment, taking a holiday is unthinkable when so many of my people are suffering. I was about to rip up the ticket and throw it in a bin, when I had the idea to exchange my artwork for something to help relief work in Japan.

I have called my friend, Nannete Vinson from Drawing Room Hungary to see if she might be able to help. I cannot believe how immediate and heartfelt the responses have been.

I know our effort is literally a drop in the ocean, just as helpless as the image of a helicopter spraying a bucket full of water on nuclear reactors, which are spiralling out of control. However we have to do something now! I pray that it might at least communicate to the people in Japan that the rest of the world empathises with their pain and that they are not alone.

So Budapest is a very special destination and also a starting point.

祖国の惨状を,日本から遠いロンドンにあって、ネットやテレビのニュース上で見ながら、何もする事ができず、居てもたってもいられない日々を送っていました。ただ、一概のアーチストに何ができると言う、焦燥感のなかで、もともと仕事もかねて旅行に行く事になっていた、ハンガリーのブダペスト行きのチケットを こんな事態では旅行どころではないと、ゴミ箱の傍らで処分しよう、と考えていたとき、貧乏アーチストがゆえに、寄付もろくろく出来ぬ立場だけれど、作品だけはあるわけで、それをなんとか有意義な物資や人材に還元できないかと言うアイデアが浮かびました。


I sat there completely bewildered. The images on the television screen reminded me of something from a disaster movie, like 'The Day After Tomorrow'. I just could not believe what was unfolding before my eyes was reality.

On the 11th March 2011, one of the biggest earthquakes recorded in history hit Japan. Measuring a massive 9.0 on the Richter scale, it shook the whole of the country. The media has highlighted that the Japanese are one of the best organised and prepared countries for earthquakes in the world, meaning a large part of the country had dealt with it very well. However, no country, whatever it's experience with natural disasters, could have foreseen the sheer power and devastation of the tsunami which followed.

Washing away anything in it's path, the tsunami tore through the Northeast coast. It is plain to see the awful effect it had on these areas, and beyond, by looking at the images seen on the news, like the picture and video link below.

I admit, before this tragedy I never fully understood what it would be like to be in such horrendous circumstances. I feel we are all, to some extent, desensitised to these kinds of stories having been exposed to them everyday and will never be able to comprehend just how awful they are unless we are personally involved. This time, it was my turn. I immediately feared for my elderly parents in Tokyo, my brother and my relatives living in Sendai. I found myself glued to 3 screens at a time - BBC News on the TV, NHK online and CNN also, frantically trying to piece together the unbelievable events and find any information about my loved ones.
I pray for the survivors of the earthquake, tsunami and for those working on or living near the failing nuclear reactors.

Please donate to the Red Cross