A note from Yoshiko and information on a fundraiser, "Handmade for Japan". -------------
Dear Friends, Thank you for your emails of concern regarding Japan and our friends there. I caught the news of the earthquake while at the Delhi Airport waiting for my flight home from India.
I have spoken with some of our friends and family in Kiryu in Gunma Prefecture, Tokyo, even in Fukushima Prefecture and other parts of Japan and found them all fine and calm. But the pending nuclear disaster is the biggest concern for all.
Foods and gasoline have become scarce and some friends in the greater Tokyo area are trying to flee to the West. Our papermaker friend, Mr. Shio -- who accompanied me on my recent trip to India -- was in Tokyo at a tradeshow at a big convention center near the Tokyo Bay when the earthquake struck. Having lived through a large earthquake that hit his hometown of Tottori several years back, Mr. Shio knew immediately what to do: he took off running to higher ground. Everyone started following him up to the roof. Thankfully, the tsunami didn't hit. After miles of walking, he found an open metro line to Haneda airport and flew back home to the Japan Sea Coast in the western part of Honshu Island (away from the affected area though there is another nuclear power plant in Shimane Prefecture not too far from them).
The upcoming SFS program in Japan in May/June, fortunately, does not include Miyagi, Iwate, or Fukushima Prefectures and the destinations are not affected by the devastation at the moment.
Let us pray that the worst will be avoided at the nuclear power plant. Thank you all for your concerns.
A Japan fundraiser has been organized by ceramist Ayumi Horie and friends -- "HANDMADE FOR JAPAN" is an eBay art auction starting Thursday, 8p EST. All proceeds will go to Global Living. Learn more about the auction here.