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Charity events raising money to aid earthquake victims

Date Posted: 2011-03-31

Okinawans are showing an outpouring of support for victims of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami of March 11th, contributing at charity events from Nago to Naha.

The instrumental band 4Edge goes on stage Saturday at Nago Civic Hall, performing rock, pops, jazz, and classical music to entertain music lovers. The group performs regularly across Okinawa, including a “Live Ginowan” appearance in 2009. 4Edge saxophone player Suzuna Kishimoto says “this Nago Civic Hall performance is part of our tour project for our new CD release, but we thought we could aid victims of the earthquake by donating 50% of our CD sales Saturday.” He says “what we can do for now is play music that will cheer people up.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the concert, with the show beginning at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets are ¥2,000, or ¥2,500 at the door. The 4Edge CD will be on sale at the Nago Civic Hall for ¥1,000. The concert commemorates the 4Edge release of its first single, ‘Across the Sea’.

Nago Civic Hall is located in Nago City. After exiting the Okinawa Expressway at Kyoda intersection, head north on Highway 58 for about 10 minutes. As you approach City Hall on the right, Nago Civic Hall is on the left.

A charity concert organized by the Okinawa Jazz Association was held several days ago at Palette Kumoji in Naha City to raise funds for disaster-stricken areas in mainland Japan that were devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunami. “As a musician,” says chairman of the organizing committee Kazuto Ota, “I’m glad the event was able to support disaster-stricken people.” The performance rallied some 90 musicians who brought jazz and classic music genres together in harmony.

Sister associations from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima had asked for aid from Okinawa. As the performance unfolded, volunteers circulated donation boxes stating “Chibariyo Tohoku, Kanto”. The Miyagi Association chairman, Katsuyuki Tobukuro, told Okinawans “who live in our second native place, I thank you for supporting us. We want to keep up with the problems of our people.”

A charity event in Onna Village was held over a three-day period to raise money. Sponsored by Cup Gourmet with the theme ‘Yell for Japan’, the event was staged at Onna-no-Eki Nakadomari district. Cup Gourmet is a gourmet food packed in plastic cups able to fit in cup holders of vehicles. The original intent of the event was to promote products produced by 11 restaurants for ¥350 each as ‘The Cup Gourmet Championship’ with a winner to be chosen by popular vote, but the organizers changed rationale in light of the earthquake.

Part of the proceeds of Cup goods have been directed toward the relief efforts. At Onna Village, collection boxes were set in each storefront, or near cashiers in shops. Some vegetables donated by local producers were sold in ‘vegetables for the suffers’ support corner,’ with those proceeds also going to relief funds. A mini-exhibition of products representing local Onna Village specialties were collected by the Onna Village Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and also sold with profits going to the earthquake relief effort.

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