On May 6, the Japanese Language Program hosted a charity event "Arigato 'Thank you'" to help the Japan earthquake tsunami relief effort. The event, which was held at Nolte 140, started at 6:00 pm and the room was immediately packed with over 150 people.
Since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, the Japanese people and those who have a connection with Japan have been receiving support from all over the world. The instructors and TAs in the Japanese Language Program decided to hold an event where they could express their appreciation, and also support the Japan relief effort.
Despite the short period of time to prepare and in the midst of the busy teaching schedule, the event was a big success. The event started with a YouTube slide show "Pray for Japan", followed by beautiful music by the band "Julight" from the Oriental Music Club (U of M student organization). After that, Mu-min (Japanese women's chorus group in the Twin Cities area) sang several Japanese songs. The audience sang "Ue o muite arukoo 'Let's walk facing up'" aka "Sukiyaki song" together, led by Mu-min.
At the event, attendees wrote a message to Japan on their cherry blossom pedal shaped program and made a big cherry blossom tree together. Outside the room, there was a bazaar where people enjoyed searching for good deals.
The Japanese Language Program is grateful for the help from their friends, without which the event could not have happened. The thank yous go to:
- The Department of Asian Languages and Literatures for being a sponsor for the event
- "Julight" and "Mu-min" for the beautiful music performances
- AJI (Asobou! Japanese Immersion Club), JSA (Japan Student Association), NDJ (N-Dimensional Japan) for working so hard at the event
- JASM (Japan America Society of Minnesota) for donating a beautiful piece of art for the silent auction
- Members of the Support Group formed by ISSS (International Student & Scholar Services) staff for participating from the beginning
- Kikugawa at Riverplace for providing a generous portion of food
- Sushi Do for delicious sushi
- Friends from the Japanese community for bringing food and items to sell at the bazaar
- Friends and students for participating
The total of the donated money was $1,109.75. The money was collected and sent to the Japanese Red Cross by the Japan Student Association.