On the 15th of March Lesley Kehoe Galleries and the Significant Womens’ Network held a fundraising event for the tsunami ravaged township of Ishinomaki. The event was attended by the Consul-General of Japan, Mr Hidenobu Sobashima, who expressed Japan’s heartfelt gratitude for the assistance from Australia; and Ms Catherine Taylor, former consul and trade commissioner to Sendai, whom movingly described cultural differences and their consequent spiritual and emotional toll.
Sparkling sake was flowing, as were stories sharing treasured experiences of Japan and expressions of hope for its future. A silent auction and raffle was held, raffle tickets were sold and wonderful prizes were won courtesy of our generous supporters.
One thousand origami paper cranes (senbazuru) were folded and bound together and will be taken to Ishinomaki. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. It is our wish for the people of Ishinomaki to rebuild their lives and community with compassion and love.
After such a successful fundraising event, we raised over $14,000 for the people of Ishinomaki. Australian film director Paul Johannassen will continue hisdocumentary of Ishinomaki on its path to recovery in 3 parts over the next five years. It was Paul’s short film ‘Then and Now’, that alerted us to ongoing challenges in Ishinomaki.This is an amazing opportunity to see how the money that we donated will contribute to shape the town’s future.We will be visiting Ishinomaki on the 19th of April with Paul to present the money to Fujita-san, the community organiser, along with the senbazuru.