Saturday, February 23, 2013

Swiss Company Supports SWTJ With Unique Project: Original Washi (Japanese Paper) Tape [support Tohoku]

SWTJ is delighted to announce that the Swiss Company Thomas Merlo & Partner has just launched a new product named [support Tohoku] uniquely produced to support SWTJ's disaster relief activities in Tohoku.

The set  [support Tohoku] contains two colorful washi  tapes beautifully designed by up-and-coming designer Hiroko Takahashi from Tokyo. Delicate decorative patterns adorn the two Japan-made adhesive rice-paper tapes, respectively named [chochin] and [isshoni], an allusion to [lanterns] lit in Tohoku in memory of the many victims of the March 11, 2011 disaster, and to the need of continued [solidarity] with the people in northeastern Japan, the region struck by one of Japan’s largest earthquakes ever.

Thomas Merlo & Partner AG distributes the product [support Tohoku] in Europe. For every set of tapes sold in Europe, one Euro is donated to SWTJ. The product was officially launched in Frankfurt, Germany, at Ambiente (Feb 15-19, 2013), one of the world's most important events for the consumer-goods sector.

 (photos below courtesy Thomas Merlo & Partner)
[support Tohoku] at Ambiente 

The tapes can also be bought directly from SWTJ, either at one of our events, or by contacting us at

(in Japanese or English).
We are waiting for your order!
All profits from sales of the product by SWTJ will be used for SWTJ's disaster relief activities.

*SWTJ online shop is under construction. Coming soon!

SWTJ would like to express our sincere thanks to project initiator and producer Thomas Merlo & Partner AG, and to designer Hiroko Takahashi for supporting SWTJ with such a unique and amazing undertaking!

DesignHirocoledge & Co.

In addition, we thank the shops that have kindly agreed to help selling the tapes in Japan. More stores will be added over time!

Keibunsha Ichijoji Store
BOOKS, GIFTS AND GALLERY10, Ichijoji Haraitono-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto

*For every set of tapes bought at these stores, at least 100Yen will be donated to SWTJ. 

Tohoku still faces many challenges:

SWTJ is committed to long-term support

Two years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, the novelty of the tsunami waves and nuclear meltdown has worn off in the news. Most of Japan’s regions have long returned to everyday life. 

But northeastern Japan has not. Evacuees still live in cramped temporary housing scattered all over the region. Family members have to live apart from each other due to a lack of work or fears that radioactivity especially affects the very young. Worries of nuclear pollution weigh heavy over farmers and fishers. The young leave the region and the elderly are left alone. Children who stay back have few playgrounds since most of the remaining parks and sports grounds have been used for temporary housing due to a lack of flat land to rebuild. The rate of obese children has climbed to a national high in the affected regions. Stress levels are alarming. The disaster is not over.

With every set of [support Tohoku] you buy, you help us help Tohoku. Enjoy these original Japanese rice-paper  adhesive tapes in your creative life or give them as a gift!

Thank you for your support!

SWTJ (Solidarity with Tohoku, Japan) is a Kyoto-based volunteer disaster relief organization that provides long-term post-disaster support in northeastern Japan in close cooperation with its branches in Kesennuma and Rikuzentakata. SWTJ helps people in the regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami to network and to make themselves heard, and promotes community rebuilding through cultural and youth projects.

SWTJ (Solidarity with Tohoku, Japan)
Address: SWTJ Office c/o Seikado Studio/Gallery, 462 Myomanjimae-cho, Teramachi-dori 
Nijo-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Tel: 090 6977 8180 (Japanese only)

E-mail: (Japanese or English)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

LOVE&HOPE FOR TOHOKU Feb 11 Fundraising Festival


All-Day Music, Art and Food Festival in Kyoto on Feb 11 (Monday, Public Holiday) 2013 11am-9pm


An amazing number of performers, actors, dancers, musicians, workshop leaders, shop keepers and food specialists will entertain and spoil you! 

Join us! The entrance fee is just 1,000Yen and includes a drink.
Bring your kids--entrance is free for elementary school kids and younger!
Discover unique artists from the Japanese contemporary music and performance scene!

Live Music, One-Hand-Piano, Flamenco, Theater, Performances, Workshops, Food Stands, Drink Bar, Flea Market...It's going to be a day to remember!

Bring family and friends! This fundraiser is held to send a SWTJ Team to Tohoku for the Second Anniversary of the Earthquake and Tsunami.. By coming to the event and having fun you will help sending the SWTJ "Music Caravan" to Tohoku in March!

SWTJ would like to express its sincere thanks to the many artists, performers, musicians, workshop leaders, cooks and other sponsors and volunteers who will donate their time and skills to the February 11 festival in Kyoto!

KYOTO FANJ Event Hall 京都FANJ(ファンジェイ)
Access: 7 minutes on foot from Exit 3 of Kyoto Kokusai Kaikan Station of the Kyoto Subway  
Time: Feb 11, 2013 (public holiday) from 11am-9pm
Entrance Fee: 1,000Yen (includes one free drink).
*Elementary school children or younger: entrance free.

(last-minute program changes may occur)
11:30-11:40  Jewel
11:40-12:00 Greeting SWTJ Director
12:00-12:30 Abe Keiko Flamenco Studio
12:30-13:00 Karikirin (Live Music)
13:10-13:40 Chinai Takeo plays (one-hand pianist)
13:50-14:20 Kumasaka Yoshito and Spanko (Live Music)
14:30-15:00 Dani Gongu (Performance)
15:15-16:00 Shohei Toyoda (Guitar)
16:10-16:40 Gekidan Ore to Matsumoto (Theater)
16:50-17:20 Minori to Romanbe (Belly Dance)
17:30-18:00 Uryuyama Overtone Ensemble (Live Music)
18:00-18:15 Greeting SWTJ
18:20-19:00 Sachertorte (Live Music)
19:10-19:50 Goto Yuzo (Live Music)
20:00-20:40 Denki Gypsy Special (Live Music)

For a small fee you can take part in a workshop!
Make your own stuffed animal or other creature! (by Yamasaki Asahiko)
Masking tape--so much fun! (by Kato Wako)
Analog Game! (by Tansan and Company)
Kasaneni! (by Sakate Akiko)
Baby signs and American sign language (by Dany Gongu)

SWTJ Flea Market: Amazing prices!
Miyakochan and Friends: Accessories and Scarves

Buy your favorite food here!
  • Bajarbol: Paella
  • Xuan: Vietnamese Seafood Fried Harumaki, Vietnamese Coffee, Lotus Royal Milk Tea
  • SWTJ: Vietnamese Pho Noodles, Sake Lees Soup,Takoyaki Dumplings, 
  • Wakame seaweed-shabushabu corner (delicious fresh wakame from one of our contacts in the SWTJ network in Tohoku: the just reborn Hatakeyama Seaweed Farm in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture)
  • Cotton Candy: Not only for the kids!!
All profits from this event will be used to send SWTJ's Activity Team to the disaster area during the 2nd Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.