Friday, March 30, 2012

Voices & Spring Love Harukaze Explore 3.11 Issues @ Tokyo this weekend

It has been slightly over one year since the tragedy of 3.11. Two Tokyo events scheduled for this weekend will highlight ongoing themes of critical importance, such as reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku area and health concerns following the Fukushima nuclear accident. Both events will also raise awareness while featuring various music and arts performances, workshops, and much more.

The first event, Voices, will be held all day this Saturday, March 31st, in Tokyo's Shibaura district. It is a collaboration between the Namida Project—a non-profit, multicultural grassroots effort whose aim is to help empower people to turn tears of sadness into tears of joy—and the community event space Shibaura House. According to the event website:

VOICES is a gathering of narratives, ideas, knowledge, experiences, opinions and expressions that have grown out of the 3.11 disasters in Japan. In the unique open and inviting spaces of SHIBAURA HOUSE, join workshops, participate in talk sessions, listen to stories, view exhibitions and enjoy music as you reflect on and discuss what has happened over the past year and what should be done to create safe and sustainable communities.

The design of SHIBAURA HOUSE erases the inside/outside, us/them boundaries and brings everyone together in a warm space that offers us a chance to meet and share, and to open our imaginations to other possibilities.

In the evening there will be a special charity concert. It will feature renowned musician and composer Akira Inoue. He will be accompanied by shakuhachi performers, led by Ryozan Sakata, Grand Master of Tozanryu, and including Junya Ohkouchi, Kizan Kawamura and Keiko Higuchi. Guitarist Haruo Kubota and flutist Miya will also join Akira Inoue to create a wonderful windscape of sounds.

We hope you can join us on March 31st and help make VOICES a very special event.

Namida Project is a non-profit, multicultural grassroots effort. Our aim is to help empower people so we can turn «tears of sadness to tears of joy».


TALK SESSION 1 // 10:00-12:00
Voices of Health
TALK SESSION 2 // 13:00-15:00
Voices of Fukushima
TALK SESSION 3 // 16:30-18:30
Voices of the People

DIRECTOR´S TALK // 11:00 - 12:00

PERFORMANCE // 15:15-16:00

PERFORMANCES // 10:00 -18:30
Accumulating Voices

Take Action Workshop // 10:00-12:00
Improvisational Game Workshop // 13:15-14:45
Connecting through badge-making // 16:00-18:00

Video Voices // 10:00-18:30

Voices of Kiri-e // 10:00-18:30

Accumulating Voices // 10:00-18:30

I am here! // 10:00-18:30

Kids Voice // Shadowlands 10:00-18:30

BOOKSHOP  10:00-18:30

FOOD SALES 10:00-18:30
CHARITY CONCERT // Windscape 19:30-21:00
Among the day's events are a screening of Then and Now, an exquisitely filmed, brilliantly nuanced short film featuring interviews with Ishinomaki residents about issues that continue facing their community nearly one year following the March tsunami devastation. Following the film will be a talk with its director, Paul Richard Johannessen, and Ishinomaki community leader Toshihiko Fujita.

For detailed information in English and Japanese about all event sessions, as well as tickets and registration, see the official event website.

The second event, "Harukaze 2012: Think It!" will also be held this coming weekend, Saturday March 31st and Sunday April 1st, amongst the budding cherry blossoms in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park. The event will feature live music, DJs, an organic market, live painting, and talk sessions featuring speakers on sustainability-related issues, including Gota Matsumura from the grassroots reconstruction project Ishinomaki 2.0.

From the event website:
HARUKAZE: Think it !
 Saturday, March 31st (noon to sunset)
and Sunday, April 1st (11AM to 8PM)
Yoyogi Park (Outdoor Stage area)* Rain or shine!!
Admission: Free!! (Donations kindly accepted)

Event will feature:

* Three stages (Spring stage, Love stage and Peace Dome)
* The Unnamed Parade
* Skate Ramp powered by Buena Suerte
* Kids activity area
* NPO/NGO booths
* Spring Love Market
* Food/drink stalls featuring healthy/organic ingredients
* Chillout Flea Market
* Talk session on sustainability-related issues

The legendary free urban party, Harukaze, is back for its fourth year. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, March 31st and Sunday, April 1st in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park. If our streak of luck continues this year, the weekend will again feature the cherry blossoms at their full peak!

Enjoyed by many event-goers during its first run from 1998-2002, the festival returned in 2009 together with Peace Not War Japan as “Harukaze Spring Love.” Discussions on issues related to peace were added to the lineup that year and the next, and donations were also collected for grassroots peace organizations. Following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake last March, the 2011 event included a candlelight memorial and song tributes for disaster victims from the amazing VOJA (Voices of Japan) led by gospel singer (and festival director) Yuka Kamebuchi, as well as panel discussions on issues related to nuclear power and alternative energy.

The 2012 Harukaze event is titled “Think It!”, and will encourage festival-goers to consider issues from alternative cultural perspectives such as where we have been and where we are headed in our world today. The amazing weekend ext will again feature top-rated musical and dance performances, organic food and goods stalls, speakers on sustainability-related issues, and much more. Come out with your family, friends, or on your own to enjoy the cherry blossoms while feeding your mind and soul with some Spring Love!!

For more information, see the official event website.

For highlights from past events, see these articles from 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Why not make a weekend of it and attend both events!!

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