The Great East Japan Tsunami and Earthquake of 2011 has had a profound effect on Japanese society that will be felt for many years to come. To mark the two-year anniversary of the disasters, Japan Society hosts three special evening events to explore the impact and aftermath of 3/11 as seen through the eyes of an award-winning film director, an acclaimed pianist and visual artist, and a leading scholar on Japan.
Hope, Struggle & Rebirth in the Shadow of 3/11: Film, Concert & Lecture commemorates the two-year anniversary of the disasters with a suite of events underscoring the spirit of hope and recovery. On Sunday, March 10, the Society screens the New York Premiere of The Land of Hope, famed Japanese director Sion Sono's impacting fictional fantasia on the human and emotional toll from the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown that occurred immediately following the tsunami. On Monday, March 11, a U.S. premiere concert of classical and contemporary pieces marks the day of the second anniversary, featuring an original work by Tomoko Mukaiyama that combines Chopin's Nocturne and other music for solo piano with soundscapes from the impacted Tohoku region, such as children's choirs. The concert opens with classical works performed on a violin made from tsunami debris. Finally, on Tuesday, March 12, MIT's Richard Samuels discusses his book 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan, the first broad assessment of the effects of the disaster on Japan's government, society and on the U.S.-Japan alliance.
Motoatsu Sakurai, president of Japan Society notes, "With these special events around the second anniversary of the disasters, we take a moment to reflect on the resilience of the Japanese people and the long road of recovery still ahead. Through programming like this and our efforts through the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, Japan Society is committed to providing support over the long term."
On March 12, 2011, Japan Society created the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, a disaster and recovery relief fund to aid victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Through the incredible generosity of not only New Yorkers, but Americans from all 50 states and people from around the world, the Society currently supports the work of a number of projects to revitalize and rebuild Tohoku. As of February 5, 2013, the fund has received $13,125,378.79, comprising 23,382 donations.
Ticket holders to any event in the 3/11 series receive complimentary admission to Japan Society Gallery's major spring exhibition, Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints, opening March 9. From the timeless, turbulent beauty of Hokusai's Under the Wave off Kanagawa (1831-34) to the ominous, drowning destruction of Kazama Sachiko's mammoth 2012 woodblock print Alas! Heisoku-kan (Raging Battle-Ship the Dead-End), Edo Pop juxtaposes classic ukiyo-e prints from masters of Japan's Edo Period with contemporary artists inspired by these works.
"Japan has been rife with natural disasters historically and their influence can be seen in Japanese art throughout the ages," says Miwako Tezuka, Japan Society Gallery Director. "While this is only one of many themes running throughout Edo Pop, it is particularly significant as we reflect on March 11. Time and time again Japanese culture has been shaken at its foundation, but the society has always come together to revitalize through art in the act of creation."