Santa Rosa: Matsuri! Raises Over $10,000 for Japan Relief Fund

Over 1,000 people came out to support Matsuri! Japanese Arts Festival on A Street held on Saturday, April 2nd.

Participants enjoyed a sunny afternoon with art, music, Japanese tea ceremony presentations, martial arts demonstrations and many other activities.

Thanks to the generous donations received, event organizers have contributed $10,450 to Direct Relief International through the Sonoma County chapter of Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).

Attendees were also invited to write their wishes on a seven foot square paper painted by artist Mario Uribe for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Miyagi Prefecture.

At the end of the day Origami Master, Henry Kaku, folded the paper into a giant crane of hope. Kaku explained, “For me, making the crane was very emotional and moving. I saw people wiping their tears away.”

Organizers are sending the giant crane to the children of Kohoku town in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, to let them know that others have heard of their loss, and are wishing them hope for the future and the rebuilding of their town.

The children of Kohoku lost their school and many of their friends and families in the disaster and it is hoped that this gesture will lift their spirits during the difficult days ahead.

Santa Rosa Matsuri Henry and Crane

Henry Kaku fold the paper into a giant crane of hope.

Japan Airlines has agreed to transport the crane to Japan at no charge, where it will be delivered to the Mayor’s office in Ishinomaki along with backpacks of school supplies provided by the students of San Francisco’s Lick Wilmerding High School.

The crane and school supplies leave for Japan on Friday, April 15th.

The Matsuri! organizers wish to thank the volunteers, vendors, artists, and musicians who made this event possible as well as all those who attended and contributed to the success of the event.

Santa Rosa Matsuri Carne-paprer endo

Crane-parer and "enso" circle design