having lived in tokyo for over 14 years [till around 2006], i'm pretty familiar with earthquakes. naturally, i had the coolest silver earthquake evacuation backpack [stocked with a bottle of moët if things turned grim], and i always slept with my helmut lang underwear on one leg in case i needed to make a quick escape]. in fact i was so quake-a-noid i subconsciously knew where the exits were in any nightclub, no matter how trashed i was or how powerful the smoke machine...
yes. earthquakes are a part of life in japan. tv programs get interrupted whenever a quake strikes and a tiny map of japan flashes red with the imminent tsunami warning. i suspect most people pay little attention at all. so on march 11 i'm on the couch in sydney, messing with my ipad when i get e-mail from my best pal ken in tokyo saying he just felt the biggest earthquake of his life. i turned on tv...cnn had nothing for about 5 minutes. then all hell broke loose.
i tried to call him but the mobile phone network went down. i then watched as the helicopters beamed footage of that sludge enveloping pristine farmland [eerily similar to the design of my superfuture avatar]...then got on skype. i found another friend in a taxi on his way to haneda airport just at the same time cnn started showing that row of mega tsunamis about to hit the coast and told him to turn around. from then on it just became a rolling friday afternoon and weekend fixed on internet, tv, and endless skype calls to the usual suspects. it pretty much stayed that way all week and by wednesday with a looming nuclear meltdown, the calls got plain surreal. so surreal that by the end of the week i'd even made my first post on facebook. yes. i always said it would take a partial nuclear meltdown for that to happen...
this time it looks like tokyo has narrowly escaped the bullet even though things are not exactly back to normal, but up north it's a different disaster and hard to even get ones head around... i mean it's difficult to actually imagine a worse scene - short of an asteroid wiping out LA. everyone thinks japan is a rich country - but no matter how rich it is, it's almost impossible to comprehend a situation where entire cities get washed away yet all the kids in the school on the hill survive the disaster. that is just so incredibly cruel and screwed up.
superfuture has a lot of japanese DNA so this catastrophe is particularly close to the bone. like many others i'm really having a hard time making sense of this and thinking of ways to help. sure, money will help in the short term but it's obvious that money alone will not be enough for these victims long term. we are now looking for ways for superfuture to be able to do something more substantial.
less significant but still critical is going to be the effort to get people visiting japan again and so we are going to want to help that side of the equation as well. in the meantime 100% of all sales for tokyo PDF superguides [until may 31 2011] are being retained into a superfuture x japan superfund, [update: from june 1 onwards, and for an indefinite period of time 10% of all tokyo PDF superguide sales will go to the superfund. we're now looking at options for how to distribute proceeds]. we want to continue exploring ways to have a contribution from advertisers, clients, as well as the wider supertalk community, so if you're interested in somehow collaborating let us know...
january 1 2012 --> superfuture x japan fund total $US 1592.00
july 1 2011 --> donated $US 500 to SAVE MINAMISOMA PROJECT as well as helping out creating graphics for maps and invitation for charity event in tokyo to be held on july 6.
january 1 2012 --> superfuture x japan fund balance $US 1092.00