After a decade of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster and after a long break time of blogging we decided to release about the anniversary of the triple catastrophe in north-eastern coast of Japan.

Tears, prayers and the determination to pass on the lessons learned captured Japan on the anniversary March 11, 2011, where more than 20,000 people died. More than half a million people had to leave their hometowns because of the worst nuclear disaster in the world since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

For the commemoration in several places in the region, meeting places were set up where people could lay flowers.  The memorial ceremony was held in the city of Ishinomaki, where more than 3,600 people died and the bereaved have moved to other areas of Japan. The commemoration has been set up on Maruhon Makiato Terrace, a cultural complex as a symbol of the rebuilding of Ishinomaki city. A signboard “Ganbaro Ishinomaki (Cheer up Ishinomaki)” were built by Mr. Kurosawa Kenichi right after the disaster. In remembrance the victims, the organizer has lighted around 3600 lanterns, which is the same number of deaths by the triple catastrophe in Ishinomaki. After a minute of silence to commemorate ceremony, several balloons were released for the victims.

Due to our previous visit to Ishinomaki in 2014 and our good relationship with Ms. Akiko Iwamoto, who was the member of Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre in Ishinomaki, and now the member of the memorial event executive committee, we could get a few information and some photographs about the ceremony.

The memorial ceremony held by Ishinomaki citizen. Around 3600 lanterns were lighted, which is the same number of deaths by the tsunami in Ishinomaki. Photo by Minori Kawaguchi

The memorial ceremony. Photo by Akiko Iwamoto.

The memorial ceremony. Photo by Akiko Iwamoto.

After the silent and praying, people released balloons for the victims. Photo by Minori Kawaguchi.

People offered a moment of silence. Photo by Minori Kawaguchi.

2014 was incredible..
The project boards the Peace Boat in Ishinomaki

Wishing you all a peaceful year full of success!

Visiting the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre in Ishinomaki, one of the regions most affected by the tsunami, was another of the main reasons for my trip to Japan. I had planned to visit Ishinomaki during the second week of my stay in the country.

Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre in Ishinomaki

While I was on the road in Shinkansen and travelling on local trains to Ishinomaki, many people asked me why I was visiting Japan and why I was making my way specifically to Ishinomaki. I told them about Project Sunshine for Japan. The people I encountered were very interested in the project and wanted to read the Japanese passages in the book.

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Arriving in Ishinomaki at 7pm, I was picked up by Peace Boat employee Akiko Iwamoto and one of the volunteers at the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre, Ai Isobe. A friendly fellow traveller, who, during the journey, had read the book with tears in her eyes, accompanied me to the station exit and told me something. She thanked me several times for my work before leaving the station. On the way to the Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre, Akiko told me a lot about the city of Ishinomaki and what had happened after the disaster. When we arrived, I received a warm welcome from dozens of young volunteers and was invited to eat dinner with them.

Young volunteers
of Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre in Ishinomaki

The view from the highest point of Ishinomaki

Akiko Iwamoto showing us the before and after the tsunami

My second day in Ishinomaki started with a speech given by Akiko Iwamoto to the volunteers. We then went on to plan for the day. My name was written in Latin script on a blackboard. After another short speech by Akiko Iwamoto, we embarked on a tour of the city. Local villager Masayuki Mouri picked us up for the tour, which began at the highest point of the city, and we drove through the countryside around Ishinomaki. The entire area looked like a building site; in many places, plaques could be seen with candles, flowers, food and something to drink for the dead. When it is hot, relatives of the victims share soft drinks with their dead. Many tourists who have come to visit the disaster area travel by bus to view the site. We went to a place created by Kenichi Kurosawa one of the citizen of the Ishinomaki who is very committed to the victims and built a memorial in the region. He explained how he tries to give people courage and to lift their spirits by recording his thoughtful words about the incident in two languages.

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From Left to right Ai Isobe,
Akiko Iwamoto and Masayuki Mouri

My itinerary included a visit to a temporary shopping street and apartments in Onagawa. My journey took me through deserted streets, as apart from some road construction workers, the place was completely empty. I visited several shops whose owners had used creative business ideas to try to leave the terrible events behind them and start a new life.

shopping street in Onagawa

Some even hope to be able to establish new labels from the region. One such woman is Namuri Abe, who is trying to open up a new market in the area by importing ceramics from Spain and using them to create artwork. She offers jobs to young creative people. A very interesting example of her business’s artwork is called Cera & Mika. Consisting of two fish happily stretching their heads out of the sea, the creation is a symbol of the town of Onagawa. The piece represents the first steps of reconstruction and the fact that life goes on.

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Namuri Abe

Another business idea comes from an artist who paints graffiti locally and draws manga. Through his art, he tries to add colour to towns and cities, such as Ishinomaki and Onagawa, in which manga is popular. Picking yourself up again and rebuilding destroyed areas after such a disaster requires enormous energy, energy that is palatable among these young creative people.

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Graffiti Artist of Onagawa

One of the many examples of national and international development assistance in this area is the establishment of a communications tent for people living in shelters in Onagawa by Ruyichi Sakamoto. During our visit, we met two little boys who had been driven by the summer heat to play ball inside the tent and two women who met there daily to exchange news. However, we met no other locals. In fact, the town and its communications tent looked so empty! We met more people at noon, as we took a break in the area’s only fish restaurant. After the events in the region, this small seafood restaurant is one of the few remaining in the region that still serves fresh fish every day that it has caught itself.

Shelters in Onagawa

Communications tent for people living in shelters in Onagawa by Ruyichi Sakamoto

Afterwards, we visited the hospital in Onagawa. Many tourists were gathered here. A mark indicating the height of the tidal waves can be seen on columns at the entrance to the building. From the top of the hospital, the trail of destruction left by the tsunami is still visible. Even a completely upset building remains. When the flood hit, many villagers were sat in their cars listening to the news. They had been assured that the tsunami waves would crash into the town before returning to the sea. However, the tsunami pushed sideways into the town, changed direction behind the hospital and dragged everything back with it. The people listening to the news in their cars were all washed out to sea.

Crashed house in front of hospital in Onagawa

Akiko Iwamoto in front of the hospital in Onagawa

Later in the evening, we visited Ogatzu, where we took a break in a newly decorated coffee shop. Its young Japanese owners had moved here from other parts of Japan and had found a lucrative business opportunity in the area. Before the tsunami, more than 600 families lived here but the place is now deserted. Since the disaster, no more homes may be built in this beautiful valley on the coast and only businesses may take up residence. Only a scattering of houses are being built on high ground in the village.

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Coffee shop and villagers in Ogatzu

The evening ended with a visit to the village’s only primary school. After the disaster, it was completely destroyed and all two hundred pupils died. The atmosphere surrounding the building was heavy and oppressive, although now and then a sound could be heard coming from the school. Akiko asked me to take as few photographs as possible because tourism bothers many of the villagers. Somehow, the tsunami was still in the air, and the thought of hearing two hundred children scream soon stopped me from getting out my camera and I decided to refrain from taking photos. That evening, I returned to the Volunteer Centre and processed what I had seen and heard during the day. While eating dinner with the volunteers and talking with the young people, it once again became clear to me that life goes on.

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Young volunteers
of Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre in Ishinomaki

The next day, I met Robin Lewis, another Peace Boat employee, right in front of the main train station in Tokyo. We had time to go for coffee together. The plan was for me to stay in Tokyo over the next few days. My visit to the Peace Boat and Japan Grace office and my cheerful welcome from the Japan Grace executive director, Yasuhiro Takada, and his staff left me feeling perplexed. In each department I visited, all the employees applauded me for my work, praised the project and gave me a friendly welcome.

Peace Boat office in Tokyo

Japan Grace executive director, Yasuhiro Takada
Founder of the Project Sunshine for Japan, Mansoureh Rahnama

I was ashamed that I had failed to carry out work that I could have done earlier but had neglected to do for a number of reasons. In spite of this, the staff congratulated me for my dedication and hard work. I had the feeling that I did not deserve such effusive praise and that I could have done better. Nevertheless, I thanked everyone for their kindness, their warm welcome and recognition. It motivates me to continue to work for such wonderful people.

Project Sunshine for Japan
International Poster Exhibition OSAKA

Thanks to our Exhibition Executive Committee in Osaka we have presented the 100 posters and of the project Sunshine for Japan and the posters of our guests from September 9th to 19th at the  Creative Network Center Mebic Ogimachi in Osaka.

Keizo Matsui, Shinnoske Sugisaki, Satoshi Dono


Duncan Brotherton, Mansoureh Rahnama

The opening ceremony on Monday, 8th of September went very well. Thanks to all our supporting organizations we could once again display our posters in Japan with a lot of guests, designers, supporting organizations and some new comers. Shinnoske Sugisaki, the Jury Member of the Project Sunshine for Japan, opened the ceremony and invited Mansoureh Rahnama to hold a talk about how she started the project in Germany and which necessary steps she had to use to continue the project. The talk was in English and was translated into Japanese by Duncan Brotherton.

A round table with Shinji Nakagwa (Kyoto University), Robin Lewis (Peace Boat), Yasuhiro Takada (Japan Grace), Rie Yamanouchi (Artist from Tohoko)  rounded the evening with a panel discussion about various activities of artists and designers in the last few years due to the recovery of  the region after the disaster in Japan in  2011.

It was the first opening talk of the founder of the Project Sunshine for Japan with all the winners of the international poster competition from Kansai after three years’ hard work. The participating designers were Kaz Oomori, Toshio Kamitani, Toshiyasu Nanbu, Yuki Nishimura, and of course the special guests Takaharu Hara, Yoshimaru Takahashi, Yukichi Takada, Shinnoske Sugisaki and Keizo Matsui.

Back; from left to right: Duncan Brotherton, Shinnoske Sugisaki, Robin Lewis, Rie Yamanouchi, Shinji Nakagawa

Front; from left to right: Yukichi Takada, Mansoureh Rahnama, Yasuhiro Takada

Shinnoske Sugisaki present our publication

Reception party

Shinnoske Sugisaki, Yukichi Takada and the students of Osaka University of Art

The last word by the Founder of the project about the communication and design

Photos by Kenji Mori

Once again we thank all our supporting organizations who supported us to make it happen. Our thanks goes to the  Exhibition Executive Committee in Osaka, Creative Network Center Mebic Ogimachi, DAS Designers Association; JTA, Japan Typography Association; JAGDA, Graphic Designers Association, Osaka and Peace Boat, Disaster Volunteer Center.

Organizer: Project Sunshine for Japan, Exhibition Executive Committee OSAKA
Co-Organizer: Creative Network Center Mebic Ogimachi
Supported by DAS Designers Association; JTA, Japan Typography Association; JAGDA, Japan
Graphic Designers Association, Osaka
Cooperation; Peace Boat, Disaster Volunteer Center

Project Sunshine for Japan
International Poster Exhibition OSAKA

Thanks our Exhibition Executive Committee in Osaka we will present the 100 Posters and of the project Sunshine for Japan and the Posters of our guests from September 9th to 19th, 2014 at Creative Network Center Mebic Ogimachi in Osaka.

Tuesday, 9th ‒ Friday, 19th of September, 2014

The Exhibition is open daily between 11am ‒ 9pm (On Saturday, Sunday and national holidays between 11am ‒ 7pm), Admission free

Location: Mebic Ogimachi, 3rd floor, KTV Ogimachi Square

Please find the Information in japanese language on the Website of the Creative Network Center Mebic Ogimachi here.

Poster design by Yukichi Takada

Opening ceremony will be on Monday, 8th of September at 6:30pm (Admission free) with participation of the founder and curator of the Project Sunshine for Japan, Mansoureh Rahnama accompanied by the young artists Rie Yamanouchi and Duncan Brotherton.

Reception Party 8:00pm to 00:00, Admission ¥1,000

Furthermore we have invited some of the winner of our international poster competition from Kansai, for a open talk in a round table on Monday, 15th of September

Invited Designers: Kaz Oomori, Toshio Kamitani, Toshiyasu Nanbu, Yuki Nishimura
International Jury member of Project Sunshine for Japan: Shinnoske Sugisaki

Special guests on this evening: Yoshimaru Takahashi, Takaharu Hara and Yukichi Takada

Our sincere thanks goes to all our partners and supporting organisations for the excellent engagement and dedication in the last few years for keeping the project in the cultural memories. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for all of the supports of the Exhibition Executive Committee OSAKA, Creative Network Center Mebic Ogimachi, DAS Designers Association; JTA, Japan Typography Association; JAGDA, Graphic Designers Association, Osaka and Peace Boat, Disaster Volunteer Center.

Organizer: Project Sunshine for Japan, Exhibition Executive Committee OSAKA
Co-Organizer: Creative Network Center Mebic Ogimachi
Supported by DAS Designers Association; JTA, Japan Typography Association; JAGDA, Japan
Graphic Designers Association, Osaka
Cooperation; Peace Boat, Disaster Volunteer Center

日本を応援するポスター100選 Project Sunshine for Japan 展


オープニングトーク 9月8日(月) 6:30 pm 参加無料
プレゼンテーション「ドイツからの報告」マンスーレー・ラーナマ/Project Sunshine for Japan 設立者
トークセッション 山之内理枝/環境芸術家・めぶくアートプロジェクト ダンカン・ブラザトン/コーディネーター

9月8日(月) 8;00 pm 1,000円

Project Sunshine for Japan
2011年夏、Facebookを通じた呼びかけに対して、全世界から500点を超える作品が応募され、その中からオンライン審査によって100枚のポス ターが選出されました。審査員にはドイツのUwe Loesch氏をはじめ、イタリア、イギリス、アメリカ、カナダ、ベネズエラ、アイスランドなど8カ国からデザイナー9人が招かれました。
また今年春には、世界から寄せられた各界の著名人の福島への想いを「Project Sunshine for Japan フクシマについてのポスター、文集、詩」として発行され反響を呼んでいます。

日本を応援するポスター100選 Project Sunshine for Japan 展
9月9日(火)− 19(金) 11:00 am − 9:00 pm 土日祝・最終日は7:00 pm まで
メビック扇町 関テレ扇町スクエア3F 入場無料

特別参加/高橋善丸、原孝治 招待作家/高田雄吉 国際審査員/杉崎真之助

 日本グラフィックデザイナー協会 JAGDA
 日本タイポグラフィ協会 JTA
 総合デザイナー協会 DAS

We would like to thank all people and oganisations for the generous support of our book launch on the Frankfurt Book Fair.

A very special thanks goes to Consulate General of Japan in Frankfurt, Book Fair Frankfurt and Rafei Film Production.

Our Origami-business card holder present our book and the Japanese Matinee on the pin board of the press centre at the Book Fair Frankfurt.

Created by Naemi Reymann

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Our book on Book Fair Frankfurt at Hall 4.1 publishing house: Kettler Verlag


Sunshine for Japan – Japanese Matinee
at the Book Fair Frankfurt

Following the motto “Your colours can brighten the land of the rising sun again!” we started the “Project Sunshine for Japan” after the devastating triple disaster in Japan in March 2011. We will display the project at the world’s largest book fair on October 13th, 2013 – as a Japanese matinee in Book Fair FrankfurtAsia Lounge, 6.1 D15 in Frankfurt.

It is a worldwide campaign in the form of a poster competition in support of the survivors of the disaster in Fukushima. Around 400 international designers from 40 countries participated in the competition. The response and the quality of the works were overwhelming. A jury of renowned personalities selected the 100 best posters and amongst them, 6 posters received recognition and awards. Sponsors supported the presence of the posters in the form of several exhibitions. The exhibition was held in the following locations: … the University of Applied Science Dusseldorf, Trade Fair Tokyo, the Japanese Cultural Institute in Cologne, … the ATC Gallery in Osaka, on the Peace Boat in Nagoya and Kobe Ports with over 5000 visitors, and the “Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World 2” in Tokyo, Kulturort Depot (Cultural Centre Depot) Dortmund, “House of Artists” in Teheran with over 1500 visitors and the ”Vesal e Shiraz in Souratgar Gallery” in Shiraz.

The purpose of this exhibition is to provide cross-cultural understanding. The participation of various artists and designers from many cultures show.. the different ways of dealing with disasters of this kind, which is very impressive. It enables a worldwide cultural exchange ….as well as the formation of an international network of young creative people and established creative directors and corporations.

On Sunday, October 13th, 2013, from 11am, some selected posters of “Project Sunshine for Japan” will be inaugurated with an exciting musical and literary Sunday’s performance at the world’s largest book fair in Hall 6 in Frankfurt. The exclusive cultural event will be in the presence of some designers, writers and curators of the project involved as Japanese matinee with a book signing. Prominent guests are expected. (Requested)

The catalogue published in March 2013 presents the award-winning posters for the first time in the form of a comprehensive publication and supplements them with numerous literary articles by international authors -from 15 countries in 13 languages- dealing with the three-fold disaster in various ways. The texts are by Yuri Andrukhovych (Ukraine), Kevin Chen (Taiwan), Mustafa Ijaz (Turkey), Naemi Reymann (Germany), Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japan), Gert Scobel (Germany), Günter Grass (Germany), Izumi Yamaguchi (Japan), Rui Zink (Portugal), and more. The book cover is designed by Uwe Loesch.

Sunshine for Japan – Japanese Matinee

International cultural event with artistic and musical representation
Mansoureh Rahnama

Literature & Non-Fiction, Music, Design

Type of event:
Book presentation, origami workshop, musical reading

Sunday, October 13th, 2013
11am to 1pm

Asia Lounge, 6.1 D15
Book Fair Frankfurt
(Ausstellungs- und Messe GmbH
Frankfurter Buchmesse)
Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1
60327 Frankfurt am Main

English / German

Book Fair Frankfurt

Publisher: Verlag Kettler
Project Sunshine for Japan
c: tive e.V.
MIYABI – Schönes aus Japan

Mansoureh Rahnama (Founder and Curator)
Naemi Reymann (Designer and writer)
Akiko Inagawa (Musician)
Sakura No Ki Daiko Frankfurt (Japanese Taiko Percussion) will be performed by:
Ljiljana Bulic
Claudia Arnold
Margarethe Wenninger
Manfred Ludanov
Origami-Workshop will feature the experience of:
Noriko Onodera
Hiroko Morikawa,
will be supported by the cultural department of Consulate General of Japan in Frankfurt
Further designers and authors involved in the project
Publisher: Verlag Kettler

Further Information about the presentation and workshop can be find on the website of the Book fair Frankfurt in English and German languages.

Further Information for the Press is available here.

Further Information:
Mansoureh Rahnama
Mobile phone number: +49 179 43 92 352

The poster of Project Sunshine for Japan will be displayed from July 12th 2013 in the cultural centre of Vesal e Shiraz at Souratgar Gallery in Shiraz. Shiraz is the capital of Fars Province, is located in the southwest of Iran and is known as the city of poets, gardens, wine, flowers and nightingales.

Thanks the Iranian Graphic Designers Society, Association of Visual Arts & Handicrafts of Fars and the department of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Persian Gulf our exhibition will be held from July 12th to 17th in Vesal e Shiraz at Souratgar Gallery in Shiraz. The opening ceremnony is on July 12th at 6:30pm local time.

We would like to thank all of the people and the supporting organisations involved in displaying the posters of Project Sunshine for Japan in Shiraz; the centre of Iranian culture and the birthplace of great iranian poets such as Hafiz Shirazi and Saadi.

Please find all information in Persian Language under the links bellow:

Project Sunshine for Japan in Shiraz_Iranian Graphic Designers Society

Project Sunshine for Japan in Shiraz_Rang Magazine

You can download the Virtual Exhibition Tour here
Project Sunshine for Japan Poster for the Exhibition in Shiraz

Poster Design by Ali Razmpa

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The Tsunami of Japan brought the posters of Project Sunshine for Japan to Iran. A pleasure presents our 100 posters during the Graphic Design Week 2013 on April 16 at House of Art Iran-Tehran. The Graphic Design Week is an annual program of Iranian Graphic Designers Society (IGDS).

April 16th, 2013 at 5pm in the presence of some prominent Iranian designers.

More info in Persian language about the Exhibition in Tehran.
More information in Persian language about the Graphic Design Week 2013.

The exhibition in Tehran with a great success. Over 1500 people have visited the exhibition during the Graphic Design Week 2013 in House of Art Iran-Tehran.


Poster design by Ali Asghar Hosseini

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Project Sunshine for Japan will be presented on April 5th, 2013  at 7 pm on Creative Stage Bochum, on Dampfgebläsehaus, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum

More Information:

Presentation on Creative Stage Dortmund:

554214_10200585566257178_2027038398_n 150720_10200585564937145_1827417701_n408101_10200585564977146_737469890_n67896_10200585565137150_1687030895_n  524442_10200585565737165_1798634818_n 544834_10200585566537185_119551449_nPhotos by Isaac Saiz