Aftermath

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Nothing much to report this week. Just another massive earthquake off the coast of Sendai. It was said to be in the same spot as the big one last year, and despite being about 18 months later, is said to be a massive aftershock of the March 11th quake. Fortunately everything was ok this time.

It measured about 7.0 on the Richter scale, occurring at about 6.07 pm on Friday 7th December. A tsunami warning was issued, and a meter high tsunami was spotted heading towards Ishinomaki. However, people were prepared this time. There were multiple warnings from NHK, the local broadcasting company, and I personally received warnings from my phone provider, my earthquake app (yurekuru – get it if you live in Japan! It’s free!) and my company… Twice.

I had recently left work, and because I had no change for the bus I had walked to the nearest convenience store to buy something cheap and get change. I was just picking up some bananas when the quake hit. It was immediately obvious as a stronger one. I paused. Normally after a second or two, a quake will build up in intensity or die out. This one carried on. I waited but then carried on shopping. The female clerk, in her 50s, was freaking out. She dashed around behind the counter and then squatted behind a til. The man carried on. There were only two other customers in the store. An old gentleman was at the ATM. He waited looking a little concerned. The other was a man in his 30s or 40s with a rebellious look. He defiantly carried on as if nothing happened. It was because of his action that I didn’t just stand around waiting. I wasn’t scared, because it didn’t build, but I was concerned because it seemed strong and could have been worse than we knew. I paid for my goods and walked back to the bus stop. The quake finished just before I left. It was probably about a minute.

At the bus stop I tried calling my girlfriend, but the lines were dead. I used a chat app instead and checked. I also got messages from a couple of friends then and my company. I reported that I was fine and got back to important stuff. Stupid company. They only cared if I was fit for work.

On the bus ride home, there was an aftershock but I didn’t feel it. I chatted to my girlfriend. Everything at home was ok. Before I got there, I had some more messages on Facebook saying they had heard reports of the quake in England and such. I left a status update that everything was ok. The town seemed busier, like the bubbles in a shaken bottle of cola, the people moved a little faster but there was no damage I could see.

When I got home, my girlfriend was a little scared but ok. The only damage was that our Christmas bell had fallen down, but my girlfriend later told me that had fallen in the morning. We shared our earthquake moments and then watched the news together and laughed at the newscasters with their helmets on. I kept an eye on Twitter for any emergency news but everything was fine.

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If you live in Japan and you are concerned about any earthquakes and getting information in English, I strongly suggest two things. First up, use Facebook to reassure loved ones. Unlike the phone function you will have access to this and they can also tell you what they know. Second, get on Twitter and, at the least, follow these two @DannyChoo and @earthquakejapan.

Danny Choo is an English born cultural ambassador and all round cool guy in Japan. He regularly tweets about his work with anime and TV but whenever there is a quake he gives as much information as he can in both languages. Earthquake Japan is linked to seismologists in San Francisco and they predicted this latest quake five hours before it happened!

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In Japanese

Its the last day of donations! Please do your best to spread the word! Instructions on how to donate are also available in Japanese http://www013.upp.so-net.ne.jp/dankato/mukaiyamaletspop.html. So tell this link to your Japanese friends.

プロジェクトのindiegogoのチャレティーは最後日ですよ!日本語で説明があります!どうぞ。http://www013.upp.so-net.ne.jp/dankato/mukaiyamaletspop.html 日本人と友達に教えてください。お願いします!

Closing Time

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Hello,

Sorry for the long delay in blogging but I hope you have been following our Facebook page. I kept meaning to update here as well but opportunities for important advertising kept cropping up and stealing my free time. Not to mention work.

Well, first up, I’m sad to say that we are in the final week of our IndieGoGo fundraiser, but we have only raised a fraction of the target. It’s very is heartening but if I’ve learned one thing from this project it’s that you can have the best idea in the world and you can have incredible passion for a subject but that doesn’t mean you can make other people like it. It seems people would rather pay for mind reading headphones than help people get out of poverty and the ruins of disaster and help a disillusioned youth gain a passion for education. Well, I kind of knew society was like that all along.

I’ve tried though. I have been and I still am posting regular tweets and contacting groups who might be interested in our work. This has included a competition run by IndieGoGo themselves to find the campaign with the best perk. I ended our campaign but just like the fundraising, the competition is tough. The winners get a cash boost to their project. What is more important is that it offers lots of closure and free advertising. If you want to vote for our project, then go here. Voting is open until Wednesday and you can vote once every hour, you can even vote again from different devices. So if you have spare time you can really push us up the charts! Thank you!

So this is it. The final push. I know we aren’t going to meet our target, but it is said that over 60% of funds for these things come in the last few days. So we might still get a high total yet. Plus, whatever we raise, every $5 will buy one book to distribute here in Japan and who knows how many disparaged students that might inspire! So please don’t be shy, spread word of our project and donate if you can!

http://www.indiegogo.com/letspopculture

Cheers

Spread the word

I’m not going to ask you to donate money. I’m going to ask you to donate 10 seconds of your time. I’m going to give you the link to our IndieGoGo fundraiser and I want you to share it somewhere: Facebook, twitter, mixi, tumblr, YouTube, … It doesn’t matter. Here it is:

http://www.indiegogo.com/letspopculture

We have until December 1st to raise $1,999 USD or I’ll collapse from stress, my teachers will go back to teaching soul sapping lessons, my students will lose hope in anything they do for school, English education in Japan will continue to fail and earthquake/tsunami victims will still struggle to rebuild their lives. So help, why don’t you?

It’s been one week, that’s 20 % of our time, and we’ve raised $305 USD so far. That’s only 15%, so we are a little behind schedule! That’s to be expected, as word has yet to be spread of our work. As more and more people share, donations will start to come more frequently.

Back at school, I have put up a quick poster to show students how well our fundraiser is doing. So don’t disappoint them, and don’t embarrass me! Share that link!

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I’ve also been bugging students to contribute more illustrations for the book. So far I have gotten a few doodles but I’m hoping I’ll have some more drawings worthy of being chapter headings and not just page decoration. Still, they are cute.

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That’s it for now. Keep following the Facebook page for more regular updates, and the Indiegogo page for more regular, detailed and fun updates. Videos coming soon!

Covered

Hello again,

Sorry to keep you waiting for almost a week. I have spent the past 3 days at work marking exam papers. It was exhausting. Each day my brain just could not take in any information. Then last night, I went the other way and I got all hyper. My brain was racing! Anyway, I’ve calmed down a bit now.

I posted on our Facebook page that I had received the final image for the book’s cover and promotions. Now, I finally ave time to post it here. So please have a look and let me know what you think.

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It was drawn by the talented Chevi. I asked for a group of students cheering on as a crowd, in the iconic Japanese school uniform even though my school doesn’t have a uniform, with the school mascot, the triangle headed guy. She delivered!

Over the next few days, between more marking, lesson planning, book formatting, work training and extra jobs, I’m going to play about with the lettering and get the text for the cover sorted. I’ll post some samples here and I’d like you to tell me which one looks best. So please stick around, visit regularly and help us out with our huge, life changing project.

Cheers, me dears!

Image

Interview

Hello,

It’s really stormy tonight…. So this is a quick update in case my Internet signals can’t make it through the nasty weather. Some snippets ahead:

1. Students are in the final stages of writing: the last review drafts are being chased up and the students will start to word process their final reviews later this week.

2. I’m still considering about contacting Miss Alodia to use pictures of her in our book. I want to, because she is the queen of cosplay (a very Japanese thing) and I’d like to write an introduction to the book which explains this and includes others, like Danny Choo who I already got on board. However, the thing I have realized is that Shopro the company behind Doraemon (a very popular character here in Japan) and his marketing said we can only use his images in the introduction and if he is featured alone….

3. I’m being interviewed about this project by one of the students for the broadcasting club. This interview will hopefully be translated into Japanese and it will be entered into a competition. So not only do I get to better express some of my reasons and motivations for this project but it will reach a wider audience and help advertise the book.

That’s all for now folks and folkettes! I’ll be back in a couple of days with news of the first finished reviews! I hope…. !

Return

Hello there! Long time no see. I’ve been on school vacation, so it’s been hard to keep track of progress with the project. As of today though, I’m back at school daily. So regular reports will resume.

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I was pleased to see that many first draft reports have been handed in already. I really thought the students would wait until our first lesson. There are still many to collect, but I’m going to give them a week to get the first draft in.

My task now, is to check this and prompt them to write more. I’m going to ask questions to make them give me more information. Then the reviews will be even longer. I’m pleased with how long they are actually, but we are publishing these, so the more the better.

After they are checked, I shall return them to make a final draft on paper, then it will be off to the computer room to type the final draft! The students are doing that, of course! If I typed them all up, we would never get to release this book!

Take care, and I’ll report to you again very soon.

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Fundraising ends!

The EndDecember 1st, 2012
Our big fund raiser is coming to an end... Here's when. Thank you for all the support! We all really appreciate it.

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