What's this Challenge about?
Light Up the Skies of Tohoku with Big, Bright Fireworks!
Light Up Nippon is a project started in the summer after the Tohoku Great Earthquake in 2011. On August 11th of the year and after, we hosted firework festivals in over 10 different locations in the areas affected by the tragic disaster.
So far, we have been running the project by donations. However, with time, the amount of money we receive has gradually decreased. We are currently struggling to continue our project; hence, the COUNTDOWN campaign. While collecting funds for this year’s firework festivals, we also hope to deliver voices from the Tohoku area to remind people of what happened and is happening Tohoku through this campaign.
To promote this project, we have taken part in various events all over the country.
Each time, we brought “shakdama” firework balls (3.5 in dia.) and asked the participants to write messages on them. We’re very thrilled to shoot them up into the sky this summer!
Bringing Light to Tohoku, Reaching Out to the World
This Challenge has two main goals.
Our first goal is to brighten up the skies of Tohoku and bring hope to the people.
In Japan, fireworks are sometimes used as a means to pray for repose of souls of the passed ones. In the past two years, we sent off many fireworks into the sky to pray for the souls of the deceased and recovery of Tohoku. They brought smiles to children’s faces and hope to adults’ hearts.
There’s still a long way ahead for full recovery of Tohoku. This year, too, we need to deliver hope to the people there by lightening up their skies with fireworks.
Our second goal is to deliver messages from Tohoku to other areas of Japan and all over the world. We will be sharing our firework festivals on the internet so that people from everywhere can experience them and witness a part of their journey to recovery.
The More Support, the More Fireworks!
All the funding collected through this campaign will be used to make fireworks, specifically, “shakudama” balls (the big firework that shoots up to 980 ft. high with a diameter of 900 ft.). The more money you send us, the more “shakudama” fireworks will be sent to each location of Light Up Nippon!
(Some locations do not offer enough space to launch “shakudama” balls, in which case we will deliver the biggest fireworks possible instead.)
Each “shakudama” firework costs approximately 50,000 yen to make and launch. Every 50,000 yen you tip in sends another “shakudama” to Tohoku.
Why Are We Doing This?
Three years after the Tohoku Great Earthquake, it seems that the world is starting to forget about the disaster and Tohoku. Every summer, Light Up Nippon brought joy to the affected areas, and it has become an event the people there very much look forward to.
Working with the locals to prepare the event, we heard many stories about the reality of Tohoku now and how they feel about the Light Up Nippon firework festivals.
In some areas, the local communities have disappeared because many left the village or town after the earthquake. The people who decided to stay participate in Light Up Nippon hoping that it would be a reason for those who left to come back to their hometown if only for the summer.
Other places have not recovered enough to resume their own summertime firework festivals, so Light Up Nippon serves as an alternative where locals have a chance to get together and nurture their sense of community. They hope it’ll lead to faster recovery of their villages and towns.
Through this campaign, we hope to deliver such voices of the locals of each Light Up Nippon location.
Moreover, this year, we plan to share videos of the festivals online for those from outside Japan and send out gratitude from Tohoku for the support they have received from all over the world. For those of you who haven’t been to Japan, it’ll be a great opportunity to witness a traditional Japanese firework festival.
On the day of Light Up Nippon, every location is filled with so much festivity! They host various events during the day before the fireworks begin. It’s a day both adults and children truly look forward to.
World, Enjoy the Fireworks from Tohoku!
We will make video clips Light Up Nippon in English and publish them online to share with the world. After the event, we plan to put together a website to share interviews with the committee members from each members and video reports on the locals’ continuous effort to recover from the damage of the earthquake.
Here Are the 15 Locations of Light Up Nippon
This year, 15 different locations in Tohoku, plus Sapporo City in Hokkaido, will have Light Up Nippon in August. The firework balls produced with your support will be delivered to the following cities.
Noda Village, Miyako, Yamada, Otsuchi, Kamaishi, Ofunato, Rikuzentakata
Kesennuma, Minamisanriku, Ishmaki, Watari
Minamisoma, Hirono, Iwaki, Aizumisato
より大きな地図で LIGHT UP NIPPON2013 を表示
Message from the Challenger
We’ve been working in the Light Up Nippon project since last year. In this year’s Light Up Nippon, each staff member is assigned one location and has been preparing for the festival hand-in-hand with the local committee and supporters. However, over two years after the earthquake, we can keenly feel that less people are now interested in supporting Tohoku. We still haven’t been able to collect enough funds for the event.
It is our hope that more people will remember about Tohoku again through this campaign. We’re waiting for you to be a part of Light Up Nippon!