Saving Japan at SXSW

Categories: SXSW

Help Save Japan @ SXSW
Casino Kids standing in front of the Help Save Japan at SXSW booth at the Austin Convention Center.
Debilitating earthquakes. Aftershocks. Tsunamis that swept away entire towns and destroyed countless agricultural fields. Thousands of dead and missing. All of this occurred after musicians and organizers for South by Southwest's Japan Nite, an annual showcase of Japanese bands, boarded Austin-bound planes.

Now thousands of miles away from one of the greatest catastrophes to befall Japan since the second World War, these organizers and bands and fighting to raise money for their homeland right here in Austin, Texas.

On the fourth floor of the Austin Convention Center, a Japan booth that normally serves the purpose of informing SXSW attendees of the annual Japan Nite showcase, is home to a donation box overflowing with cash (find out more by visiting Here you can also buy $15 T-shirts with the Japanese flag and the word ganbare or "stay strong" printed on them. There's SXSW 4 Japan, an impromptu relief organization attempting to raise $80,000 by the Sunday close of SXSW. They're already over $74,000.

Jonathan McNamara
Members of the Sonoda Band wore Ganbare or "Stay strong" T-shirts during the Japan Preview Day Show.
And then there are the artists themselves.

Each of the 13 bands performing at yesterday's Japan Preview Day Show took time to express thanks for the help their country has received from the U.S. New Times arrived at the show in time to catch the Sonoda Band; a seven-piece rock outfit with a heavy emphasis on violin and piano. The group performed in the same ganbare shirts available at the convention center. Lead member Ryo Sonoda declared the band's last song would be played for Japan after taking time out of the set to express his gratitude for the support and help he's witnessed thus far. His English was broken. His sentiment was not.

Artists like Takashi Kamide, Japan's premiere accordion player, donated all Japan Preview Day Show sales of his album to help the relief effort. Volunteers passed through the audience collecting cash as the Zukuna Sisters, an all-female soul group, performed.

Similar fundraising efforts and acknowledgement of the tragedy facing Japan after the earthquake on March 11 are expected at tonight's Japan Nite performance at The Elysium in Austin.

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Radiation levels in the coming days across North America will worsen from present levels over time (think 1-5 years).

Present levels are not safe primarily because plutonium particles are entrained in the debris and it will only get worse over the next 20 years.

Airborne hotspots will not be detected by monitoring stations of the epa and doe. These hotspots, as with any level of radiation, can increase incidence of malignancies and genetic defects.

This environmental increase in radiation crossing the pacific is likely to lead to the greatest increases in internal radiological exposures to be experienced in the lifetimes of those under 20 years of age. Make plans to be safe.

Stay indoors as much as possible for the next 4-8 weeks. No ball games, or outings, especially for toddlers or young children. Do not eat dairy products. Do not breastfeed. Already-purchased fresh produce and vegetables in your house are now safe. Rely on canned foods and packaged (dry food) non-perishables until background levels return to normal. Set up a 'mud room' for shoes and jackets. Don't bring shoes and jackets and backpacks into house. Distilled/reverse osmosis water is preferable. Set heaters and air conditioners to recycle air inside. Use air filter or ionizers to clean indoor air. Farmers and others are advised to move livestock off pasture; cows bio-accumulate in milk iodine-131 at levels one thousand times that found in air; ten thousand fold for goat milk.

Radiation exerts ionization, energies that strip ions from cells and destroy biological functions. Avoiding external and internal exposure to radioactive particles found in fission fallout - which pool in vital organs of the body - is the best way to ensure maintained health.

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It's good, i like it! I think must be more event like that!

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