Main fundraiser photo

Japanese Craft Revival after Earthquake

Donation protected
日本語下に - Japanese at the bottom

I am raising funds to recover Japanese artisans who have lost their tools, materials and workshops in the aftermath of the earthquake.

On 1 January 2024, while most of the population were visiting their hometowns and spending time with their families, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula area of Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan. The strongest earthquake to hit Japan in 13 years caused major damage and claimed dozens of lives.

The Noto peninsula is famous for its many ancient craft traditions, particularly in the town of Wajima. Many of these crafts were already struggling, but may have difficulty recovering after this event. In addition to the earthquake, a fire broke out in the centre of Wajima city, burning down around 200 buildings and destroying most of the famous 'Asaichi' morning market - a 1,000-year-old shopping district known for selling seafood and Wajima lacquerware.

Japanese lacquerware is believed to have been produced in Wajima since the Muromachi period (1333-1573). Many lacquerware workshops that had passed on their skills and knowledge for generations were affected or completely destroyed. This probably includes tools that have been handed down for centuries and are irreplaceable. But not only lacquerware artists from Wajima are affected, but also ceramists, woodworkers, brush makers and many other artisans who lost their studios, workshops, homes or workplaces in the prefecture.

Why am I collecting for this cause? I came to Japan to learn from the incredible culture of craftsmanship that exists here. The Japanese have welcomed me with open arms, sharing their wisdom, philosophy, and tools. I feel compelled to help when I see these people losing their livelihoods, while I still benefit from the knowledge they shared with me. I know we craftsmen have a special bond, and most of us have learned from the Japanese in one way or another. That is why I want to help them now when they need urgent support most. I need YOUR support!

Most people are still evacuated, and it will take long before any rebuilding can begin. I will gather information about the various artisans affected and their need to rebuild their trade. I will personally pass on all funds to help them buy materials or tools. I will keep you updated, but please be aware that this will likely take months.

How the funds will be spent
I am a German citizen, currently studying Japanese craft in Ishikawa Prefecture, the same prefecture hit by the earthquake. I know many affected artisans personally because they are either my teachers or I have met them on visits to Wajima. Since many relief funds in response to the earthquake require a Japanese bank account or phone number, I wanted to make this fund accessible to people internationally. The funds will, therefore, go directly to me, and I will then pass them on. Once I have a clear overview of all the artists affected (there is barely any phone signal right now, and many people have no connection to the internet), I will pass on the money via bank transfer to the artists or personally. It is essential that the artists can spend the money on the materials and tools they need freely.

Who the money will go to
One third of the money will go to the Wajima Lacquerware Association which has 103 members, which are almost all actively involved in the production of Wajima Lacquerware. The Association will decide how to best use the donation made to them in order to rebuild the famous Urushi Tradition of Wajima

One third will go to the Suzu Pottery Association, representing the Ceramicists of Suzu

And the last third will be passed on to individual craftspeople, who I personally believe would benefit most, such as:

(This list is subject to change and additions)

Kohei Kirimoto
A lacquerware artist from Wajima, whos workshop and home burned down

箱瀬工房 Hakose Kobo
Lacquerware artist from Wajima. The house and two workshop buildings were all destroyed, this is a before and after of the workshop:

田谷昂大 Taya Lacquerware Workshop
A Group of Urushi Artisans from Wajima. The office building and factory were completely destroyed and the newly constructed gallery burned down.

Suzanne Ross
a lacquerware artist in Wajima, who lost her home due to heavy snowfall in December and who's workshop was destroyed during the earthquake

Ayano Konishi
A maki-e artisan from Wajima. Her workplace, as well as her husbands workshop and family home all burned down, including all the lacquer, stock and lacquer tools, some inherited from her Family.


Mutsuko Nakado
Aizawa Woodworks

石川県・山中在住の、ラベア・ゲブラーと申します。伝統的な木工旋盤と漆の技術を日本で勉強しています。
私は、震災の影響で道具や材料、工房を失った日本の職人さんたちの復興資金を集めています。

2024年1月1日、多くの国民が故郷を訪れ、家族と過ごしている最中に、マグニチュード7.6の地震が石川県能登半島地方を襲いました。13年ぶりに日本を襲ったこの強い地震は、大きな被害をもたらし、数十人の命を奪ってしまいました。

能登半島は、輪島市を中心とした多くの伝統工芸が有名な場所です。これらの工芸の多くは、もとから苦境に立たされていたので、今回の出来事から立ち直るのは非常に大変なことです。地震に加え、輪島市の中心部では火災が発生し、約200棟の建物が全焼したほか、海産物や輪島塗で知られる1,000年の歴史を持つ商店街「朝市」の大半も焼失しました。

輪島では室町時代から漆器が生産されていたと考えられています。何世代にもわたって技術や知識を受け継いできた漆器工房の多くが被災、あるいは、完全に破壊されてしまいました。その中には、何世紀にもわたって受け継がれてきた、かけがえのない道具も含まれていたことでしょう。輪島の漆芸家だけでなく、陶芸家、木工家、筆職人など、県内の工房や作業場、自宅、仕事場を失った多くの職人が被災されました。

私は、日本に存在する素晴らしい職人文化から学ぶために、日本に来ました。日本のみなさんは、両手を広げて私を受け入れ、知恵、哲学、道具を惜しみなく分けてくれました。それらの知識から恩恵を受けた者として、生活の糧を失っている人々を見ると、助けずにはいられません。私たち職人には特別な絆があり、ほとんどの職人が何らかの形で日本人から学んでいます。だからこそ、緊急の支援を最も必要としている今、彼らを助けたいのです。皆さんのご協力をお願いします!

現時点では、ほとんどの人がまだ避難しており、復興が始まるまでには長い時間がかかると思われます。私はまず被災した職人、そしてその人たちが活動を再建するためのニーズについて、情報を集めます。そして集まったお金はすべて、彼らが材料や道具を購入するための資金として使えるように渡します。情報は随時お知らせしていくつもりですが、数ヶ月はかかると思いますので、なにとぞご理解をお願いいたします。

甚大な被害を受けた工房をご存知の方は、下記までご連絡ください。連絡先・工房名 ・被害状況(写真など)
Donate

Donations 

  • Heri Gahbler
    • €200 
    • 3 mos
  • catherine lignier
    • €275 
    • 3 mos
  • Robert Nicolle
    • €287 
    • 3 mos
  • Chasobito Fuji Kaoru
    • €620 
    • 3 mos
  • Beverly Tuazon
    • €20 
    • 4 mos
Donate

Organizer

Rabea Gebler
Organizer
Butzbach

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee